OpenStack has been around since 2010, but it wasn't until 2012 that the open-source cloud computing project really took off. Since Rackspace established the OpenStack Foundation in September 2012, the project has exploded to over 1,000 code authors, and is now one of the world's largest open-source communities, arguably even bigger than the Linux community. Given how central open source has become to software development, generally, it's worth analyzing why OpenStack has taken off.
It's The Foundation, Stupid
While OpenStack always offered great promise, it wasn't until Rackspace let go of the wheel that the project really exploded. This isn't to suggest that Rackspace's stewardship was somehow bad, but rather that moving to a foundation made the project more inviting.