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OpenStack: Pleeeeease stop panicking, Intel and Rackspace still love us

Also, er, yeah, Chipzilla pulled the plug on that big project

By Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2017

Intel has walked out of a major OpenStack collaboration with Rackspace – but both companies and the OpenStack Foundation insist everything's fine. There's nothing to worry about. We're all good. Allegedly.

It emerged just before the Easter weekend that Intel has turned off the money tap to the OpenStack Innovation Center (OSIC), a 2,000-node facility it ran with Rackspace to develop and improve OpenStack for big biz. The center was set up by Intel and Rackspace just two years ago, and funding was supposed to run into 2018, but the chip giant has now quit, we're told.

So that's basically the end of the OSIC. Its shutdown sparked fears over the weekend that Intel was cutting all ties with the OpenStack movement, which would deal a hammer blow to the open-source cloud platform. It comes as Intel scraps its annual IDF technical conference in California.

On Monday, the OpenStack Foundation, which has two folks on the OSIC's governing board, pretty much confirmed Fortune's earlier report that the plug is being pulled on the center, estimating that about 45 Rackspace workers will lose their jobs if they cannot find another role within the company.

Neither the foundation nor Intel and Rackspace, however, want to spread the message that a big breakup is imminent, and all are moving to at least create the appearance that Rackspace and Chipzilla are both committed to backing the technology.

"Intel and Rackspace are very proud of the accomplishments of our joint teams working in OSIC and of its contributions to the OpenStack community," an Intel spokesperson told El Reg. "Both companies believe strongly in the future of OpenStack and will continue to contribute to, and collaborate in, the community."

About those accomplishments. You can find at least some of OSIC's open-sourced code repositories here, a lot of which haven't been touched in months. Intel's OpenStack page on 01.org hasn't been updated in months, either. The OSIC's news page died at the end of 2016.

Rackspace, meanwhile, pointed to a blog post earlier this month by senior VP of strategy and product Scott Crenshaw, in which he claimed that OpenStack business has never better. "OpenStack deployments are growing. It is becoming a standard cloud platform for corporations of all sizes, which are consistently growing their usage of OpenStack," Crenshaw said. "That trend is born out at Rackspace, where we're seeing dramatic growth in our customers' usage of OpenStack."

The OpenStack Foundation points out that both Intel and Rackspace are major sponsors for its annual summit next month (Intel's 01.org doesn't even acknowledge the conference, though) and even without the OSIC, it will have multiple clusters for engineers to test out new code.

"Fortunately, the infra team is already integrated with six other cloud providers in a dozen regions all over the world, and is preparing for life without OSIC," said OpenStack Foundation's chief operating officer Mark Collier on Monday.

"We believe any disruption to the development process will be minimal." ®

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