Using OpenStack: Building a Private Cloud with Managed Service Providers

Since 2011, when OpenStack was first released to the community, the following and momentum behind it has been amazing. In fact, it quickly became one of the fastest growing open source projects in the history of open source. Now, with nearly 700 community sponsors, over 600 different modules, and over 50,000 lines of code contributed, OpenStack has become the default platform of choice for much of the private and public cloud infrastructure.

This kind of growth doesn’t happen by chance. It’s because businesses and organizations alike have experienced *real* benefits, whether it be creating greater efficiency, faster time to market, automated infrastructure management, or simply saving them money, just to name a few.

However, as OpenStack technology and the cloud market matures, how OpenStack is delivered to customers by vendors, as well as how businesses choose to consume the technology, has introduced many new methodologies and options. These new options simply provide customers the flexibility to determine the best consumption method for their unique business that allows them to reap all the benefits of OpenStack, but with minimal disruption – all while adhering to their IT operational goals, policies, and staff capabilities.

One option that has come from this maturity, is the option for a “managed” cloud, being delivered by a managed service provider (or MSP). This option allows customers to maintain a private cloud, either on premises or off, but leave the burden of deployment, configuration, and day-to-day management to a hired, experienced team of experts. And while this does cost you a monthly/annual subscription to retain their services, it relieves you from the complexities of having to do this yourself. Many businesses may find that their internal IT teams may be understaffed, unskilled, or simply better off utilizing their resources elsewhere.

In this case, businesses might want to consider an OpenStack managed service provider to help move their business into the digital age and create modern cloud services to offer their internal end users or external customers.

At Red Hat, we believe OpenStack is a key component to digital transformation and helping move organizations to a modern cloud solution stack. And we’ve worked hard to establish Red Hat OpenStack Platform as an industry standard for private and public cloud infrastructure. As a result, we have hundreds of customers including the likes of BBVA; Cambridge University; FICO; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Paddy Power Betfair; Produban; Swisscom; UKCloud; and Verizon to name a few. In addition, we’ve spent years working with our partner ecosystem to establish deep, engineering-level partnerships with our partners to provide a robust, enterprise-level cloud that is capable of standing up to the rigors of production deployments.

In particular, we’ve been working to establish strong partnerships with our managed service providers, that include engineering and product-level integration, as a way for our customers to maintain a consistent and high level of quality, regardless of how they choose to consume OpenStack. However, we recognized that businesses around the globe operate at different levels and have their own unique preferences for specific and strategic technology partners. So rather than work with only one global provider, we wanted to stick to what Red Hat does best and provide choice to our customers around the globe.

First, we started with the original creators of OpenStack themselves – Rackspace. If Rackspace recognized the quality and open source leadership Red Hat maintains, we knew we would be able to make OpenStack’s benefits more accessible to customers. And after years of collaboration, it made sense to come together on an OpenStack managed service offering. Then we continued our collaboration efforts, working more closely with Cisco to release Cisco Metacloud (formerly called Metapod) powered by Red Hat OpenStack Platform, as we know many companies rely on Cisco for their datacenter infrastructure and service needs. And more recently, we announced a joint offering with IBM and their BlueMix Private Cloud with Red Hat technology, which also includes Red Hat Ceph Storage to help customers meet their storage needs at scale.

And while some customers may choose a global service provider like the three I just mentioned, we also recognize that some customers prefer smaller, regional service providers; whether it be to adhere to security policies or maybe just to support local businesses. Regardless, we’ve established a large and growing ecosystem of regional managed service providers like UKCloud (UK), Detacon (Saudi Arabia), Swisscom (Switzerland), Epbi (Netherlands), Blackmesh (North America public sector), NEC America (public sector), and more. These regional providers can help you establish a foothold into the digital age by moving to a scalable and more secure private cloud to meet the demands of your customers and support the future growth of your business.

In addition to our expanding ecosystem of MSP partnerships, we’ve also empowered our existing customers with the flexibility of utilizing their existing Red Hat subscriptions with these certified managed service providers, should they choose to. Existing customers can utilize our Cloud Access Program to help maintain business continuity with their current Red Hat Subscriptions.
Our goal is to help businesses like yours with their digital transformation journey to the cloud. Regardless of how you choose to consume the latest software technologies like Red Hat OpenStack Platform or Red Hat Ceph Storage, we work hard to ensure we’re always putting our customer needs first, providing long-term stability with minimal disruption to your business, and building everything on open standards and APIs to provide the flexibility and choice you need to meet the demands of your growing business. To learn more about Red Hat’s cloud technologies or find a certified managed service provider near you, reach out to us anytime. We look forward to helping you achieve your digital transformation goals!