For those who need to know about cloud computing Wikipedia has detailed description. I will try to answer some common questions I been asked about OpenStack during most of the meetup I have attended.
1. What is OpenStack?
Openstack is a free and open source software written in Python for building public and private cloud for infrastructure as service (IaaS). The code is available under the Apache licence for free of cost.
2. Is it really Free & Open.
Yes, OpenStack is available under Apache licence so it is free & open; codes are available for download without any strings attached. OpenStack implements its own Open Source API .
3. Who is behind OpenStack?
OpenStack project initially started with code contribution from NASA and Rackspace but now over 150 companies and 8000+ people are contributing one or the other way to the project. The OpenStack project is currently under OpenStack Foundation. They make sure that the project is running smoothly.
4. Why is OpenStack popular?
Because OpenStack has a big list of individual contributors and enterprise. Everything is available on open floor & everyone is invited to participate/collaborate and contribute.
5. What all companies are partners to OpenStack Project?
OpenStack has support from over 150 enterprise namely Rackpace, HP, DELL, Canonical, Piston, Nebula. This URL has more detailed list.
6. I am a student/developer, tell me where/how to start?
This URL has everything you want to know.
7. I am a student/professional is there any OpenStack job available.
Yes there are and some of them get listed here.
8. I want to meet developers contributing to OpenStack from my country, I also want to be like to contribute, is there a way to do that?
Yes please visit this page which has all the information you need about all the existing usergroups across world. If you want to start a user group in your city/country follow the instruction provided on the page and start contributing.
9. Is there a place I can go meet all the core developers share my ideas about the project?
OpenStack has a 6 months release cycle which means after every 6 month a new release comes which has new features. They have a event called OpenStack summit. The current summit is happening in Portland in April, this page has all the details.
10. Who is using OpenStack? What differentiates OpenStack from other cloud software?
Rackspace and HP are running public cloud powered with OpenStack. There are many other companies who are using Openstack in production. You can check the user story page for more.
OpenStack contribution comes from every part of the world. Venture capitals have pumped in over $100 million. It is not under shadow of one vendor who dictates about the project.
11. I just want to use OpenStack with support, are there such companies to help? where can I get the training for OpenStack?
Yes there are many such companies Rackspace, Piston Cloud, Cloudscaling, Aptira & many others. They will come & deploy cloud for you & you can even get support from them. Rackspace has a training & certification program besides that companies like mirantis, hastexo, swiftstack & others provide enterprise level training.
12. Care to share some URL to get started with OpenStack?