By: Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

The OpenStack Summit, which recently wrapped up in San Diego, covered a slew of topics for developers and end users of the OpenStack community.

The latest OpenStack Summit was the community’s largest conference to date with 1,400 attendees, said Jonathan Bryce, executive director, OpenStack Foundation, according to The event included 230 sessions covering a variety of topics for the OpenStack community.

The event also produced several newsworthy items as well. Here’s a look at just a few of them.

Rackspace is preparing to launch a Block Storage product built on OpenStack‘s “Cinder” Block Storage service, according to a report by

The move comes after Rackspace launched two OpenStack-related product certifications for Rackspace Private Cloud partners.

In a keynote at the OpenStack Summit, Rackspace’s senior director of engineering for Cloud Compute, Troy Toman, said the product will be “coming out in the next few weeks.”

Toman also said Rackspace is currently preview testing the cloud networking product with some of its larger customers.

The cloud networking product is based on the Quantum networking component of OpenStack, which was included as part of OpenStack’s “Folsom” release last month.

“Our cloud network lets you create private networks and link clouds together,” Toman said. “It’s our own vLAN. You’ll see us broaden availability in the next few weeks and that sets the stage for hybrid [clouds].”

Rackspace is working on improving interoperability among its individual public cloud and private cloud services, as well as making its cloud servers compatible with images from all cloud OS vendors.

Rackspace also rolled out a product certification program for partners using its private cloud service, according to The two certifications are designed to make it easier for new and old solution providers and businesses to use Rackspace’s OpenStack private cloud service.

In August, Rackspace unveiled Alamo, its Rackspace Private Cloud with OpenStack software.

Rackspace wants to support the adoption of the OpenStack standard and make it easier for businesses to use its private cloud, which is becoming more attractive to enterprises that want the savings and efficiency of hosting data centers off-premise but the security of a specialty service cloud, according to CRN.

Rackspace is offering partners two product certifications for use in its private cloud. “We will have programs where hardware and software partners can get certified to work with us using OpenStack,” Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace’s private cloud business, said in an interview with CRN.

Also at OpenStack Summit, network virtualization startup Midokura introduced its cloud networking solution, along with integration into the OpenStack cloud orchestration framework.

MidoNet, the Tokyo-based company’s product, is comparable to virtual network overlays from IBM, Big Switch Networks and VMware’s Nicira, but it has a broader approach to cloud networking and a different control plane architecture.

Like other virtual network overlays, Midokura’s network virtualization technology sits on server hosts at the edge of a data center network and creates virtual networks on top of any physical network that provides IP connectivity. Each MidoNet agent runs on a Linux host and communicates directly with an Open vSwitch kernel on that host to establish the overlay.

While most network overlays and software defined networks rely on a central controller to direct the virtual switches on those hosts, Midokura adopted a distributed control plane. So, every MidoNet agent maintains its own control plane and works with the other agents to maintain a shared, fast network-state database.

“From the point of view of the operator, every host we run on acts as a line card in a very big, grid router,” said Ben Cheria, chief strategy officer at Midokura. “Our model pushes all the network intelligence out to the edge in software.”