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OpenStack developers leave Rackspace for Nebula

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A cadre of OpenStack developers is leaving Rackspace(s rax) and taking their talents to Nebula, another OpenStack backer. Most of those leaving came to Rackspace via its acquisition of Anso Labs in February 2011.

The seven developers will continue their work on the OpenStack technology, just at a new venue. The news was confirmed late Monday night by a Rackspace source and by Nebula CEO and Founder Chris Kemp.

Kemp said the personnel move will not impact the community-driven development model of the OpenStack Project, launched by Rackspace and NASA just over two years ago. (Kemp was CTO of NASA at the time.)

“We have seven people joining us, most from that Anso group and most of which I worked with at NASA, so we’re getting them back together,” Kemp said, downplaying any negative impact the migration might have on Rackspace.

“Rackspace is 100 percent ramped up. They’ve hired hundreds of engineers, some from the original Nova project at NASA. They have lots of bright folks,” he said.

These are entrepreneurial “start-uppy” people and Rackspace is a big company, said the Rackspace source, who nonetheless said he would have loved them to stay on.

Rackspace has been busy of late, launching its OpenStack-based public cloud in May and helping set up the OpenStack Foundation that will take over the organization and community development of OpenStack going forward. Starting last fall, there have been several OpenStack implementations coming online — from Internap, Hewlett-Packard (s hpq) and others. The OpenStack forces came together to build an open-source alternative to Amazon(s amzn) in the public cloud arena and VMware(s vmw), which is trying to ride its virtualization dominance inside corporate data centers into the cloud.

5 Responses to “OpenStack developers leave Rackspace for Nebula”

  1. Chad Keck

    I highly doubt this has anything to do with Rackspace or Rackspace culture directly. These guys were part of the Anso Labs acquisition from what I’ve read and they are simply going to join their former boss who can offer very lucrative positions (and presumably equity) in a fresh startup. Add to this the fact that these guys were also in the Bay Area and not at Rackspace HQ didn’t help. That is where the culture is at and if you don’t live it there you may not care so much.

    Not sure who couldn’t have seen this coming from a mile away. In the short period I don’t know that this crew had a material impact on any Rackspace dev projects either.

    Just thoughts from a _former_ Racker looking in from the outside.

  2. Paul Walker

    Interesting musical chairs in Openstack. Rax developers have left for HP and Nebula. At the same time HP and Nebula devs are out looking for new jobs elsewhere. VMware continues to innovate and grow on a solid base while Openstack is in beta after 2+ years. Glad these guys have deep pockets

  3. The Rackspace culture is not for everyone. Also, remember Rackspace by nature isn’t a development house and isn’t designed to compensate for top development talent. OpenStack will be fine. Now does Rackspace have the in-house talent to further customize OpenStack for their products? That’s the question. 7 good cloud manager developers are hard to find.