Rackspace and new BFF Intel team up on OpenStack for the enterprise

July 23, 2015, 4:58 PM UTC
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

And the various cloud alliances keep on coming. Today’s edition: Rackspace and Intel are collaborating on an “OpenStack Innovation Center” to run at Rackspace’s San Antonio, Texas headquarters.

The goal according to a joint statement is to

“accelerate the development of enterprise capabilities and significantly add to the number of developers contributing to upstream OpenStack code. The project will bring together OpenStack engineers from Rackspace and Intel to advance the scalability, manageability and reliability of OpenStack by adding new features, functionality and eliminating bugs through upstream code contributions.

The two companies, both of which are Platinum-level members of the OpenStack Foundation, will also offer two 1,000-node clusters to perform large-scale testing of new features and implementations. The clusters should be online within six months.

Together the companies will also hire “hundreds of engineers” to work on OpenStack over the course of the next few years, a spokesman for Rackspace (RAX) told Fortune.

A couple of things are going on here. One, Intel(INTC)which faces a continuing sluggishness in the PC-and-laptop market is trying to make its chips the foundation of big data center gear going forward. Data center use is becoming much more important to its bottom line, as evidenced by its $16.7 billion plan to buy Altera.

Last year, Intel and Amazon jointly announced a new chip optimized to run certain workloads in the Amazon Web Services cloud.

Second, OpenStack, now nearly five years old, is still seen by many as unfinished and hard to deploy in big companies. In addition, some naysayers argue that the advent of containers and container management technologies may negate the need for some of what OpenStack does.

OpenStack’s promise is that, because it is supported by so many vendors, there is less chance of a customer getting locked into one vendor’s solution. The downside is that vendor proliferation introduces fears of incompatible versions of OpenStack, something the OpenStack Foundation has vowed to nix.

OpenStack initially launched by NASA and Rackspace was viewed as a would-be competitor to Amazon in public cloud and to VMware for on-premise (and now what would be called private cloud deployments.

On Thursday, Intel also announced another feel-good initiative under the “Intel Cloud for All” initiative, that it said builds on a raft of previous multi-vendor pushes including the Open Container Initiative, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Whether this flurry of press releases larded with carefully-vetted quotes result in real cloud acceleration or a slow-motion “death by consortium,” remains to be seen.

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