HP leapfrogs Red Hat to become top contributor to OpenStack

There's a new top dog in terms of contributions to OpenStack.

OpenStack has a new top contributor: HP.

According to the website Stackalytics.com, which tracks the companies that make code contributions to the open source cloud project, HP has overtaken Red Hat as being responsible for more new code than any other company in the latest release of the software.

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Becoming the top contributor to OpenStack means different things to different people. For some, it amounts to bragging rights. Others may consider this a significant move for a company like HP to back a still-growing open source project like OpenStack.

HP became the top contributor of code through a variety of means. For one thing, the company hired some of the top individual contributors to OpenStack who were previously not affiliated with a company or worked for another company, so now HP gets credit for those developers' contributions.

OpenStack is a central platform for HP's cloud efforts, which it brands Helion. Helion combines a public cloud service along with a private cloud management software to create a hybrid cloud offering. In addition to having integrations with HP's public cloud, the service also allows customers to migrate workloads to Amazon Web Service's cloud, for example. HP says OpenStack is an important part of its strategy because it gives customers flexibility to migrate their workloads from HP's management tools to other OpenStack-based clouds.

HP's perch atop the OpenStack contributor list could be somewhat the result of its previously announced strategy to spend $1 billion on cloud computing initiatives. Part of that has been spent building up Helion and hiring OpenStack developers. Other aspects of that spending have led to it buying Eucalyptus, a private cloud management software that has close integrations with AWS.

Just how HP integrates the Eucalyptus technology into its Helion project, and perhaps even into the broader OpenStack platform is something that OpenStack enthusiasts and cloud users will watch very closely.

HP was responsible for 20% of the new code in the Juno release of OpenStack, which is set to be finalized this fall. Red Hat had been the top contributor to OpenStack during the past couple of semi-annual releases of the code, but was second with 17% of the contributions this round. Other top contributors include pure-play OpenStack company Mirantis coming in third; co-founding company Rackspace is still a top contributor while IBM, Cisco, VMware and NEC round out the top 9.

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