NASA and OpenStack Not Lost in Space — or in the Cloud

David M. Fishman | Mirantis | June 29, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, just before GigaOM Structure (the cloud equivalent of short Indian Wedding), Twitter and the headlines rang out with the news that NASA, home of the space program, the Apollo moonshot, the International Space Station, and the space shuttles, was retiring yet another of its signature innovations: OpenStack. According to Information Week‘s headline, “NASA Drops OpenStack For Amazon Cloud”

"NASA’s prestige and participation has been a selling point for advocates of the OpenStack open source cloud project, which NASA co-founded with San Antonio infrastructure-as-a-service provider RackSpace. Unfortunately, they’ll have to get along without NASA from here on. … In a June 8 blog, NASA CIO Linda Cureton dispensed with the diplomacy: “NASA [has] shifted to a new Web services model that uses Amazon Web Services for cloud-based enterprise infrastructure,” she wrote. 

Only that’s not what Linda Cureton, NASA CIO, said in her June 8 blog post: NASA shifted to a new web services model that uses Amazon Web Services for cloud-based enterprise infrastructure. This cloud-based model supports a wide variety of web applications and sites using an interoperable, standards-based, and secure environment while providing almost a million dollars in cost savings each year. What? NASA is using another cloud? There’s more than one cloud out there? As it turns out, this is not breaking news. In fact, nowhere in her blog post did Cureton say anything about dumping OpenStack clouds.