2012 is going to be a big year for the cloud and a big year for the open source OpenStack platform. AT&T announced on Monday that it was formally joining the OpenStack project.
The addition of AT&T is expected to yield benefits to both AT&T as well as the open source community of vendors and users of OpenStack. OpenStack now has over 140 technology companies participating in the project after just over a year and half of life. OpenStack got started in July of 2010 by NASA and Rackspace and has been growing rapidly ever since.
Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the Project Policy Board for OpenStack told InternetNews.com that AT&T developers have been participating in the project since early in 2011. He noted that AT&T has had participants at OpenStack design summits, though from an official point of view the company had previously been keeping quiet about their OpenStack activities. OpenStack has also been used for internal platforms at AT&T and now moving forward it will be used to power a public facing cloud.
"They were keeping it quiet from an official AT&T standpoint until they had gotten further along and had proven it out and were prepared to make a real commitment to OpenStack," Bryce said.
Having AT&T as part of the OpenStack initiative has the potential to help out the project as a whole in a number of ways. Bryce noted that for one it's always good to have more large scale deployments. As well, with a carrier like AT&T, they have a lot of experience in keeping things up and running all the time and doing it at scale.
Moving forward, Bryce hinted that later this month, there will be an announcement from another large scale technology user that has been involved behind the scenes. More announcements are expected in the weeks ahead. The growth of the OpenStack vendor base to include big companies like AT&T speaks to the maturity of the platform, even though it's not yet two years old.
"We have big companies that are now making official commitments to OpenStack and I think that's a great sign for OpenStack in 2012 as it grows up and expands to include even more well known names," Bryce said.