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 Logotype_RH_Cloudforms_RGB_Black
  • Control – Eventing, Compliance, and State Management
  • Automate – Provisioning, Reconfiguration, Retirement, and Optimization

 

Business Benefit Use Case
One unified tool to manage virtualization and OpenStack cloud reduces the IT management overhead of multiple consoles and tools. Manage your Red Hat Virtualization, OpenStack, and VMware vSphere infrastructure with one tool, Cloud Forms.
One unified tool to manage private OpenStack and public cloud with the three components above. For temporary capacity needs, you can burst to an Amazon or OpenStack public cloud.

Scale up with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

Virtualization improves efficiency, frees up resources, and cuts costs. RHEV_logo

And as you plan for the cloud, it’s important to build common services that use your virtualization investment and the cloud, while avoiding vendor dependency.

Business Benefit Use Case
Consolidate your physical servers, lower costs and improve efficiency. Run and enterprise applications like Oracle, SAP, SAS, Microsoft Exchange and other traditional applications on virtual servers.

Red Hat Ceph Storage                           

Ceph™ is a massively scalable, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. It provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments and manages block, object, and image storage. Logotype_Storage_Ceph_CMYK_Gray

 

Business Benefit Use Case
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform installer automatically configures the included storage driver and Ceph clients. Store virtual machine images, volumes, and snapshots or Swift object storage for tenant applications.

 

Platform as a Service with Red Hat OpenShift            

An on-premise, private Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution offering that allows you to deliver apps faster and meet your enterprise’s growing application demands. Logotype_RH_OpenShift_wLogo_CMYK_Gray

Business Benefit Use Case
Accelerate IT service delivery and streamline application development. Choice of programming languages and frameworks, databases and development tools allows your developers to get the job done, using the languages and tools they already know and trust. Including:

  • Web Console, Command-line, or IDE
  • Java(EE6), Ruby, PHP, Python, and Perl

With an open hybrid cloud infrastructure from Red Hat, your IT organization can better serve your business by delivering more agile and flexible solutions while protecting business assets and preparing for the future.

Red-Hat-open-hybrid-cloud-1000x563_0

 

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:
Problem scenario Using OpenStack from Red Hat Do it yourself
Security breach Dispatch a team of experts to assess. Issue a hotfix (and contribute the fix upstream for the benefit of all). Rely on your own resources to assess. Wait for a fix from the upstream community.
Change of hardware/driver update etc Certified hardware and software partners continuously jointly develop and test. Issue a hotfix (and contribute the fix upstream for the benefit of all). Contact the hardware provider, sometimes a best guess effort for un-supported and un-certified software.
Application problem Red Hat consulting services assess and determines if the problem is with the application, OpenStack configuration, guest instance, hypervisor or host Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat works across the stack to resolve and fix, Troubleshooting across the stack involves different vendors who do not have joint certified solutions. Fixes come from a variety of sources or your own limited resources.

 

Thus the benefits of using OpenStack from Red Hat are:

Certification

Certified Hardware partners                            fingerpointing

Red Hat has a broad ecosystem of certified hardware. for OpenStack Red Hat is a premier member of TSANet that provides support and interoperability across vendor solutions.

Business Benefit Use Case
Provides a stable and long-term OpenStack cloud deployment. Helps you provide a high SLA to your customers. When problems arise you need solutions, not fingerpointing. The value of certified partners means Red Hat and its partners work together to resolve problems.

 

Certified software vendors                            certified

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform provides an open pluggable framework for compute (nova), networking (neutron), and storage (cinder/glance) partner solutions.

Business Benefit Use Case
Choice. You are not locked into any one provider.You are not locked into one pricing and licensing model. You can integrate with an existing or select a new hypervisor, networking, or storage solution that meets your needs and changes as your future business demands evolve.

 

Certified guest OS on Instance/VM    four-virtual-machines-clipart

An OpenStack cloud platform runs virtualized guest instances with an operating system. OpenStack from Red Hat is certified to run Microsoft Windows (see certifications), Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE guest operating systems. Other operating systems are supported per this model

 

Business Benefit Use Case
The cloud provider can provide a stable platform with higher SLA since there is support across the stack. If there is a problem with a guest/instance, you are not alone getting support, Red Hat works with the O/S provider to resolve the problem.

 

Integrated with Linux and the Hypervisor    stack                               

As Arthur detailed in his blog post, OpenStack requires a hypervisor to run virtual machines, manage CPU, memory, networking, storage resources, security and drivers. Read how Red Hat helped a customer solve their problem across the stack

Business Benefit Use Case
For support and maintenance, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Openstack Platform co-engineers the hypervisor, operating system, and OpenStack services to create a production-ready platform. If you encounter a performance, scalability, or security problem that requires driver level, kernel, Linux or libvirt expertise, Red Hat is equipped to resolve.

 

A secure solution                                    EAL4-logo

Red Hat is the lead developer of SELinux which helps secure Linux. Red Hat has a team of security researchers and developers constantly hardening Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Business Benefit Use Case
You can provide an OpenStack cloud that has government and military grade Common Criteria EAL4 and other certifications. Financial, Healthcare, Retail and other sectors benefit from the military grade security. Should a breach occur, you have one number to call to a team of experts that can diagnose the problem across the entire stack: operating system, hypervisor, and OpenStack.

 

Services expertise                    

Red Hat has extensive OpenStack design, deployment, and expert training experience across vertical industries and backed by proven Reference Architectures.

Business Benefit

You are not alone but have a trusted partner as you walk the private cloudjourney to deploy and integrate OpenStack in your environment.

Use Case

  1. Design, deploy, upgrade
  2. High availability
  3. Create an Open Hybrid Cloud
  4. Add Platform-as-Service
  5. ……

Lifecycle support                                     ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Upgrades, patches, and 24×7 support. OpenStack from Red Hat offers three years of Production life-cycle support and the underlying Red Hat Enterprise Linux has ten years of life-cycle support.

Business Benefit Use Case
Provides a long-term and stable OpenStack cloud platform.
With Red Hat’s  24×7 support, you can provide a high SLA to your customers.
Obtaining latest features and fixes in a new release of OpenStack, allows you to meet user requirements, with Red Hat testing and validation..

Upstream compatibility                            compatibility

Red Hat OpenStack is fully compatible with the upstream openstack community code.

Business Benefit Use Case
Red Hat is a Platinum member of the 200+ member foundation that drives the direction of OpenStack. You can have confidence that the Red Hat distribution adheres to the community direction and is not a one-off or “forked” solution. Red Hat represents your needs in the community. Red Hat’s commitment and leadership in the OpenStack community, helps ensure that customer needs are more easily introduced, developed, and delivered.

Contributions to the OpenStack project       Juno            

Red Hat is a leader in the greater Linux and OpenStack communities. Red Hat is the top contributor to the last four OpenStack releases and provides direction to several related open source projects.

Business Benefit Use Case
Using Red Hat Enterprise Linux Openstack Platform gives you a competitive advantage. Red Hat is intimately familiar with the code to best provide support, insight, guidance, and influence over feature development. If you need support or new features as your OpenStack cloud evolves, you can be confident that Red Hat will assist you and continue to evolve with the upstream project.

 Conclusion

Red Hat offers you proven open source technology, a large ecosystem of certified hardware and software partners and expert consulting services to free you up to pursue your business. In part two of this post, I will elaborate on the integrated products Red Hat offers to build and manage an Open Hybrid Cloud.

RHEV0036_RHELOSP_ForRHEV_Diagram_INC0202135_1214swThe OpenStack mark is either a registered trademark/servicemark or trademark/service mark of the OpenStack Foundation, in the United States and other countries, and is used with the OpenStack Foundation’s permission.  We are not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by the OpenStack Foundation, or the OpenStack community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

In order to implement a robust IaaS platform providing API access to low level infrastructure components, such as block volumes, layer 2 networks, and others, OpenStack leverages features exposed by the underlying operating system subsystems, provided by Kernel space components, virtualization, networking, storage subsystems, hardware drivers, and services that rely on the operating system’s capabilities.

Exploring how OpenStack Flows

OpenStack operates as the orchestration and operational management layer on top of many existing features and services. Let’s first examine how Nova Compute service is implemented to better understand the OpenStack design concept. Nova is implemented through 4 Linux services: nova-api which is responsible to accept Nova’s API calls, nova-scheduler which implements a weighting and filtering mechanism to schedule creation of new instances, nova-conductor which makes database operations, and nova-compute which is responsible to create and destroy the actual instances. A message-bus, implemented through Oslo Messaging and instantiated since Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5 using  RabbitMQ, is used for services inner-communication.

To create and destroy instances, which are usually implemented as virtual machines, nova-compute service uses a supportive backend driver to make libvirt API calls, while Libvirt manages qemu-kvm virtual machines on the host.

All OpenStack services are implemented in a similar manner using integral operating system components. Each OpenStack distribution may decide on using different implementations. Here we will focus on the implementation choices made with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6. For example the DHCP service is implemented using dnsmasq service, Security Groups are implemented using Linux IPTables, Cinder commonly uses LVM Logical Volumes for block volumes and scsi-target-utils to share tgt volumes over iSCSI protocol.ab 2

This is an oversimplified description of the complete picture and many additional sub-systems are also at play, such as SELinux with corresponding SELinux policies for each service and files in use, Kernel namespaces, hardware drivers and many others.

When deploying OpenStack in a highly available configuration, which is commonly found in real-world production environments, the story becomes even more complex with HAProxy load-balancing traffic, Pacemaker active-active clusters that use multicast for heartbeat, Bonding the Network Interfaces using Kernel’s LACP bonding modules, Galera which implements a database multi-master replication mechanism across the controller nodes, and RabbitMQ message broker which uses an internal queue mirroring mechanism across controller nodes.

Co-engineering the Operating system with OpenStack

Red Hat’s OpenStack technologies are purposefully co-engineered with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, and integrated with all its subsystems, drivers, and supportive components – to help deliver a trusted, long-term stability, and a fully supported, production-ready, OpenStack environment.

Red Hat is uniquely positioned to support customers effectively across the entire stack, we maintain an engineering presence that proactively works together with each of the communities across the entire stack, starting with the Linux Kernel, all the way up to the hypervisor and virtualized guest operating system. In addition Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform maintains the largest OpenStack-certified partner ecosystem, working closely with  OpenStack vendors to certify 3rd party solutions, and work through support cases when external solutions are involved.ab 3

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform also benefits from the rich hardware certification ecosystem Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers working with major hardware vendors to provide driver compatibility. For example, the Neutron single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) feature is built on the top of the SR-IOV certified Kernel driver. Similarly, the support for tunneling protocols (VXLAN, NVGRE) to offload, which is key for performance, is derived from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux driver support.

We are doing this not only to deliver world-class, production-ready support for the whole platform stack, but also to drive new features requested by customers –  since adding new functionality to OpenStack often requires invasive changes to a large portion of the stack,  from OpenStack APIs, down to the kernel.

Introducing New NFV Features – NUMA, CPU Pinning, Hugepages

The Network Functions virtualization (NFV) use case, which required adding support for NUMA, CPU Pinning, and Hugepages, is a good example of this implementation. To support these features, work began at the kernel level, both for memory management and KVM. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 kernel added support for 2M and 1G huge pages for KVM and virtual machines, and IOMMU support with huge pages. Work on the Kernel continued and with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 kernel, adding support for advanced NUMA placement and dynamic huge pages per NUMA node.

In parallel with the features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Kernel, changes were made to qemu-kvm-rhev to utilize these features and were exposed via the libvirt API and XML.

Red Hat engineers worked on getting the needed changes into the OpenStack Nova project to determine availability of huge pages on the host as well as assign them to individual VMs when requested. Nova was then enhanced so that users could define hugepages as a requirement for all VMs booted from a given image, via image properties, or for all VMs booted with a given flavor, via flavor extra specs. The scheduler was enhanced to track the availability of huge pages as reported by the compute service and then confirm that the VM is scheduled to a host capable of fulfilling the hugepages requirement specified.

Coordinating the support for these features across the entire stack, kernel -> qemu-kvm -> libvirt -> Nova-compute -> nova-schedule -> nova-api , required several different teams, working in several upstream communities, to work closely together. Thanks to Red Hat’s strong engineering presence in each of the respective communities, and the fact that most of these engineers were all within the same company, we were able to drive each of these features into the upstream code bases and coordinate backporting them to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform so that they could be utilized together with the combination of RHEL 7.1 used as the base operating system for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 which is based on the upstream Juno release.

Supporting Changes  

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 and 7.1 also included numerous enhancements to better support Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6. Some of these  enhancements include Kernel changes in the core networking stack to better support VXLAN with  TCP Segmentation Offloading (TSO) and Generic Segmentation Offloading (GSO) which used to lead to guest crashes, fixed issued with dhcpclient sending requests over VXLAN Interfaces, SELinux policy fixes and enhancements for Glance image files and other services, enhancements fixing issues in qemu-kvm for librdb (Ceph), changes in iscsi-initiator-utils preventing hosts from potential hangs while reboot, and much more.

Conclusion

In order to implement an IaaS solution and provide API access to low level infrastructure components, OpenStack needs to be tightly integrated with the operating system it runs on, making the operating system a crucial factor for long-term OpenStack stability. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is co-engineered and integrated with various RHEL services and subsystems leading to an IaaS Cloud environment enterprise customers can trust. To provide the world class support Red Hat customers are used to, Red Hat is actively participating in upstream communities across all OpenStack projects, positioning Red Hat to be able to support OpenStack effectively across all components in use. Red Hat’s active participation in the upstream communities also enables Red Hat to introduce and drive new OpenStack features and functionalities requested by customers.

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.

PCI Passthrough: The Basics

PCI Passthrough allows direct assignment of a PCI device into a guest operating system (OS). One prerequisite for doing this is that the hypervisor must support either the Intel VT-d or AMD IOMMU extensions. Standard passthrough allows virtual machines (VMs) exclusive access to PCI devices and allows the PCI devices to appear and behave as if they were physically attached to the guest OS. In the case of networking, it is possible to utilize PCI passthrough to dedicate an entire network device (i.e., physical port on a network adapter) to a guest OS running within a VM.

What is SR-IOV?

Single root I/O virtualization, officially abbreviated as SR-IOV, is a specification that allows a PCI device to separate access to its resources among various PCI hardware functions: Physical Function (PF) and one or more Virtual Functions (VF). SR-IOV provides a standard way for a single physical I/O device to present itself to the the PCIe bus as multiple virtual devices. While PFs are the full featured PCIe functions, VFs are lightweight functions that lack any configuration resources. The VFs configuration and management is done through the PF, so they can concentrate on data movement only. It is important to note that the overall bandwidth available to the PF is shared between all VFs associated with it.

In the case of networking, SR-IOV allows a physical network adapter to appear as multiple PCIe network devices. Each physical port on the network interface card (NIC) is being represented as a Physical Function (PF) and each PF can be associated with a configurable number of Virtual Functions (VFs). Allocating a VF to a virtual machine instance enables network traffic to bypass the software layer of the hypervisor and flow directly between the VF and the virtual machine. This way, the logic for I/O operations resides in the network adapter itself, and the virtual machines think they are interacting with multiple separate network devices. This allows a near line-rate performance, without the need to dedicate a separate physical NIC to each individual virtual machine. Comparing standard PCI Passthrough with SR-IOV, SR-IOV offers more flexibility.

Since the network traffic completely bypasses the software layer of the hypervisor, including the software switch typically used in virtualization environments, the physical network adapter is the one responsible to manage the traffic flows, including proper separation and bridging. This means that the network adapter must provide support for SR-IOV and implement some form of hardware-based Virtual Ethernet Bridge (VEB).

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, which provides the base operating system for RHEL OpenStack Platform 6, driver support for SR-IOV network adapters has been expanded to cover more device models from known vendors such as Intel, Broadcom, Mellanox and Emulex. In addition, the number of available SR-IOV Virtual Functions has been increased for capable network adapters, resulting in the expanded capability to configure up to 128 VFs per PF for capable network devices.

nir-post-1

SR-IOV in OpenStack

Starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4, it is possible to boot a virtual machine instance with standard, general purpose PCI device passthrough. However, SR-IOV and PCI Passthrough for networking devices is available starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 only, where proper networking awareness was added.

Traditionally, a Neutron port is a virtual port that is typically attached to a virtual bridge (e.g., Open vSwitch) on a Compute node. With the introduction of SR-IOV networking support, it is now possible to associate a Neutron port with a Virtual Function that resides on the network adapter. For those Neutron ports, a virtual bridge on the Compute node is no longer required.

When a packet comes in to the physical port on the network adapter, it is placed into a specific VF pool based on the MAC address or VLAN tag. This lends to a direct memory access transfer of packets to and from the virtual machine. The hypervisor is not involved in the packet processing to move the packet, thus removing bottlenecks in the path. Virtual machine instances using SR-IOV ports and virtual machine instances using regular ports (e.g., linked to Open vSwitch bridge) can communicate with each other across the network as long as the appropriate configuration (i.e., flat, VLAN) is in place.

While Ethernet is the most common networking technology deployed in today’s data centers, it is also possible to use SR-IOV pass-through for ports using other networking technologies, such as InfiniBand (IB). However, the current SR-IOV Neutron ML2 driver supports Ethernet ports only.

Why SR-IOV and OpenStack?

The main motivation for using SR-IOV networking is to provide enhanced performance characteristics (e.g., throughput, delay) for specific networks or virtual machines. The feature is extremely popular among our telecommunications customers and those seeking to implement virtual network functions (VNFs) on the top of RHEL OpenStack Platform, a common use case for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

Each network function has a unique set of performance requirements. These requirements may vary based on the function role as we consider control plane virtualization (e.g., signalling, session control, and subscriber databases), management plane virtualization (e.g, OSS, off-line charging, and network element managers), and data plane virtualization (e.g., media gateways, routers, and firewalls). SR-IOV is one of the popular techniques available today that can be used in order to reach the high performance characteristics required mostly by data plane functions.

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).

Neutron Routers High Availability

The neutron-l3-agent is the Neutron component responsible for layer 3 (L3) forwarding and network address translation (NAT) for tenant networks. This is a key piece of the project that hosts the virtual routers created by tenants and allows instances to have connectivity to and from other networks, including networks that are placed outside of the OpenStack cloud, such as the Internet.

Historically the neutron-l3-agent has been placed on a dedicated node or nodes, usually bare-metal machines referred to as “Network Nodes”. Until now, you could have to utilize multiple Network Nodes to achieve load sharing by scheduling different virtual routers on different nodes, but not high availability or redundancy between the nodes. The challenge that this model presented was that all the routing for the OpenStack happened in a centralized point. This introduced two main concerns:

  1. This makes each Network Node a single point of failure (SPOF)
  2. Whenever routing is needed, packets from the source instance have to go through a router in the Network Node and then sent to the destination. This centralized routing creates a resource bottleneck and an unoptimized traffic flow

This release endeavours to address these issues by adding high-availability to the virtual routers scheduled on the Network Nodes, so that when one router is failing, another can take over automatically. This is implemented using the well-known VRRP protocol internally. Highly-available Network Nodes are able to handle routing and centralized source NAT (SNAT) to allow instances to have basic outgoing connectivity, as well as advanced services such as virtual private networks or firewalls – which by design require seeing both directions of the traffic flow in order to operate properly.

Single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) networking

The ability to pass physical devices through to virtual machine instances, allowing for premium cloud flavors that provide physical hardware such as dedicated network interfaces or GPUs, was originally introduced in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4. This release adds an SR-IOV mechanism driver (sriovnicswitch) to OpenStack networking to provide enhanced support for passing through networking devices that support SR-IOV.

This driver is available starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 and requires an SR-IOV enabled NIC on the Compute node. This driver allows for the assignment of SR-IOV VFs (Virtual Functions) directly into VM instances, so that the VM is communicating directly with the NIC controller, effectively bypassing the vSwitch . The Nova scheduler has also been enhanced to be able to consider not only device availability but the related external network connectivity when placing instances with specific networking requirements included in their boot request.

Support for Multiple Identity Backends

OpenStack Identity (Keystone) is usually integrated with an existing identity management system such as an LDAP server, when used in production environments. Using the default SQL identity backend is not an ideal choice for identity management, as it only provides basic password authentication, it lacks password policy support, and the user management capabilities are fairly limited. Configuring Keystone to use an existing identity store has its challenges, but some of the changes in RHEL OpenStack Platform 6 make this easier. RHEL OpenStack Platform 5 and earlier supported configuring Keystone with only one single identity backend. This means that all service accounts and all OpenStack users had to exist on the same identity management system. In real-world production scenarios, it is commonly required to use the identity store in read-only configuration, not intruding schema or use account changes, so accounts would be managed using native tools. Previously one of the challenges was that the OpenStack service accounts had to be stored on the same LDAP server with rest of the user accounts. In RHEL OpenStack Platform 6, it is possible to configure Keystone to use multiple identity backends. This allows Keystone to use an LDAP server to store normal user accounts and use SQL backend for storing OpenStack service accounts. In addition, this allows multiple LDAP servers to be used by a single Keystone instance when using Keystone Domains which previously worked only with the SQL identity backend.

Tighter Ceph Integration

The availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, based on OpenStack Juno, marks a particularly important milestone for Red Hat through the delivery of Ceph Enterprise 1.2 as a complete storage solution for Nova, Cinder, and Glance for virtual machine requirements.

This release introduces an advanced support for ephemeral and persistent storage featuring thin provisioning, snapshots, cloning, and copy-on-write.

  • With RHEL OpenStack Platform 6, VM storage functions can now be delivered transparently to the user on Ceph as customers can now run diskless compute nodes.
  • The new Ceph-backed ephemeral volumes enable the data to remain situated within the Ceph cluster allowing the VM to boot more quickly without data moving across the network. This also means that snapshots of the ephemeral volume can be performed on the Ceph cluster instantaneously and then put into the Glance library, without data migration across the network. Now VM storage functions can be delivered transparently to the user on Ceph.

The Ceph RBD drivers are now shipped by default with RHEL OpenStack Platform 6 and configured through a single, integrated installer that simplifies and speeds deployment of Ceph as part of the OpenStack deployment.

Interested in trying the latest OpenStack-based cloud platform from the world’s leading provider of open source solutions? Download a free evaluation at: http://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/openstack-platform.

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:

1. Co-engineer with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and KVM to enable capabilities for a well-managed IaaS implementation

OpenStack is a set of software services that requires a hypervisor to run virtual machines, as well as manage resources like CPU, memory, networking, storage, security, and hardware drivers. And OpenStack services have a complex set of user-space dependencies on the underlying operating system, just like any other application.So that each of these required components can function at the fullest capacity together, we purposefully engineer Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to combine the world’s most trusted, secure, and proven Linux distribution—Red Hat Enterprise Linux —with Red Hat’s rigorously tested OpenStack technology. To meet the enterprise need for predictable life cycle for support and maintenance, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform brings together innovation across hypervisor, operating system, and OpenStack technologies while creating a stable platform for production deployments.

2. Deliver a single production-ready distribution to meet enterprise and telco needs

Network Functions Virtualization has emerged as a key strategic initiative among Telcos across the globe. To meet the performance and deterministic characteristics of NFV use cases, we’re committed to driving open innovation across OS, hypervisor, and OpenStack layers to make OpenStack enterprise and Telco ready. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, features such as IPV6, SR-IOV networking, Neutron high availability (in “active-active” mode), and vCPU configurability are testament to this. In addition, we’re excited about our collaborations with top-tier network equipment providers such as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Huawei, and NEC to jointly innovate and enable accelerated adoption of OpenStack to meet Telco/NFV requirements.

3. Enable broadest OpenStack partner ecosystem

Announced in April 2013, the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network includes partners providing compute, storage, networking, management and ISV solutions certified around Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Over the past 22 months, the Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network has grown to more than 235 partners, representing nearly 1000 solutions. In addition, we’re excited about the strategic collaborations to jointly engineer solutions with industry leaders such as Cisco and Dell and thereby support broad-based adoption of OpenStack.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 adds over 700 feature/functionality enhancements, bug fixes, documentation changes, and security updates, all focused on creating a stable and production-ready cloud platform. Backed by the extensive ecosystem support and the breadth of training & certification and services offerings, we’re looking forward to promoting accelerated adoption of OpenStack across the globe.

For additional details and a deeper dive on the release, please visits blog entries from my colleagues at http://redhatstackblog.redhat.com.

Radhesh Balakrishnan

General Manager, OpenStack

Red Hat

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.

For customers looking to maximize the benefits of their virtualized infrastructure, Red Hat offers Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Smart Virtualization, a combined solution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. This offering combines the performance, scalability, reliability and security features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the advanced virtualization management capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. The highly scalable Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 can support [4TB of memory per host, 4 TB of vRAM, and 128 vCPUs per virtual machine. To further enhance infrastructure scalability, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 includes:

  • Non-uniform memory access (NUMA) Support extended to Host NUMA, Guest Pinning and Virtual NUMA. The NUMA support allows customers to deploy highly scalable workloads with improved performance and minimizes resource overload related to physical memory access times.

Delivery of standardized services for mission critical workloads

Because consistency of operations across a common infrastructure is essential for mission critical applications, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 enables administrators to develop automated standards and processes across the infrastructure. With Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5, IT organizations can simplify and gain greater visibility into provisioning, configuring and monitoring of their virtualization infrastructure. Notable new features in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 that enhance standardization are:

  • oVirt Optimizer Integration, provides advanced real-time analytics of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization workloads and identifies the balance of resource allocation that best meets the users’ needs while provisioning new virtual machines.
  • Improved storage domain handling for disaster recovery, provides support for migrating storage domains between different datacenters supported by Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, enabling partner technologies to deliver site recovery capabilities.
  • Host Integration with Red Hat Satellite, adds the capability to provision and to add hypervisors to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization from bare metal. The integration automates and enhances the lifecycle management of physical hypervisor hosts.

Foundation for future looking, innovative, and highly flexible cloud enabled workloads built on OpenStack

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is integrated and shares common services with OpenStack Glance and Neutron Services (tech preview). This integration allows administrators to break down silos and to deploy resources once across the infrastructure. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 allows administrators to define instance types that unify the process of provisioning virtual machines for both virtual and cloud enabled workloads.

Under Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (a combination of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a cornerstone platform for building solutions that customers can easily deploy across their physical, virtual and cloud platforms without sacrificing performance and scalability.

The flexible and open capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization lay the foundation for a transition to an innovative and optimized IT infrastructure that can service modern data center IT requirements.

Additional Resources
Learn more about Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5
Learn more about Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Smart Virtualization
Learn more about Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure

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.

Read the full post »

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.

Read the full post »

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

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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.

Read the full post »

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.
Read the full post »

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 »

Juno Preview for OpenStack Compute (Nova)

by russellbryant — July 10, 2014

Originally posted on blog.russellbryant.net.

We’re now well into the Juno release cycle. Here’s my take on a preview of some of what you can expect in Juno for Nova.

NFV

One area receiving a lot of focus this cycle is NFV. We’ve started an upstream NFV sub-team for OpenStack that is tracking and helping to drive requirements and development efforts in support of NFV use cases. If you’re not familiar with NFV, here’s a quick overview that was put together by the NFV sub-team:

NFV stands for Network Functions Virtualization. It defines the
replacement of usually stand alone appliances used for high and low
level network functions, such as firewalls, network address translation,
intrusion detection, caching, gateways, accelerators, etc, into virtual
instance or set of virtual instances, which are called Virtual Network
Functions (VNF). In other words, it could be seen as replacing some of
the hardware network appliances with high-performance software taking
advantage of high performance para-virtual devices, other acceleration
mechanisms, and smart placement of instances. The origin of NFV comes
from a working group from the European Telecommunications Standards
Institute (ETSI) whose work is the basis of most current
implementations. The main consumers of NFV are Service providers
(telecommunication providers and the like) who are looking to accelerate
the deployment of new network services, and to do that, need to
eliminate the constraint of slow renewal cycle of hardware appliances,
which do not autoscale and limit their innovation.

NFV support for OpenStack aims to provide the best possible
infrastructure for such workloads to be deployed in, while respecting
the design principles of a IaaS cloud. In order for VNF to perform
correctly in a cloud world, the underlying infrastructure needs to
provide a certain number of functionalities which range from scheduling
to networking and from orchestration to monitoring capacities. This
means that to correctly support NFV use cases in OpenStack,
implementations may be required across most, if not all, main OpenStack
projects, starting with Neutron and Nova.

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OpenStack Summit, Atlanta 2014: Year of the superuser?

by Steve Gordon, Product Manager, Red Hat — June 3, 2014

The OpenStack community gathered recently in Atlanta to define the roadmap for the upcoming Juno release cycle and reflect on Icehouse. Icehouse is the release that forms the basis of the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, a beta for which was announced during the week.

The biannual summit moved back to North America and again increased in size with some 4500 stackers in attendance, up from 3500 in Hong Kong only six months ago. The OpenStack Foundation again handled this with aplomb, organizing an excellent event in the spacious Georgia World Congress Center.

2014, year of the superuser?

The increased presence of OpenStack superusers at this summit was hard to miss with several keynote appearances including AT&T, Disney, Sony, and Wells Fargo as well as many other users leading or participating in general summit sessions. A convenient youtube playlist listing these user-led sessions has since been made available. The OpenStack Foundation also recently launched the superuser.openstack.org publication to coincide with this renewed push to bring users forward.

 

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Open, modular architecture brings flexibility and agility to the data center

by Shashi Sastry, Senior Product Manager, Nuage Networks — May 15, 2014

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Recently there has been a flurry of activity in the Open Source community – blog posts, articles, tweets. The discussion is about Application deployment and Policy enforcement in the data center. Why all the banter?  Reason – it is simpler for developers to set up services using an application-centric view rather than a network-centric view; and it allows them to do so without sacrificing application or data security. Nuage Networks has been a strong advocate of an Application Centric Policy framework. As a result, the Nuage Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) supported integrated policy from day one when we launched our product a year ago. We have continued to enhance this policy framework, which aligns with the current trends.

Figure 1 Application Centric view for a three tier application framework

Figure 1: Application Centric view for a three tier application framework

We are delighted that the Open Source community is beginning to share our point of view. This is reflected with the Neutron Group Policy extension work in OpenStack. Nuage is strongly committed to supporting this effort by contributing to the Neutron Core development. As part of this effort, we will also be providing support for Nuage VSP as a Network Policy provider in OpenStack Read the full post »

Is the next battle in the Cloud Price War going to end up in your datacenter?

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

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Why you need billing and chargeback for Openstack and what to expect from Red Hat and Talligent.

There is a cloud price war going on and the impact is felt across all IT service delivery, public and private.  The big players such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Centurylink, have all recently announced dramatically lower prices and new functionality. Market pundits expect that these announcements are just the beginning of falling prices as cloud providers move to take advantage of the massive shift of IT services to the cloud and work to grab market share.

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Why Brocade’s Close Collaboration With Red Hat Matters To Your Business

by Lisa Caywood, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Brocade — May 13, 2014

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Cloud.
Open.
Software-Defined.

These are the hot buzzwords of the last year or two, yes, but not without cause. Cloud is finally becoming real, albeit a bit differently than many envisioned a few years ago: the relative aggressiveness of public providers compared to most enterprises has created a functional chasm that small and midsize enterprises are unlikely, at this point, to try to fill—it’s easier to outsource many workloads.

The economic realities of the cloud marketplace dictate that service agility trumps almost everything else. Until very recently, this could be accomplished via tight (and expensive, and often lengthy) integration between the physical infrastructure and some sort of cloud management framework, most of which were retrofitted to deal with VMs. Generally the best way to make this work was rigorous standardization of the physical infrastructure. Read the full post »

Sahara: OpenStack Elastic Hadoop on Demand

by Sean Cohen, Principal Technical Product Manager, Red Hat — May 12, 2014
“When elephants cross the world's hottest desert…”

“When elephants cross the world’s hottest desert…”

Introduction
Anyone who is serious about big data, scale out applications and cloud infrastructure should want to intimately understand the benefits of scale out architecture and the resource elasticity of cloud services. As we continue our evolution into a deeper understanding of data, we see a need agile access to an elastic big data platform. Such a platform can allow us to capture, synthesize and quantify data into business value.

Enter OpenStack Sahara – the intersection of Hadoop and OpenStack.

As an OpenStack project started by Red Hat, Mirantis and Hortonworks during the OpenStack Havana summit in Portland, Sahara was incubated for the OpenStack Icehouse release and is expected to be integrated for OpenStack Juno by the end of 2014.

Sahara’s mission is to provide a scalable data processing stack and associated management interfaces. Sahara delivers on that mission by providing the ability to rapidly create and manage Apache Hadoop™ clusters and easily run workloads across them. All on OpenStack managed infrastructure, without having to deal with the details of cluster management.

With full cluster lifecycle management, provisioning, scaling and termination, Sahara allows the user to select different Hadoop versions, cluster topology and node hardware details. Read the full post »

The Evolution of an Ecosystem: Why Certified Partners are Critical

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

RHOSCIPN_logo_smallBy Mike Werner, Senior Director of Global Technology Ecosystems, Red Hat

 

Customers evolving toward an open, cloud-enabled IT can enjoy  OpenStack’s benefits: broad industry support, vendor neutrality, fast-paced innovation. As they move into implementation, their requirements for OpenStack solutions often share a familiar theme: enterprise-ready, fully supported, well-integrated products. The right answer should require all layers, from hardware to applications, to interoperate to add value but not complexity. This approach mandates collaboration from multiple vendors, and alignment on business and technology. In other words, a platform ecosystem.

How do we build such an ecosystem for the cloud?

We start with the solid underpinning of the OpenStack project, with its large community of technology players working on continuous testing and integration of their components, such as Networking plugins and Storage drivers.
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Build a foundation for your private cloud – A Red Hat Summit session recap

by Raissa Tona, Principal Product Marketing Manager, Red Hat — May 9, 2014

Red Hat Summit 2014 marked the 10th anniversary for the annual Red Hat conference. The Summit offers an opportunity for our customers, partners, and other stakeholders to interact face to face with Red Hatters who bring to life some of the products that help their organizations to innovate and to gain a competitive edge. Speaking of customers, I was privileged to moderate a panel titled “Build a foundation for your private cloud”. The panelists included Nirmal Mehta, Lead Technologist, Booz Allen Hamilton; Bernard Lee, Group head of IT and VP of Process and Innovation, YTL Power; Melvin Soh, Manager, High Performance Computing Centre, Nanyang Technical University; and Venkatesh Jakka, Manager, Systems, Chicago Board of Exchange.

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