How to choose the best-fit hardware for your OpenStack deployment

One of the benefits of OpenStack is the ability to deploy the software on standard x86 hardware, and thus not be locked-in to custom architectures and high prices from specialized vendors.

Before you select your x86 hardware, you might want to consider how you will resolve hardware/software related issues:

  • Is my distribution of OpenStack and the underlying Linux, certified to run on the hardware I use?
  • Will the vendor of my OpenStack distribution work with my hardware vendor to resolve issues?

There was a panel session  (Cisco, Ooyala, Sprint, and Shutterfly) on OpenStack use cases at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver, May 2015. At the end, an audience member asked “How important is it that the OpenStack distribution is  certified to run on the hardware you use?

To listen to the panelists’ answer, (less than two minutes), click here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwCq9r9cExM&feature=youtu.be&t=2594

From the video

Cisco’s Director of Engineering and Operations, Rafi Khardalian:

  1. “OpenStack is a sliver of a large stack of software you are running.”
  2. “The Linux kernel is a key component and it is vitally critical to test it against the hardware you are running, so that the Linux kernel is reliable and can offer all the features you need consumed up the stack into OpenStack….. Example
    1. How reliable is the VXLAN?
    2. We found better reliability with Intel cards vs Broadcom cards…. it is the maturity of the driver set.”

And Ilan Rabinovich from Ooyala:

  • “Some of the more painful experiences we experienced…that piece of hardware and that driver are not making friends…its where you spend the most time troubleshooting.”

Next Steps to Consider

Red Hat maintains a large ecosystem of certified hardware and software vendors across all products. Specifically for OpenStack there are more than 900 certified products.  Together with our certified hardware vendors, and over 20 years of Linux experience, Red Hat is well equipped to resolve issues across the entire stack: Hardware, Linux,  KVM hypervisor and OpenStack.