GoDaddy Reveals OpenStack Cloud Support

GoDaddy publicly reveals its support of OpenStack, but in reality has been using it for months

The open-source OpenStack cloud platform has gained another backer, with the announcement that GoDaddy is now supporting the OpenStack Foundation.

GoDaddy, one of the largest Web hosting providers in the world, offers shared hosting as well as virtual private server and domain registration services. In supporting the OpenStack Foundation, GoDaddy joins an effort that already enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading IT vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco and Intel.

Hosting Support

OpenStack is already supported by GoDaddy’s competitors, including Dreamhost, which also is active in the shared hosting and virtual private server space.

go-daddy-girl-The OpenStack Foundation is very enthusiastic about GoDaddy’s participation in its community development model.

“GoDaddy is known for hosting millions of Websites, using widely adopted open-source technologies like WordPress,” Mark Collier, chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation, told eWEEK. “So the embrace of OpenStack is an awesome sign for the project, and we expect their massive scale and contributions to benefit the whole community.”

While GoDaddy is just now announcing its official support of OpenStack, its OpenStack-related efforts have been ongoing for months. The formal sponsorship of the OpenStack Foundation that is being announced today came about after GoDaddy listed job postings related to OpenStack technologies.

“I was contacted by the OpenStack Foundation to understand our usage when they noticed some of our job postings,” Charles Beadnall, vice president of engineering at GoDaddy, told eWEEK. “I later reached back to establish the formal sponsorship arrangements.”

GoDaddy isn’t just consuming OpenStack as a user, it has also already made code contributions into the project, Beadnall said, adding that many of the contributions to date have been to work through integrations with the internal systems at GoDaddy.

“We have made modest contributions to Anvil, Neutron and Keystone, and expect to become more involved in those and in Linux Container-related areas as we begin customer-facing work,” Beadnall said.

Anvil is a project that includes Python scripts to make OpenStack more productive. Neutron is the networking project within OpenStack, while Keystone provides identity services.

Embracing OpenStack

OpenStack as a platform is made up of multiple projects, with the Nova compute and Swift storage components at the core. Other core projects within OpenStack include the Horizon dashboard and the Glance image management service. In the most recent OpenStack Havana release, which debuted in October 2013, the project added the Heat orchestration and the Ceilometer monitoring system.

GoDaddy is set to completely embrace OpenStack for its underlying infrastructure platform, serving its existing shared hosting as well as virtual private server customers.

“We will shift everything to OpenStack over the next 18 to 24 months,” Beadnall said.

The OpenStack ecosystem includes multiple vendors with their own respective OpenStack distributions. Rather than partnering with any existing third-party OpenStack distribution, GoDaddy is using OpenStack Anvil to manage the OpenStack installation, Beadnall said.

OpenStack has been in the market for just over three years now, though GoDaddy did not initially choose it as its cloud platform base.

“GoDaddy had built a custom cloud platform based on CloudStack and other technologies that we judged to be inadequate to meet our needs,” Beadnall said.

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Originally published on eWeek.