OpenStack FreeCloud Lets ISVs Perform Cloud Experiments
OpenStack FreeCloud, a public project that lets developers and administrators experiment with OpenStack clouds and APIs, was quietly launched Oct. 5, 2011, during the project’s first annual conference in Boston. It’s unsupported, largely unnoticed and unsuited for permanent storage or compute. But if you need a sandbox to test your OpenStack application, or just want to mess around with the open platform, FreeCloud could be for you.
When I contacted OpenStack for comment on FreeCloud, all the spokesperson would say is that this Wiki page is the only official FreeCloud documentation. If you don’t feel like clicking, this is how FreeCloud defines itself:
The five major use-cases FreeCloud has set for itself include writing software that calls or extends the OpenStack API, getting experience with best practices around OpenStack reference architectures, identifying problems with packages and deployment, getting experience using OpenStack with different hypervisors and network topologies, and getting a sense of the differences and benefits of different reference architectures.
Obviously, there’s something there for OpenStack newbies and old hands (well, as old a hand as you can be at a platform that’s only about a year old, give or take). But the one thing you should never do, according to the FreeCloud Wiki, is leave anything important on its cloud. There’s no SLA and no promise that anything will stay from one day to the next.
All the same, FreeCloud is just another way — unheralded or not — that OpenStack is reaching out to its community, aiming to bolster its ranks and boost developer loyalty as the project moves to its next stage of maturity: the OpenStack Foundation.