The Linux Foundation has a major new member with a heavy investment in open source cloud computing. This week, Verizon Terremark became a gold member of the non-profit consortium for promoting open source software, with a particular commitment to contributing to the Xen virtualization hypervisor.

The move is aimed at promoting Verizon Cloud, an IaaS and object-based storage service that runs using Xen. Verizon Cloud launched in October 2013 and is currently in public beta mode.

Verizon Terremark's membership in the Linux Foundation will allow it "to accelerate its work on open cloud and virtualization technologies and to invest in collaborative development," according to the Linux Foundation. More broadly, it signals an even deeper investment by the company in open source software, which now not only it will use, but also help to develop by contributing actively to Xen. Verizon Terremark's contributions to Xen began last October, when it introduced code that included support for VMWare (VMW) workloads.

The news is also interesting because it follows the launch of a new initiative, called the Open Virtualization Alliance, that the Linux Foundation introduced last month to promote open source cloud virtualization based on KVM. KVM is another open source hypervisor that functions as an alternative to Xen, but the Verizon Terremark news makes clear that Xen—which is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project—remains an important part of the Linux Foundation's vision for open source cloud computing, even as the consortium also aggressively promotes KVM.

The Linux Foundation counts many dozens of members, but Verizon Terremark joins a select set in the gold category. Existing gold members include China Mobile, Cisco Systems (CSCO), Citrix (CTXS), ETRI, Google (GOOG), Hitachi, Huawei, NetApp (NTAP), NYSE Technologies, Panasonic, SUSE and Toyota.