OpenStack turns two this week. That means the open-source project — which fancies itself the Linux of the cloud — is entering a critical stage of its development process.

[company]Rackspace[/company] — which helped give birth to OpenStack in July 2010 — rolled out some stats to show OpenStack momentum and to push its OpenStack-as-Linux comparision. For example,  in the 84th week of the project, there were 166 entities contributing to the effort whereas it took Linux 828 weeks to hit 180 active contributors, according to Rackspace’s tally.

By that count — and the fact that Internap, Hewlett-Packard(s hpq), and Rackspace itself have OpenStack clouds in some degree of production — shows pretty fair momentum going into year three. Whether that’s enough to form a competitive counterweight to Amazon(s amzn) Web Services and VMware(s vmw) vCloud’s heft remains to be seen. And some competitors (most notably Eucalyptus’ CEO Marten Mickos) maintain…

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