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Alan Clark, the director of industry initiatives, emerging standards and open source at SUSE, has been elected chairman of the board of OpenStack Foundation, the company announced at the opening of SUSECON on Wednesday.

The foundation is an independent entity that provides shared resources to increase the use of public and private cloud computing.

The foundation has platinum, gold and individual members; while those who belong to the first two categories make financial contributions, individual members do not. It has more than 5000 individual members and more than $US10 million in funding.

A 20-year veteran of the technology industry, Clark has contributed to, and sponsored influential technology consortia and open source projects.

These include the openSUSE project, the Linux Standard Base, the Open Document Foundation’s OASIS technical committees, the Enterprise Grid Alliance Reference Architecture (an early predecessor to today’s cloud computing models), the Cloud Security Alliance, the DMTF Cloud Incubator and the Open Source for America Steering Committee.

He will help to make decisions critical to getting the OpenStack Foundation off the ground, and also provide strategic and financial oversight of Foundation resources and staff.

Clark is bullish about the cloud and does not see it as one of the many tech fads that come, create a buzz and then die away; he sees a great deal of evolution ahead and projects the cloud of five years from now as being quite a bit different from that which exists today.

He said companies would choose to have both private and public clouds; data which was more central to operations and more sensitive would be stored in private clouds.

OpenStack is unique in that the three main commercial Linux competitors are all part and parcel of the group; Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical all contribute both money and code. Clark has seen no problem with the group so far and says that those who write the code will determine the direction of the project.

All technologies - KVM, Xen and Hyper-V - were catered to and each company contributed towards its own priority, and enabling all to benefit.

"There is animated discussion, sure, but no fighting," he said, when asked if the business priorities of any of these three companies made the foundation unmanageable.

The writer is attending SUSECON as a guest of SUSE

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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