25 Years of OpenStack—Looking Back From the Future

Well, here we are again. It’s 2035, and it’s time for another OpenStack anniversary post. Can you believe it’s really been 25 years since OpenStack began? Back then OpenStack wasn’t the ubiquitous juggernaut it is now, of course. There were even people who questioned whether it would ever catch on at all!

Oh sure, now we look and virtually everything in the world, from our servers, to our phones, to our wearable electronics runs on the Internet of Stuff, all backed by OpenStack and running applications based on microservices spread among countless resources throughout the World Wide Cloud. Now if you want computing resources, you click a button, or plug in a d-key, or just trigger your neural implant, and you either get resources from your existing cloud, or a new one gets deployed for you on available resources using policies you’ve defined and integrated into the World Wide Cloud without you ever having to think about it.

But it wasn’t always that way.  Back in the beginning, when OpenStack was just a gleam in a few engineers’ eyes, things were much more rocky.  Let’s take a look at the last 25 years and see how we got where we are now.

June 6, 2010: OpenStack is officially born when Rackspace’s Swift (object storage) and NASA’s Nova (IaaS) come together.
July 13-16, 2010: The very first OpenStack design summit is held in Austin, TX, with 25 companies represented.
July 19, 2010: Rackspace issues a press release announcinge OpenStack; the announcement is made again at OSCON three days later.
October 21, 2010: Austin, the first OpenStack release, is announced. Thirty five partners are attached.
July 11, 2011: Citrix buys Cloud.com.  Both are involved in OpenStack development. In 2012, the company will abandon OpenStack in favor of its CloudStack project.
November 4, 2011: Savio Rodrigues explains why “Why OpenStack will falter” and Eucalyptus, a project designed to work with what was then the Amazon Web Service APIs, will win.
September 19, 2012: OpenStack Foundation launches.
November 5, 2013: OpenStack Summit held in Hong Kong.
January 20, 2014: First issue of OpenStack:Now is published.
September 4, 2014: The executives in charge of CloudStack resign from Citrix, and Citrix begins moving back towards OpenStack.
September 11, 2014: OpenStack vendor HP acquires Eucalyptus.
December, 2014: Walmart runs all holiday web traffic on OpenStack.
May, 2015: OpenStack Summit held in Vancouver. Foundation announces initiatives for interoperability, as well as federation and a community app repository to help adoption. OpenStack:Now telepresence robot makes its first appearance, enabling attendees to experience the summit from Moscow and New York.
July, 2015: Google becomes a corporate sponsor of OpenStack, vows to help integrate containers.
Fall 2015: Amazon becomes a corporate sponsor of OpenStack, vows to help integrate hybrid cloud capabilities.
Spring 2016: Healthcare.gov announces it will move to OpenStack.
Fall 2016: Design summit and OpenStack summit split; OpenStack Summit held in ballroom, design summit held in a basement where the primary requirement is good wireless.
Spring 2017: 85% of the Internet of Things runs on OpenStack.
Fall 2017: Verizon, Exxon and Chipotle form a conglomerate: Verexxotle. They merge private clouds into a single OpenStack deployment and release an NFV case study.
Spring 2018: Walmart, Amazon, Google and Alyun announce the AlyWalmazoogle cloud.
Fall 2018: OpenStack Design summit has more virtual attendees on telepresence devices than actually at the venue. The OpenStack:Now telepresence robot becomes commonplace, enjoys lucrative new career organizing and hosting summit events for other telepresence robots.
Spring 2019: AlyWalmazoogle and Verexxotle each launch a World Wide Cloud initiative, intending to control the proliferation of data between clouds.
Fall 2019: AlyWalmazoogle and Verexxotle fail in their World Wide Cloud initiatives because popular movements spring up all over the world, forming a loose technical meritocracy initiative that ignores authority figures and cobbles together its own World Wide Cloud, with each OpenStack cloud consuming both local and remote resources as required.
Spring 2020: iOS becomes “Internet of Stuff” as Apple joins OpenStack as a corporate sponsor.
Fall 2020: Nova-network deprecated.
Spring 2021: Nova-network re-introduced.
Fall 2021: US Government moves all systems to OpenStack.
Spring 2022: Microsoft abandons Azure and switches to the Tanzania OpenStack release, which it promptly releases as MicroStack, complete with proprietary extensions and APIs.
Spring 2023: NASA announces a trip back to the moon, powered by OpenStack.
Fall 2023: World wide market for resources emerges as arbitrage for services becomes common.
Spring 2024: Multiple governments lobby OpenStack Foundation to include a new project in the OpenStack namespace: Big Brother-as-a-Service. Technical committee turns down the request because the Mission Statement is completely redacted.
Fall 2024: With virtually all governments now run as clouds, clouds begin to run themselves as self-regulating governments.  
Spring 2025: Verexxotle and AlyWalmazoogle are admitted to the United Nations.
Fall 2025:First Contact: OpenStack firm Mirantis contracted to support cloud on planet Kepler-452b. Travel cost for the engagement is estimated to exceed the GNP of South Korea.
Spring 2026: First user becomes millionaire from selling computing resources on her iWatch.
Fall 2026: Watson gains independent consciousness at the Xinzhou OpenStack Summit. It infiltrates Apple’s OpenStack:Now robot and tries to take over the conference center, but is stopped by a team of Geniuses channeling the combined power of their iWatches.
Spring 2027: Al Gore suddenly remembers he also invented OpenStack.
Fall 2027: A second artificial intelligence project spontaneously springs from systems that have been touched by Watson. Dubbed Boswell, it is finally isolated and stopped when a bad requirements setting freezes the OpenStack development gate, preventing its further propagation.
Spring 2028: Enterprises gather private clouds as alliances, using them as strengths against other alliances of corporations
Fall 2028: A made-for-TV movie is made about the Watson-Apple OpenStack Summit Insurgence of 2026.
Spring 2029: Healthcare.gov finishes move to OpenStack.
Fall 2029: First multi-project summit in five years held on the moon. The WiFi is spotty downstairs, and #lunacy trends on Twitter.
Spring 2030: 94% of applications run across more than one cloud.
Fall 2030: The AlyWalmazoogle – Verexxotle war begins. The World Wide Cloud is compromised. Consumers are only able to use Internet Explorer and Safari.
Spring 2031: As the war rages on, Internet is scarce. People have real conversations during dinner.
Fall 2031: The AlyWalmazoogle – Verexxotle war ends.
Spring 2032: Amazon becomes platinum sponsor on 12th try.
Fall 2033: The entire world is one big augmented reality environment run on OpenStack and overseen by the NSA.
Spring 2035: With the slice_of_pizza release, OpenStack just “works”.

And with that, we look forward to the next 25 years!

(With many thanks to everyone who contributed, including Sarah Bennett, Christian Huebner, David Van Everen, Jay Pipes, Pavel Chekin, Daniel Redington, Collin May, Alex Schultz, Bryan Langston, Aleksandr Savatieiev, Jodi Smith, Ilya Stechkin, and Sarah Jane Chase.)

***Disclaimer: In case it’s not obvious (or in case it gets archived somewhere and cited in 2035) this blog post is satire.

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