[OpenStack Foundation] Use of the word "certified" and protecting brand OpenStack

Mark McLoughlin markmc at redhat.com
Thu Oct 11 10:53:07 UTC 2012

Hi Tristan,

Thanks for raising this openly. That's very healthy IMHO

On Thu, 2012-10-11 at 08:42 +1100, Tristan Goode wrote:
> Dear Foundation Members,
> I believe a key role of the Foundation is to protect the brand that is
> OpenStack.
> After raising the issue with Rackspace and Jonathan Bryce several days
> ago, yesterday I sought my fellow Foundation Board members opinion on
> Rackspace's use of the word "certified" in media releases 6 days ago,

It took me a little bit of digging to find out what exactly you were
referring to, so for others reference it was the RAX "Launch Your Career
Into The Clouds" email sent out to summit attendees which said:

  "learn how you can accelerate your career by becoming one of the first
   Certified OpenStack technicians. OpenStack public training classes
   are now posted at www.rackspacetraining.com."

The "Certified OpenStack Technician" brand should definitely be
something that the Foundation should seek to control. IMHO, it would
only be appropriate for training course run by the Foundation itself or
a Foundation contractor.

However, the response you got:

> From: Jim Curry [mailto:jim.curry at rackspace.com] 
> Tristan,
> The email was an unfortunate mistake by our marketing team.  It does
> not represent the official branding or positioning of our offer.  We
> aren't perfect, and for any confusion that created I apologize.
> To be clear, our offer is a "Rackspace Certified" training program for
> OpenStack, not "OpenStack certified" for OpenStack.  We are putting
> our brand behind the training, not representing the brand of the
> project itself. 

seems pretty "fair dinkum" to me :)

The term "Rackspace Certified Technician for OpenStack" makes it quite
clear that it's not a certification endorsed by the Foundation. The
Foundation should encourage such programs as part of growing the

While a training course offered directly by the Foundation sounds like a
good idea, I struggle to see how it would be useful without focusing on
a specific OpenStack distribution and, if it did that, it would mean the
Foundation being seen as endorsing a specific distribution.


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