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.

 

This summit also saw the introduction of a new operator’s track, a well received opportunity for operators to share their common experiences with OpenStack. The operator session on Upgrades and Deployment Approaches was particularly well attended, with a packed room and up to 86 people connected to the shared etherpad recording minutes.

 

In addition many OpenStack projects took advantage of the opportunity to engage the operator community by scheduling combined developer/operator design sessions to help with prioritization of development for the Juno cycle.

 

Network Function Virtualization

Among the many superusers present were a number of well recognized communication service providers, many of whom have been deploying OpenStack for proof-of-concept and even production usage for some time now. These service providers are working to decouple their network functions from the physical hardware infrastructure to instead be deployed as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) on OpenStack clouds, providing increased scale and agility, and in the process reinventing their industry.

 

In recognition of the increased focus on running NFV workloads on OpenStack – and the unique opportunity the summit provides to bring developers and superusers together – an NFV-focussed “Birds of a Feather” session was held. This was extremely well attended and co-incided with the creation of a new subteam to focus on cross-project community collaboration to promote continued innovation in this area.

 

During the week Red Hat also announced our collaboration with eNovance to further our efforts at upstream collaboration to support NFV workloads on OpenStack and an Early Adopter Program for carriers and telecommunications service providers interested in exploring the benefits of OpenStack-based clouds for NFV projects.

 

Some NFV-related highlights from the general sessions included Toby Ford’s (AT&T) keynote, Fernando “Fred” Olivero’s (Verizon) lunch and learn, a presentation on IPv6 networking in OpenStack, a panel on the future of OpenStack networking, and a presentation on the OpenStack-based CloudBand NFV Platform from Alcatel-Lucent.

 

The summit again saw strong interest in OpenDaylight, an open source project aiming to drive adoption of SDN by providing a robust and extensible SDN platform. Sessions included a panel, developer session, and a demonstration. To see what all the fuss is about you can try it out with RDO using PackStack today.

 

To help you catch up on these and all of the other NFV and SDN related sessions we’ve collated a list of the best.

 

OpenStack for the enterprise and beyond

Over the last twelve months one of the most frequently posed questions, and one that was asked again in the Scaling OpenStack for the Enterprise panel, has been “is OpenStack ready for the enterprise?”. As referenced above the increasing presence of enterprise users at summit suggests the answer is an emphatic yes, though how rapid OpenStack adoption is varies based on the enterprises involved.

 

For many organizations the stability of OpenStack Networking (Neutron) and lack of full feature parity with the legacy nova-network service continues to provide a barrier to entry, as does the lack of a clear migration path. These issues were much discussed at summit and will continue to be a real focus for the distributed Neutron team during the Juno release cycle including at a planned mid-cycle meetup.

 

With a view to continuing to facilitate enterprise adoption at a time when many organizations are looking to move their OpenStack deployments from the proof-of-concept phase to production Red Hat, Dell, and SolidFire announced a jointly produced reference architecture for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack deployments. Red Hat also announced a collaboration with NetApp to deliver an open hybrid cloud reference architecture based on OpenStack IceHouse. They also continue to collaborate on the Manila project, an effort to add a shared filesystem service to OpenStack, providing coordinated access to shared or distributed file systems.

 

Based on open technologies, these architectures are expected to help organizations build agile, interoperable private and hybrid clouds that are easily managed, massively scalable, and highly reliable.

 

To further assist enterprise users and the wider open source community with building open hybrid clouds Red Hat also announced the creation of the ManageIQ.org community around the coming open source release of the ManageIQ cloud management platform. This open source project is based on Red Hat CloudForms and is intended to fuel community innovation in the cloud management platform space. It currently includes support for managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Amazon EC2, VMware vCenter and Microsoft Hyper-V environments from management console.

 

What next?

As usual the summit provided an amazing forum for the community collaboration and design work required to build out the next community release of OpenStack, Juno. We will be reporting on these developments as they happen over the coming months as well as providing helpful shortcuts to trying out some of the new functionality using RDO milestone builds. The first Juno milestone is already just around the corner!

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