Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Happy Birthday OpenStack*!

BY Shane Wang, Ruoyu Ying ON Aug 07, 2019

In the summer of 2019, OpenStack celebrated its 9th birthday! On July 19th, the Chinese community in Shanghai hosted and celebrated the occasion with more than 30 people from companies and organizations including Intel, 99Cloud*, China Mobile*, ZStack*, OpenStack Foundation*, Tongji University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and East China Normal University. The attendees sang a birthday song and wished for OpenStack and Open Infrastructure to grow better and better in the future. Several presenters from Intel spoke about a high-level overview of OpenStack, the history of OpenStack release names, and concluded the celebration with a game. 



Shane Wang, one of the event organizers, introduced the OpenStack project, the OpenStack Foundation, and the development of the OpenStack community, including those projects and their communities under the new branding Open Infrastructure.

Back in the summer of 2010, the community started the OpenStack project to bring open infrastructure automation to the world to avoid cloud vendor-lock in, combining Nova for compute from NASA* and Swift for object storage from Rackspace*. In 2012, the community gave OpenStack a home by creating the OpenStack Foundation (OSF), which plays a more neutral role in the community.

The OpenStack Foundation is a non-profit organization to help people build and operate open infrastructure. For the first five years of the OpenStack Foundation from 2012 to 2017, the primary priority was to steward the OpenStack project, its community, and the supporting ecosystem. During that period, the OpenStack project matured, project adoption increased, and the community thrived.

At this time, with 105,000 members in 187 countries from 675 organizations, the OpenStack Foundation is one of the largest global open-source foundations in the world, and it is backed by over 100 companies including Gold and Platinum members. Meanwhile, the OpenStack Foundation has evolved to support more projects besides OpenStack. This new group is called Open Infrastructure, and the components can help to build and operate open source infrastructure software for new requirements and new scenarios.

Today, Open Infrastructure is comprised of the following components:

  • Airship* ( is a collection of loosely coupled but interoperable open source tools that declaratively automate cloud provisioning.
  • Kata Containers* ( is an OCI compliant secure container runtime that runs faster than virtual machines and provides a more secure environment than containers by isolation.
  • OpenStack* ( is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed and provisioned through APIs with common authentication mechanisms. Of note, there are more than 30 public cloud providers around the world running on OpenStack. In 2018, there were about 65,000 commits merged into OpenStack upstream. During its Stein cycle, there were 155 changes each day on average. At this time, OpenStack is one of the 3 major projects that achieve this level of community contribution right now, with the Linux* kernel and Chromium* being the other two projects.
  • StarlingX* ( is a fully featured cloud for the distributed edge, tuned for high performance, ultra-low latency applications.
  • Zuul* ( is a CI/CD platform specializing in gating changes across multiple systems and applications before landing a patch.

The Open Infrastructure communities collaborate without boundaries across open source communities to make open source components work together through continuous integration testing, as well as knowledge sharing via documents, reference architectures, and both online and offline collaborations. Open Infrastructure is powered by pure open source components, for environments ranging from the Data Center Cloud to Edge Computing, and for applications ranging from enterprise to AI/ML, 5G and beyond.

Open Infrastructure currently targets the following markets:

  1. Public, private, and hybrid cloud, which are its base and origin
  2. Edge computing
  3. Container infrastructure
  4. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD)
  5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

A large number of users around the world have adopted the Open Infrastructure projects. The following picture shows some of the curent adopters, covering retail, financial service, academic, telecom, manufacturing, public cloud, transportation, and others.

The OpenStack Foundation follows four Open guiding principles (Open Source, Open Design, Open Development, and Open Community), and uses an open collaboration model that includes as many individuals and organizations as possible, on a level playing field, where everyone is invited to design open infrastructure software. In return, the community forms a positive cycle of demand, design, development, and feedback. Anyone can contribute to and use Open Infrastructure software, which attracts more and more people to join the community.


Ruoyu Ying, another organizer of the event, revisited the history of OpenStack/OpenInfra Summits, and recounted some interesting stories behind the names of the corresponding releases.

Originating from Austin, TX, OpenStack welcomes its first release with the name of its hometown Austin including only two components Nova and Swift, donated by NASA and Rackspace. One month later, the next summit was held in San Antonio, TX, adding glance as a new project and using Bexar as the release name. The Cactus release happened five months later with no corresponding summit because OpenStack was still in its early days. The Diablo release was OpenStack’s first summit out of Texas, when it moved to Santa Clara and started with a fixed release frequency as twice a year.

The Essex and Folsom releases were then named after the summits in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA, using the names of some nearby cities. The Grizzly release has a special name because it uses an element of the state flag where the summit happened, which was San Diego, CA. OpenStack had its first summit at Portland, OR for the Havana release a half-year later.

Finally, in the winter of 2013, OpenStack first went out of North America and landed on a new continent, Hong Kong and used Icehouse as its release name, welcoming more developers from Asia to join in. Starting with the Icehouse release, OpenStack decided that the two yearly summits would be held in North America in the first half of the year and would be held in Asia-Pacific or Europe in the second half of the year.

In May of 2014, the Juno release was named and held its summit at Atlanta, Georgia. The next summit was the first summit in Europe, which took place in Paris, France. The release was named Kilo, for kilogram, which is the only remaining SI unit tied to an artifact. The following OpenStack releases were Liberty and Mitaka which had their summits in Vancouver, BC, Canada and Tokyo, Japan.

Six years later after OpenStack first appeared, it went back to its hometown Austin with the Newton release and welcomed the most attendees it ever had. More than 7000 people joined the summit and almost all cloud related companies participated in the celebration, which made it a very impressive summit for OpenStackers.

The Ocata and Pike releases were then held in Barcelona, Spain and Boston, MA in late 2016 and early 2017. Another new step was taken in the Queens release, as OpenStack took its first step to the southern hemisphere and held its summit in Sydney, Australia. In 2018, Vancouver held its second OpenStack summit for the Rocky release, using the majestic Rocky Mountains as its name. The Stein release was later named after the summit in Berlin, Germany.

A significant change then happened in 2019, when the OpenStack summit was formally renamed to OpenInfra summit to embrace more open infrastructures. The Train release and the Denver summit were the first release and summit that used this brand-new name. The release name also originated from an interesting story that many attendees were impressed by the trains nearby the Project Teams Gathering (PTG) hotel in Denver.

We’re looking forward to the upcoming release that about to happen in Shanghai in November. It is the second time for the summit to be held in China and the first time to be held on the mainland. With quite a number of developers and users in China, more attendees are expected to be present at the summit.

Ruoyu Ying called for suggestions or votes for the name of the next release starting with the letter "U" release in Shanghainese, as a local resident. At present, Urumqi is the most popular candidate since it is a well known capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of China and it is also a well known major hub on the Silk Road during China’s Tang Dynasty. There is also a road named after Urumqi (Wulumuqi in Chinese pinyin) in downtown Shanghai. We believe the release name for Shanghai will be announced soon.


After each company representative shared its story about OpenStack with the audience, Qiaowei Ren played a popular game with everyone, called WeChat red packet. The winners received the newly published books shown below as prizes.

As OpenStack, Cloud, Edge, NFV, SDN and SDS become more and more popular in China, the community members are publishing books to educate and attract more newcomers to study the technologies, adopt and operate them, join the community, and contribute to the code. Nowadays, we find there are dozens of Open Infrastructure related books from different companies and individuals on the Chinese market. The two books given as prizes are published by Intel China, and are two of those typical publications; specifically, they are about software defined networking and software defined storage.


At the end of our celebration, we enjoyed afternoon tea, celebrated the OpenStack birthday again, and expressed our desire to meet people all over the world at the Shanghai Summit in November. We all hope it will be a successful, victorious, and united conference! More importantly, we hope it will break the record and become the largest OpenInfra/OpenStack Summit in its history.


Shane Wang, Individual Director of OpenStack Foundation Board and Senior Engineer Manager at Intel System Software Products

Ruoyu Ying, Cloud Software Engineer at Intel System Software Products