Survey: OpenStack users value portability, support, and complementary open source tools

by ghaff — June 8, 2015

75 percent of the respondents in a recent survey [1] conducted for Red Hat said that being able to move OpenStack workloads to different providers or platforms was important (ranked 4 or 5 out of 5)–and a mere 5 percent said that this question was of least importance. This was just one of the answers that highlighted a general desire to avoid proprietary solutions and lock-in.

For example, a minority (47 percent) said that differentiated vendor-specific management and other tooling was important while a full 75 percent said that support for complementary open source cloud management, operating system, and development tools was. With respect to management specifically, only 22 percent plan to use vendor-specific tools to manage their OpenStack environments. By contrast, a majority (51 percent) plan to use the tools built into OpenStack–in many cases complemented by open source configuration management (31 percent) and cloud management platforms (21 percent). It’s worth noting though that 42 percent of those asked about OpenStack management tools said that they were unsure/undecided, indicating that there’s still a lot of learning to go on with respect to cloud implementations in general.

This last point was reinforced by the fact that 68 percent said that the availability of training and services from the vendor to on-ramp their OpenStack project was important. (Red Hat offers a Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack certification as well as a variety of solutions to build clouds through eNovance by Red Hat.) 45 percent also cited lack of internal IT skills as a barrier to adopting OpenStack. Other aspects of commercial support were valued as well. For example, 60 percent said that hardware and software certifications are important and a full 82 percent said that production-level technical support was.

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OPNFV Arno hits the streets

by Dave Neary, NFV/SDN Community Strategist, Red Hat — June 5, 2015

The first release of the OPNFV project, Arno, is now available. The release, named after the Italian river which flows through the city of Florence on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, is the result of significant industry collaboration, starting from the creation of the project in October 2014.

This first release establishes a strong foundation for us to work together to create a great platform for NFV. We have multiple hardware labs, running multiple deployments of OpenStack and OpenDaylight, all deployed with one-step, automated deployment tools. A set of automated tests validate that deployments are functional, and provide a framework for the addition of other tests in the future. Finally, we have a good shared understanding of the problem space, and have begun to engage with upstream projects like OpenDaylight and OpenStack to communicate requirements and propose feature additions to satisfy them.

A core value of OPNFV is “upstream first” – the idea that changes required to open source projects for NFV should happen with the communities in those projects. This is a core value for Red Hat too, and we have been happy to take a leadership role in coordinating the engagement of OPNFV members in projects like OpenDaylight and OpenStack. Red Hat engineers Tim Rozet and Dan Radez have taken a leadership role in putting together one of the two deployment options for OPNFV Arno, the Foreman/Quickstack installer, based on CentOS, RDO and OpenDaylight packages created by another Red Hat engineer, Daniel Farrell. We have been proud to play a significant part, with other members of the OPNFV community, in contributing to this important mission.

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Public vs Private, Amazon compared to OpenStack

by Jonathan Gershater — May 13, 2015

Public vs Private, Amazon Web Services EC2 compared to OpenStack®

How to choose a cloud platform and when to use both

The public vs private cloud debate is a path well trodden. While technologies and offerings abound, there is still confusion among organizations as to which platform is suited for their agile needs. One of the key benefits to a cloud platform is the ability to spin up compute, networking and storage quickly when users request these resources and similarly decommission when no longer required. Among public cloud providers, Amazon has a market share ahead of Google, Microsoft and others. Among private cloud providers, OpenStack® presents a viable alternative to Microsoft or VMware.

This article compares Amazon Web Services EC2 and OpenStack® as follows:

  • What technical features do the two platforms provide?
  • How do the business characteristics of the two platforms compare?
  • How do the costs compare?
  • How to decide which platform to use and how to use both

OpenStack® and Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 defined

From  OpenStack.org “OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, managed through a dashboard or via the OpenStack API. OpenStack works with popular enterprise and open source technologies making it ideal for heterogeneous infrastructure.”

From AWS “Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers..”

Technical comparison of OpenStack® and AWS EC2

The tables below name and briefly describe the feature in OpenStack® and AWS. 

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The Age of Cloud File Services

by Sean Cohen, Principal Technical Product Manager, Red Hat — May 11, 2015

The new OpenStack Kilo upstream release that became available on April 30, 2015 marks a significant milestone for the Manila project for shared file system service for OpenStack with an increase in development capacity and extensive vendors adoption. This project was kicked off 3 years ago and became incubated during 2014 and now moves to the front of the stage at the upcoming OpenStack Vancouver Conference taking place this month with customer stories of Manila deployments in Enterprise and Telco environments.

storage-roomThe project was originally sponsored and accelerated by NetApp and Red Hat and has established a very rich community that includes code contribution fromcompanies such as EMC, Deutsche Telekom, HP, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Mirantis and SUSE.

The momentum of cloud shared file services is not limited to the OpenStack open source world. In fact, last month at the AWS Summit in San Francisco, Amazon announced it new Shared File Storage for Amazon EC2, The Amazon Elastic File System also known for EFS. This new storage service is an addition to the existing AWS storage portfolio, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for object storage, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) for block storage, and Amazon Glacier for archival, cold storage.

The Amazon EFS provides a standard file system semantics and is based on NFS v4 that allows the EC2 instances to access file system at the same time, providing a common data source for a wide variety of workloads and applications that are shared across thousands of instances. It is designed for broad range of use cases, such as Home directories, Content repositories, Development environments and big data applications. Data uploaded to EFS is automatically replicated to different availability zones, and because EFS file systems are SSD-based, there should be few latency and throughput related problems with the service. The Amazon EFS file system as a service allows users to create and configure file systems quickly with no minimum fee or setup cost, and customers pay only for the storage used by the file system based on elastic storage capacity that automatically grows and shrinks when adding and removing files on demand.

Read the full post »

What’s Coming in OpenStack Networking for the Kilo Release

by Nir Yechiel

KiloOpenStack  Kilo, the 11th release of the open source project, was officially released in April, and now is a good time to review some of the changes we saw in the OpenStack Networking (Neutron) community during this cycle, as well as some of the key new networking features introduced in the project.

Scaling the Neutron development community

The Kilo cycle brings two major efforts which are meant to better expand and scale the Neutron development community: core plugin decomposition and advanced services split. These changes should not directly impact OpenStack users but are expected to reduce code footprint, improve feature velocity, and ultimately bring faster innovation speed. Let’s take a look at each individually:

Neutron core plugin decomposition

Neutron, by design, has a pluggable architecture which offers a custom backend implementation of the Networking API. The plugin is a core piece of the deployment and acts as the “glue” between the logical API and the actual implementation. As the project evolves, more and more plugins were introduced, coming from open-source projects and communities (such as Open vSwitch and OpenDaylight), as well as from various vendors in the networking industry (like Cisco, Nuage, Midokura and others). At the beginning of the Kilo cycle, Neutron had dozens of plugins and drivers span from core plugins, ML2 mechanism drivers, L3 service plugins, and L4-L7 service plugins for FWaaS, LBaaS and VPNaaS – the majority of those included directly within the Neutron project repository. The amount of code required to review across those drivers and plugins was growing to the point where it was no longer scaling. The expectation that core Neutron reviewers review code which they had no knowledge of, or could not test due to lack of proper hardware or software setup, was not realistic. This also caused some frustration among the vendors themselves, who sometimes failed to get their plugin code merged on time.

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Driving in the Fast Lane – CPU Pinning and NUMA Topology Awareness in OpenStack Compute

by Steve Gordon, Product Manager, Red Hat — May 5, 2015

The OpenStack Kilo release, extending upon efforts that commenced during the Juno cycle, includes a number of key enhancements aimed at improving guest performance. These enhancements allow OpenStack Compute (Nova) to have greater knowledge of compute host layout and as a result make smarter scheduling and placement decisions when launching instances. Administrators wishing to take advantage of these features can now create customized performance flavors to target specialized workloads including Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and High Performance Computing (HPC).

What is NUMA topology?

Historically, all memory on x86 systems was equally accessible to all CPUs in the system. This resulted in memory access times that were the same regardless of which CPU in the system was performing the operation and was referred to as Uniform Memory Access (UMA).

In modern multi-socket x86 systems system memory is divided into zones (called cells or nodes) and associated with particular CPUs. This type of division has been key to the increasing performance of modern systems as focus has shifted from increasing clock speeds to adding more CPU sockets, cores, and – where available – threads. An interconnect bus provides connections between nodes, so that all CPUs can still access all memory. While the memory bandwidth of the interconnect is typically faster than that of an individual node it can still be overwhelmed by concurrent cross node traffic from many nodes. The end result is that while NUMA facilitates faster memory access for CPUs local to the memory being accessed, memory access for remote CPUs is slower.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6: SR-IOV Networking – Part II: Walking Through the Implementation

by Itzik Brown, QE Engineer focusing on OpenStack Neutron, Red Hat — April 29, 2015
and Nir Yechiel

In the previous blog post in this series we looked at what single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) networking is all about and we discussed why it is an important addition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. In this second post we would like to provide a more detailed overview of the implementation, some thoughts on the current limitations, as well as what enhancements are being worked on in the OpenStack community.

Note: this post does not intend to provide a full end to end configuration guide. Customers with an active subscription are welcome to visit the official article covering SR-IOV Networking in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 for a complete procedure.

 

Setting up the Environment

In our small test environment we used two physical nodes: one serves as a Compute node for hosting virtual machine (VM) instances, and the other serves as both the OpenStack Controller and Network node. Both nodes are running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

Read the full post »

OpenStack Summit Vancouver: Agenda Confirms 40+ Red Hat Sessions

by Jeff Jameson, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — April 2, 2015

As this Spring’s OpenStack Summit in Vancouver approaches, the Foundation has now posted the session agenda, outlining the final schedule of events. I am very pleased to report that Red Hat and eNovance have more than 40 approved sessions that will be included in the weeks agenda, with a few more approved as joint partner sessions, and even a few more as waiting alternates.

This vote of confidence confirms that Red Hat and eNovance continue to remain in sync with the current topics, projects, and technologies the OpenStack community and customers are most interested in and concerned with.

Red Hat is also a headline sponsor in Vancouver this Spring, along with Intel, SolidFire, and HP, and will have a dedicated keynote presentation, along with the 40+ accepted sessions. To learn more about Red Hat’s accepted sessions, have a look at the details below. Be sure to visit us at the below sessions and at our booth (#H4). We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver in May!

For more details on each session, click on the title below:

Read the full post »

An ecosystem of integrated cloud products

by Jonathan Gershater — March 27, 2015

In my prior post, I described how OpenStack from Red Hat frees  you to pursue your business with the peace of mind that your cloud is secure and stable. Red Hat has several products that enhance OpenStack to provide cloud management, virtualization, a developer platform, and scalable cloud storage.

Cloud Management with Red Hat CloudForms            

CloudForms contains three main components

  • Insight – Inventory, Reporting, Metrics red-hat-cloudforms-logo
  • Control – Eventing, Compliance, and State Management
  • Automate – Provisioning, Reconfiguration, Retirement, and Optimization

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An OpenStack Cloud that frees you to pursue your business

by Jonathan Gershater — March 26, 2015

As your IT evolves toward an open, cloud-enabled data center, you can take advantage of OpenStack’s benefits: broad industry support, vendor neutrality, and fast-paced innovation.

As you move into implementation, your requirements for an OpenStack solutions shares a familiar theme: enterprise-ready, fully supported, and seamlessly-integrated products.

Can’t we just install and manage OpenStack ourselves?

OpenStack is an open source project and freely downloadable. To install and maintain OpenStack you need to recruit and retain engineers trained in Python and other technologies. If you decide to go it alone consider:

  1. How do you know OpenStack works with your hardware?
  2. Does OpenStack work with your guest instances?
  3. How do you manage and upgrade OpenStack?
  4. When you encounter problems, consider how you would solve them? Some examples:

Read the full post »

Co-Engineered Together: OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

by Arthur Berezin — March 23, 2015

OpenStack is not a software application that just runs on top of any random Linux. OpenStack is tightly coupled to the operating system it runs on and choosing the right Linux  operating system, as well as an OpenStack platform, is critical to provide a trusted, stable, and fully supported OpenStack environment.

OpenStack is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud management platform, a set of software tools, written mostly in Python, to manage hosts at large scale and deliver an agile, cloud-like infrastructure environment, where multiple virtual machine Instances, block volumes and other infrastructure resources can be created and destroyed rapidly on demand.

ab 1 Read the full post »

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6: SR-IOV Networking – Part I: Understanding the Basics

by Nir Yechiel — March 5, 2015

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6: SR-IOV Networking – Part I: Understanding the Basics

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 introduces support for single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) networking. This is done through a new SR-IOV mechanism driver for the OpenStack Networking (Neutron) Modular Layer 2 (ML2) plugin, as well as necessary enhancements for PCI support in the Compute service (Nova).

In this blog post I would like to provide an overview of SR-IOV, and highlight why SR-IOV networking is an important addition to RHEL OpenStack Platform 6. We will also follow up with a second blog post going into the configuration details, describing the current implementation, and discussing some of the current known limitations and expected enhancements going forward.

Read the full post »

A Closer Look at RHEL OpenStack Platform 6

by Steve Gordon, Product Manager, Red Hat — February 24, 2015

Last week we announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, the latest version of our cloud solution providing a foundation for production-ready cloud. Built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 this latest release is intended to provide a foundation for building OpenStack-powered clouds for advanced cloud users. Lets take a deeper dive into some of the new features on offer!

IPv6 Networking Support

IPv6 is a critical part of the promise of the cloud. If you want to connect everything to the network, you better plan for massive scale and have enough addresses to use. IPv6 is also increasingly important in the network functions virtualization (NFV) and telecommunication service provider space.

This release introduces support for IPv6 address assignment for tenant instances including those that are connected to provider networks; while IPv4 is more straight forward when it comes to IP address assignment, IPv6 offers some more flexibility and options to choose from. Both stateful and stateless DHCPv6 are supported, as well as the ability to use Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC).

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Accelerating OpenStack adoption: Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6!

by Jeff Jameson, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — February 19, 2015

On Tuesday February 17th, we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, Red Hat’s fourth release of the commercial OpenStack offering to the market.

Based on the community OpenStack “Juno” release and co-engineered with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the enterprise-hardened Version 6 is aimed at accelerating the adoption of OpenSack among enterprise businesses, telecommunications companies, Internet service providers (ISPs), and public cloud hosting providers.

Since the first version released in July 2013, the “design principles” of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform product offering are:

Read the full post »

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 transforms modern data centers that are built on open standards

by Raissa Tona, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — February 13, 2015

This week we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 allows organizations to deploy an IT infrastructure that services traditional virtualization workloads while building a solid base for modern IT technologies.

Because of its open standards roots, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 enables IT organizations to more rapidly deliver and deploy transformative and flexible technology services in 3 ways:

  • Deep integration with Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Delivery of standardized services for mission critical workloads
  • Foundation for future looking, innovative, and highly flexible cloud enabled workloads built on OpenStack

Deep integration with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 is co-engineered with Red Hat Enterprise Linux including the latest version, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, which is built to meet modern data center and next-generation IT requirements. Due to this tight integration, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 inherits the innovation capabilities of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform.

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IBM and Red Hat Join Forces to Power Enterprise Virtualization

by adamjollans — December 16, 2014

Adam Jollans is the Program Director  for Cross-IBM Linux and Open Virtualization Strategy
IBM Systems & Technology Group

IBM and Red Hat have been teaming up for years. Today, Red Hat and IBM are announcing a new collaboration to bring Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to IBM’s next-generation Power Systems through Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Power.

A little more than a year ago, IBM announced a commitment to invest $1 billion in new Linux and open source technologies for Power Systems. IBM has delivered on that commitment with the next-generation Power Systems servers incorporating the POWER8 processor which is available for license and open for development through the OpenPOWER Foundation. Designed for Big Data, the new Power Systems can move data around very efficiently and cost-effectively. POWER8’s symmetric multi-threading provides up to 8 threads per core, enabling workloads to exploit the hardware for the highest level of performance.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization combines hypervisor technology with a centralized management platform for enterprise virtualization. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, built on the KVM hypervisor, inherits the performance, scalability, and ecosystem of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel for virtualization. As a result, your virtual machines are powered by the same high-performance kernel that supports your most challenging Linux workloads. Read the full post »

Co-Existence of Containers and Virtualization Technologies

by Federico Simoncelli — November 20, 2014

By, Federico Simoncelli, Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat

As a software engineer working on the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), my team and I are driven by innovation; we are always looking for cutting edge technologies to integrate into our product.

Lately there has been a growing interest in Linux containers solutions such as Docker. Docker provides an open and standardized platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications. The application images can be safely held in your organization registry or they can be shared publicly in the docker hub portal (http://registry.hub.docker.com) for everyone to use and to contribute to.

Linux containers are a well-known technology that runs isolated Linux systems on the same host sharing the same kernel and resources as cpu time and memory. Containers are more lightweight, perform better and allow more density of instances compared to full virtualization where virtual machines run dedicated full kernels and operating systems on top of virtualized hardware. On the other hand virtual machines are still the preferred solution when it comes to running highly isolated workloads or different operating systems than the host.

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Empowering OpenStack Cloud Storage: OpenStack Juno Release Storage Overview

by Sean Cohen, Principal Technical Product Manager, Red Hat — November 19, 2014
Wind Energy

 License: CC0 Public Domain

The OpenStack 10th release added ten new storage backends and improved testing on third-party storage systems. The Cinder block storage project continues to mature each cycle exposing more and more Enterprise cloud storage infrastructure functionalities.

Here is a quick overview of some of these key features.

Simplifying OpenStack Disaster Recovery with Volume Replication

After introducing a new Cinder Backup API to allow export and import backup service metadata in the Icehouse release, which allowed “electronic tape shipping” style backup-export & backup-import capabilities to recover OpenStack cloud deployments, the next step for Disaster Recovery enablement in OpenStack is the foundation of volume replication support at block level.

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Simplifying and Accelerating the Deployment of OpenStack Network Infrastructure

by Valentina — November 18, 2014

plumgrid logo

RHOSCIPN_logo_small

The energy from the latest OpenStack Summit in Paris is still in the air. Its record attendance and vibrant interactions are a testimony of the maturity and adoption of OpenStack across continents, verticals and use cases.

It’s especially exciting to see its applications growing outside of core datacenter use cases with Network Function Virtualization being top of mind for many customers present at the Summit.

If we look back at the last few years, a fundamental role fueling OpenStack adoption has been played by the distributions which have taken the project OpenStack and helped turn it into an easy to consume, supported, enterprise-grade product.

At PLUMgrid we have witnessed this transformation summit after summit, customer deployment after customer deployment. Working closely with our customers and our OpenStack partners we can attest how much easier, smoother, simpler an OpenStack deployment is today.

Similarly, PLUMgrid wants to simplify and accelerate the deployment of OpenStack network infrastructure, especially for those customers that are going into production today and building large-scale environments.

If you had the pleasure to be at the summit you have learnt about all the new features that were introduced in Juno for the OpenStack networking component (and if not check out this blog which provides a good summary of all Juno’s networking feature).

Read the full post »

Delivering Public Cloud Functionality in OpenStack

by John Meadows, Vice President of Business Development, Talligent — November 14, 2014

Talligent-logo

RHOSCIPN_logo_small

When it comes to delivering cloud services, enterprise architects have a common request to create a public cloud-type rate plan for showback, chargeback, or billing. Public cloud packaging is fairly standardized across the big vendors as innovations are quickly copied by others and basic virtual machines are assessed mainly on price. (I touched on the concept of the ongoing price changes and commoditization of public clouds in an earlier post.) Because of this standardization and relative pervasiveness, public cloud rate plans are well understood by cloud consumers. This makes them a good model for introducing enterprise users to new cloud services built on OpenStack.Enterprise architects are also highly interested in on-demand, self-service functionality from their Openstack clouds in order to imitate the immediate response of public clouds. We will cover how to deliver on-demand cloud services in a future post.

Pricing and Packaging Cloud Services
Public cloud rate plans are very popular, seeing adoption within enterprises, private hosted clouds, and newer public cloud providers alike. Most public cloud providers use the typical public cloud rate plan as a foundation for layering on services, software, security, and intangibles like reputation to build up differentiated offerings.Enterprise cloud architects use similar rate plans to demonstrate to internal customers that they can provide on-demand, self-service cloud services at a competitive price. To manage internal expectations and encourage good behavior, enterprises usually introduce cloud pricing via a showback model which does not directly impact budgets or require exchange of money. Users learn cloud cost structures and the impact of their resource usage. Later, full chargeback can be applied where internal users are expected to pay for services provided.

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OpenStack 2015 – The Year of the Enterprise?

by Nir Yechiel — November 10, 2014

OpenStackSummit Paris 2014This post is the collective work of all the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform Product Managers who attended the summit.

The 11th Openstack design summit that took place last week for the first time in Europe, brought about 6000 participants of the OpenStack community to Paris to kick off the design for the “Kilo” release.

If 2014 was the year of the “Superuser”, then clearly the year 2015 seems to be about the “Year of the Enterprise“.  The big question is: are we ready for enterprise mass adoption?

More than year ago, at the Openstack Havana design summit, it was clear that although interest in deploying OpenStack was growing, most enterprises were still holding back, mainly due to the lack of maturity of the project. This OpenStack summit, the new cool kid in the Open Cloud infrastructure playground is finally starting to show real maturity signs.

An important indicator for this is the increased number of deployments. The Kilo summit showcased about 16 different large organizations using production workloads on OpenStack, including companies such as BBVA Bank, SAP SE (formerly SAP AG) & BMW.

Read the full post »

OpenStack Summit – Why NFV Really Matters

by David H. Deans — November 6, 2014

I’ve been following the news releases and other storylines that have emerged from the ongoing proceedings at the OpenStack Summit in Paris, France. Some key themes have surfaced. In my first editorial, I shared reasons why the market has matured. In my second story, I observed how simplification via automation would broaden the addressable market for hybrid cloud services.

The other key theme that has emerged is the increased focus on telecom network operator needs and wants – specifically, the primary telco strategies that are evolving as they continue to build-out their hyperscale cloud infrastructures.

This is my domain. I’ve invested most of my professional life working for, or consulting with, domestic and international communication service providers. I’ve been actively involved in the business development of numerous wireline and wireless services, within both the consumer and commercial side of the marketplace. During more than two decades of experience, it’s been an amazing journey.

The closely related Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industries are already undergoing a transformation, as innovative products or services are developed by collaborative teams of creative contributors and brought to market at an accelerated rate.

Read the full post »

Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5 Now Available

by Maria Gallegos, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — November 5, 2014

Gordon Tillmore, Red Hat
Earlier this week, we announced the release of Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5.  Customers can use  this recent release to move towards open hybrid cloud working alongside existing infrastructure investments, and allowing for workload portability from a customer’s private cloud to Amazon EC2, or the reverse, if desired.   The product is our Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution providing:

  • a flexible and open solution to build out a centrally managed heterogeneous virtualization environment,
  • a private cloud for traditional workloads based on virtualization technologies, and
  • a massively scalable OpenStack-based cloud for cloud-enabled workloads

Version 5 -an important release for Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure
Version 4 already included three tightly integrated Red Hat technologies: Red Hat CloudForms, an award winning Cloud Management Platform (CMP), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, a full-featured enterprise virtualization solution, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, our fully supported, enterprise grade OpenStack offering.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux has also been a key ingredient, serving as the basis for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, as well as a guest operating system at the tenant layer. And now, with Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5, Red Hat is introducing Satellite 6 to it’s award winning cloud infrastructure. Satellite 6 is accessible with no extra cost, to help organizations better manage the lifecycle of their cloud infrastructure.

Read the full post »

OpenStack, Paris Summit: Day One Insights

by David H. Deans — November 4, 2014

Depending on your point of view, there are different ways to assess the progress of the evolving OpenStack project. Yesterday, I profiled “three reasons” why I believe there are encouraging signs that demonstrate how OpenStack has matured — and I gave an example of existing application case studies, as a key indicator.

I prefer to view the OpenStack upside potential through the lens of a business innovation consultant, where the technology is a means to an end – that being a desired commercial transformation. I referred to “superior digital business processes” as a primary motivation for exploring cloud computing services. So, what do I foresee, and how did I become fascinated by this particular topic?

I believe that today’s Global Networked Economy will lower any remaining geographic boundaries that may have previously limited competition in those industries that, to date, were largely untouched by the disruption made possible by the public Internet. The nascent Internet of Things has my attention – I want to be prepared for whatever comes next.

Freedom to Innovate with Cloud Services

Read the full post »

Three Reasons Why OpenStack has Matured

by David H. Deans — November 3, 2014

The OpenStack Summit, taking place in Paris, France this week, will be a turning point for those of us that study market development activity within the cloud computing infrastructure marketplace. I attended my first OpenStack Summit earlier this year, in Atlanta, Georgia. During the event conference sessions, I was immediately engaged by the apparent enthusiasm and energy of the other attendees.

You know, it’s true; people that are driven by a strong sense of purpose really do radiate a high level of passion for their cause that can become somewhat contagious. It’s hard to resist a positive outlook.

That said, I’m not easily swayed by buzz or hype. As a consultant with nearly three decades of technology business experience, I tend to carefully consider all the facts before I offer an opinion. Most of my experience is within the telecom sector, so I was drawn to the conference sessions that focused on the business challenges that I knew very well. Upon returning home from the Atlanta Summit, I wrote a story about my observations; it was entitled “Exploring OpenStack cloud case studies.”

How the OpenStack Market has Evolved

I’ve observed several encouraging developments since the Atlanta Summit that I believe demonstrate the OpenStack market has now matured to a point where the next wave of enterprise user adoption will start to occur. As we enter 2015, I’ll also share periodic updates on my market assessment.

In the past, there have been numerous reports in the trade media that a lack of skilled and experienced cloud-savvy technical talent has limited some IT organizations from acting on the cloud service pilot request of an internal constituent. This scenario has helped to fuel the Shadow IT phenomena, where public cloud services are procured and used directly by impatient Line of Business (LoB) leaders.

Vendors in the cloud computing community have responded, by offering the support resources required by CIOs and IT managers – essentially creating the environment to address the staffing and skills demand in the marketplace. As an example, more OpenStack training classes are now available, and the associated skills certification process ensures that the graduating students are prepared for the most common use cases. Read the full post »

Red Hat, Nuage Networks, OpenStack, and KISS

by Scott Drennan — October 29, 2014
and Nir Yechiel

Nuage Networks logo

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The reality is that IT is serious money – IDC estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) market alone will hit $7.1 trillion by 2020![1]  But a lot of that money is due to the IT industry practice of “lock-in” – trapping a customer into a proprietary technology and then charging high costs, in some instances up to 10X cost, for every component   For some reason, customers object to having to pick one vendor’s approach, being subject to limitations – whether technological or otherwise, paying high markups for every incremental extension, then having to pay high switching costs for the next solution at end of life in five years or less.

As a consequence, many of those customers are taking a good, hard look at open source software (OSS) that can minimize vendor lock-in. OSS communities also encourage the development of software solutions that run on industry-standard and reasonably priced hardware. In particular, OpenStack has been well received by businesses of all sizes, and the OpenStack community is growing by leaps-and-bounds with 625% more participating developers and 307% more business members as of its fourth birthday![2] Since OpenStack can orchestrate operations for an entire datacenter, it offers a vision of the future where  customers are free from server, network, and storage lock-in.

However, legacy naysayers have always articulated three catches with OSS:
1)    Making it enterprise-grade in terms of scalability, reliability, and security
2)    Ensuring that the code base grows over time so that others can move the ball forward
3)    Getting enterprise-class support for the code base Read the full post »

Delivering the Complete Open-Source Cloud Infrastructure and Software-Defined-Storage Story

by neilwlevine — October 24, 2014

Authored by Neil Levine, Director Product Marketing, Red Hat and Sean Cohen, Principal Technical Product Manager, Red Hat

The OpenStack summit in Paris not only marks the release of Juno to the public but also the 6 month mark since Red Hat acquired Inktank, the commercial company behind Ceph. The acquisition not only underscored Red Hat’s commitment to use open source to disrupt the storage market, as it did in the operating system market with Linux, but also its investment in OpenStack where Ceph is a market leading scale-out storage platform, especially for block.

Even prior to the acquisition, Inktank’s commercial product – Inktank Ceph Enterprise – had been certified with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and over the past 6 months, the product teams have worked to integrate the two products even more tightly.
Delivering the complete Open-Source Cloud Infrastructure and Software-Defined-Storage story
The first phase of this work has been focused on simplifying the installation experience. The new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform installer now handles configuration of the Ceph components on the controller and compute side, from installing the packages to configuring Cinder, Glance and Nova to creating all the necessary authentication keys. With the Ceph client-side components now directly available in RHEL OpenStack Platform, much of what was a manual effort has now been transformed & automated. In addition the RHEL OpenStack Platform installer also takes responsibility for the configuration of the storage cluster network topology and will boot and configure the hosts that will be used by the Ceph storage cluster.

The Inktank Ceph Enterprise installer has also been modified to take pre-seeded configuration files from RHEL OpenStack Platform and use them to build out the storage cluster. With some of the Ceph services architected to run co-resident on the controller nodes, the number of physical nodes needed has been reduced without sacrificing security of performance.
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OpenStack Summit Paris: Agenda Confirms 22 Red Hat Sessions

by Jeff Jameson, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — September 26, 2014

As this Fall’s OpenStack Summit in Paris approaches, the Foundation has posted the session agenda, outlining the schedule of events. With an astonishing 1,100+ sessions submitted for review, I was happy to see that Red Hat and eNovance have a combined 22 sessions that are included in the weeks agenda, with two more as alternates.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really respect the way the Foundation goes about setting the agenda – essentially deferring to the attendees and participants themselves, via a vote. Through this voting process, the subjects that are “top-of-mind” and of most interest in learning more about are brought to the surface, resulting in a very current and cutting edge set of discussions. And with so many accepted sessions, it again confirms that Red Hat, and now eNovance, are involved in some of the most current projects and technologies that the community is most interested in. Read the full post »

Free webinar on the Heat orchestration service

by Maria Gallegos, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat —

On Tuesday, September 30, we will presenting a Taste of Red Hat Training webinar dedicated to Heat, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform orchestration service that allows you to run multiple composite cloud applications. There will be two live sessions of the webinar run that day, at 9 am EST and 2 pm EST to accommodate the usual international audience.

Join Red Hat curriculum developer, Adolfo Vazquez, as he teaches you about the basics of the Heat orchestration service in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, the Heat core services, and how to configure applications on the OpenStack infrastructure. Content for the webinar is pulled directly from our popular Red Hat OpenStack Administration (CL210) course.

Click here for more information and to register.

Announcing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 Beta

by Raissa Tona, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — September 18, 2014

Today, we are excited to announce the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 Beta to existing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization customers. The Beta release allows our customers to easily manage and automate many virtualization tasks while providing an on-ramp to accommodate cloud enabled workloads based on OpenStack. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 Beta provides new features across compute, storage, network, and infrastructure.

One key feature to highlight is the full integration with OpenStack Glance and Neutron services. This feature was previously in tech preview. The strong integration between Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and OpenStack enables customers to eliminate silos and scale up to meet business demands.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 Beta is available to all existing customers with active Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization subscriptions today. Please view the 3.5 Beta Installation Guide here for details on how to start testing the beta release.

Please note that RHEV 3.5 Beta 1 will not support the use of the RHEV-H Hypervisor and will only support the use of a RHEL Hypervisor Host.  We apologize for this delay, and plan on the RHEV-H Hypervisor to be available in the RHEV 3.5 Beta 2 refresh.

Also note that there was a last second issue identified with the dwh component that prevents its installation in RHEV 3.5 Beta 1.  This will be resolved in the RHEV 3.5 Beta 2 refresh.

What’s Coming in OpenStack Networking for Juno Release

by Nir Yechiel — September 11, 2014

Neutron, historically known as Quantum, is the OpenStack project focused on delivering networking as a service. As the Juno development cycle ramps up, now is a good time to review some of the key changes we saw in Neutron during this exciting cycle and have a look at what is coming up in the next upstream major release which is set to debut in October.

Neutron or Nova Network?

The original OpenStack Compute network implementation, also known as Nova Network, assumed a basic model of performing all isolation through Linux VLANs and iptables. These are typically sufficient for small and simple networks, but larger customers are likely to have more sophisticated network requirements. Neutron introduces the concept of a plug-in, which is a back-end implementation of the OpenStack Networking API. A plug-in can use a variety of technologies to implement the logical API requests and offer a rich set of network topologies, including network overlays with protocols like GRE or VXLAN, and network services such as load balancing, virtual private networks or firewalls that plug into OpenStack tenant networks. Neutron also enables third parties to write plug-ins that introduce advanced network capabilities, such as the ability to leverage capabilities from the physical data center network fabric, or use software-defined networking (SDN) approaches with protocols like OpenFlow. One of the main Juno efforts is a plan to enable easier Nova Network to Neutron migration for users that would like to upgrade their networking model for the OpenStack cloud.

Performance Enhancements and Stability

The OpenStack Networking community is actively working on several enhancements to make Neutron a more stable and mature codebase. Among the different enhancements, recent changes to the security-group implementation should result in significant improvement and better scalability of this popular feature. To recall, security groups allows administrators and tenants the ability to specify the type of traffic and direction (ingress/egress) that is allowed to pass through a Neutron port, effectively creating an instance-level firewall filter. You can read this great post by Miguel Angel Ajo, a Red Hat employee who led this effort in the Neutron community, to learn more about the changes.

In addition, there are continuous efforts to improve the upstream testing framework, and to create a better separation between unit tests and functional tests, as well as better testing strategy and coverage for API changes.
Read the full post »

OpenStack Resources for the vAdmin

by Raissa Tona, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — September 8, 2014

Across many enterprise organizations, IT is driving innovation that allows companies to be more agile and gain a competitive edge. These are exciting times for the Vadmins who are at the center of this change. This innovation starts with bridging the gap between traditional virtualization workloads and cloud-enabled workloads based on OpenStack.

Organizations are embracing OpenStack because it allows them to more rapidly scale to meet evolving user demands without sacrificing performance on a stable and flexible platform and at a cost effective level.

As a Vadmin, you might be asking yourself how OpenStack fits in your world of traditional virtualization workloads. The answer is that OpenStack is not a replacement rather it is an extension to traditional virtualization platforms.

To help vAdmins get started with OpenStack, we have created a dedicated page with numerous OpenStack resources including a solutions guide that explains the architectural differences between OpenStack and VMware vSphere, as well as an appliance that allows you to quickly run and deploy OpenStack in your VMware vSphere environment.

Visit this OpenStack Resources vAdmin page to learn how to get started with OpenStack in your existing infrastructure today.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4.1 Released

by Scott Herold — August 25, 2014

Principal Product Manager, Red Hat

I don’t often find myself getting overly excited about maintenance releases, however Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4.1 is an exception due to two key factors:

  • Preview support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 as a hypervisor host
  • Support for up to 4,000 GB memory in a single virtual machine

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4, originally introduced official guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7. In continuing down the path of providing the latest Red Hat technologies to our customers, I am proud to announce that Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4.1 has preview support for RHEL 7 as a hypervisor.  Red Hat customers with active subscriptions will be able to take advantage of using RHEL 7 as a hypervisor either as a RHEL host, or by using our thin Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor image.

Read the full post »

Juno Updates – Security

by Jeff Jameson, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — August 5, 2014

Written by Nathan Kinder

 

There is a lot of development work going on in Juno in security related areas. I thought it would be useful to summarize what I consider to be some of the more notable efforts that are under way in the projects I follow.

Keystone

Nearly everyone I talk with who is using Keystone in anger is integrating it with an existing identity store such as an LDAP server. Using the SQL identity backend is really a poor identity management solution, as it only supports basic password authentication, there is lack of password policy support, and the user management capabilities are fairly limited. Configuring Keystone to use an existing identity store has it’s challenges, but some of the changes in Juno should make this easier. In Icehouse and earlier, Keystone can only use one single identity backend. This means that all regular users and service users must exist in the same identity backend. In many real-world scenarios, the LDAP server used for users and credentials is considered to be read-only by anything other than the normal user provisioning tools. A common problem is that the OpenStack service users are not wanted in the LDAP server. In Juno, it will be possible to configure Keystone to use multiple identity backends. This will allow a deployment to use an LDAP server for normal users and the SQL backend for service users. In addition, this should allow multiple LDAP servers to be used by a single Keystone instance when using Keystone Domains (which previously only worked with the SQL identity backend).

Read the full post »

Session Voting Now Open, for OpenStack Summit Paris!

by Jeff Jameson, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — July 31, 2014

The voting polls for speaking sessions at this Fall’s OpenStack Summit in Paris, France are now open to the public. This time around it seems Red Hatters are looking to participate in more sessions then any previous Summit, helping to share innovation happening at Red Hat and in the greater community.

With an incredible quantity of sessions submitted this Summit, we’ve got quite a diverse selection for you to vote on. Spanning from low-level core compute, networking, and storage sessions, to plenty of customer success stories and lessons learned.


Each and every vote counts, so please have a look through the Red Hat submitted sessions below and vote for your favorites! If you’re new to the voting process, you must sign up for a free OpenStack Foundation member username and cast your votes. Visit the foundation site here, to sign up for free!

Once you’ve signed up as a member, click on the titles below to cast your vote. Remember, voting closes on Wednesday August 6th.

Have a look at our sessions here and cast your vote! I’ve sorted by category:

Storage

  1. OpenStack Storage APIs and Ceph: Existing Architectures and Future Features
  2. Deployment Best Practices for OpenStack Software-Defined Storage with Ceph
  3. What’s New in Ceph?
  4. OpenStack and Ceph – Match Made in the Cloud
  5. Large Scale OpenStack Block Storage with Containerized Ceph
  6. Red Hat Training: Using Ceph and Red Hat Storage Server in Cinder
  7. Volume Retyping and Cinder Backend Configuring
  8. Using OpenStack Swift for Extreme Data Durability
  9. Ask the Experts: Challenges for OpenStack Storage
  10. Deploying Red Hat Block and Object Storage with Mellanox and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
  11. Vanquish Performance Bottlenecks and Deliver Resilient, Agile Infrastructure, with All Flash Storage and OpenStack
  12. GlusterFS: The Scalable Open Source Backend for Manila
  13. Delivering Elastic Big Data Analytics with OpenStack Sahara and Distributed Storage
  14. Deploying Swift on a Scale-Out File System

Read the full post »

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