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The OpenStack Foundation is a nonprofit organization that oversees and manages OpenStack, the open source cloud platform.The OpenStack Foundation was established in September 2012, when Rackspace donated the intellectual property rights related to OpenStack to the newly-formed foundation. OpenStack was originally developed in a collaborative effort between Rackspace and NASA.
In many ways, the OpenStack Foundation functions like a corporate entity. The foundation is responsible for promoting and marketing OpenStack. It oversees the OpenStack software development process and formally releases patches and version updates. The OpenStack Foundation also manages events, such as the OpenStack Summit, and handles legal affairs associated with trademarks and the OpenStack software license.
The OpenStack Foundation consists of a Technical Committee, a Board of Directors and a User Committee. The Technical Committee defines technical direction and manages code developments. The Board of Directors provides strategic and financial oversight and is comprised of representatives that are elected by individual members and corporate sponsors. The User Committee is responsible for representing OpenStack user interests and corners to the Technical Committee and Board of Directors.
The Foundation describes its role and defines its mission as: "an independent body providing shared resources to help achieve the OpenStack Mission by Protecting, Empowering, and Promoting OpenStack software and the community around it, including users, developers and the entire ecosystem."