Last week, OpenStack announced the release of of "Essex," an updated version of the community-driven software designed to provide an open-source based infrastructure as a service. OpenStack is known for being the IaaS sponsored by Rackspace and NASA, with some API's being compatible with Amazon EC2 and S3. OpenStack claims improvements in the usability for enterprise, service provider, and high performance computing deployments - surely a tall order for any company competing with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure. Perhaps one of the most exciting features of the new release is Project Quantum, which is described as a timing
to provide an automated framework for managing data center network activities. Quantum is a plug-in based service that manages common network administrative tasks, from creating ports and routes to configuring VLANs. -- OpenStack Essex Press Release
This is yet another example of how an open-source community project can eventually grow to be supported by private enterprises. Right now, Rackspace has 155 companies, including Dell and Intel, that support this open source cloud OS architecture. Below is a demo of Essex released by Rackspace.