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Deutsche Telekom backs OpenStack, will help make it more secure

The company has created a team that will focus on the open-source cloud platform

German operator Deutsche Telekom is using OpenStack to host applications in its Business Marketplace cloud service, and is committed to making the open source software more secure and easier to manage, the company said on Monday at the Cebit trade show.

OpenStack is an open-source community that develops software, also called OpenStack, for private and public clouds. It will be used to power some of the applications on Deutsche Telekom's Business Marketplace, an online platform that will offer cloud services to small and medium-size businesses starting in summer 2012.

There were several things that attracted the German operator to the open-source cloud platform, including the idea that users aren't locked-in to one vendor's platform and that it allows software vendors to add their applications to Deutsche Telekom's cloud faster.

"We think OpenStack looks very promising, helped by the caliber of companies that are backing the project. But we have also done our own technical due diligence, including looking how it is put together," said Phil Zamani , senior vice president of Cloud Services at Deutsche Telekom.

The operator also plans to contribute to the development of OpenStack, according to Zamani. Like any open source project, OpenStack, needs contributions to survive, and Deutsche Telekom has created a growing team of people that will work on OpenStack, he said

"We are going to focus most of our skills around security and hardening the OpenStack platform," said Zamani.

The operator is also working on tools to help automate the management of OpenStack-based clouds, work that will likely also be contributed back to the project.

The first software vendor to say that it will run an application on OpenStack in Deutsche Telekom's cloud is ClearPath, which will offer a security package for small and mid-size enterprises to protect them from viruses and attacks from the Internet, according to the operator.

This is the second week in a row that OpenStack has garnered more backing from the European telecommunications sector. Last week, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, vendor Ericsson announced it had joined OpenStack as part of its plan to serve operators that want to become cloud computing providers.

In addition to Deutsche Telekom, AT&T and NTT also back OpenStack.

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