OpenStack has launched a new, independent foundation today tasked with promoting the “development, distribution, and adoption” of OpenStack cloud software.

The OpenStack Foundation is said to have already attracted 5,600 unique members, along with more than $10 million in funding commitments. It is tasked with supporting both developers and users of cloud computing by providing a “set of shared resources”, according to the company’s press release:

(It will) grow the footprint of public and private OpenStack clouds, enable technology vendors targeting the platform and assist developers in producing the best cloud software in the industry.

Membership for the OpenStack Foundation is free, and open to anyone. However, accepted members are expected to participate in the OpenStack community either through technical support and/or discussion, as well as helping out by building the community as a whole.

OpenStacks’s 24-member board of directors include:

  • Alan Clark, Director of Industry Initiatives, Emerging Standards and Open Source at SUSE  (also Chairman of the Board)
  • Jim Curry, General Manager of Rackspace’s Private Cloud business
  • Eileen Evans, Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Cloud Computing and Open Source for HP
  • Lew Tucker is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing at Cisco

You can take a look at the full board of directors here.

The OpenStack platform was founded in July 2010 by Rackspace Cloud and NASA. Originally supported by 25 firms and dozens of developers, it has since grown to more than 180 participating companies and 550 contributing developers. These include the likes of HP, Dell, Yahoo and Intel.

In total, the OpenStack platform has produced six software packages in just more than two years, which are all open source software released under the terms of the Apache License. They are known as Austin (released October 2010), Bexar (released February 2011), Cactus (released April 2011), Diablo (released September 2011), Essex (released April 2012) and Folsom.

OpenStack uses a variety of code from both NASA’s Nebula platform and Rackspace’s Cloud Files platform, and is included as part of both the Ubuntu and Red Hat Linux distributions.

Image Credit: KarinDalziel