9 tips to properly configure your OpenStack Instance

In OpenStack jargon, an Instance is a Virtual Machine, the guest workload. It boots from an operating system image, and it is configured with a certain amount of CPU, RAM and disk space, amongst other parameters such as networking or security settings.

In this blog post kindly contributed by Marko Myllynen we’ll explore nine configuration and optimization options that will help you achieve the required performance, reliability and security that you need for your workloads.

Some of the optimizations can be done inside a guest regardless of what has the OpenStack Cloud Administrator enabled in your cloud. However, more advanced options require prior enablement and, possibly, special host capabilities. This means many of the options described here will depend on how the Administrator configured the cloud, or may not be available for some tenants as they are reserved for certain groups. More information about this subject can be found on the Red Hat Documentation Portal and its comprehensive guide on OpenStack Image Service. Similarly, the upstream OpenStack documentation has some extra guidelines available.

The following configurations should be evaluated for any VM running on any OpenStack environment. These changes have no side-effects and are typically safe to enable even if unused

openstack-libvirt-images

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Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 is here! So what’s new?

UPDATE Jan 16th: new OSP10 + CEPH 2 Hyper Converged Infrastructure Reference Architecture

It’s that time of the year. We all look back at 2016, think about the good and bad things, and wish that Santa brings us the gifts we deserve. We, at Red Hat, are really proud to bring you a present for this holiday season: a new version of Red Hat OpenStack Platform, version 10 (press release and release notes). This is our best release ever, so we’ve named it our first Long Life release (up to 5 years support), and this blog post will show you why this will be the perfect gift for your private cloud project.

red-hat-openstack-platform-10

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6 videos on how to install Red Hat OpenStack Platform and CloudForms

Our excellent Training & Certification team has posted some videos in our RedHatCloud youtube channel that quickly go over the installation procedure of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8, and how to boot a CloudForms instance to perform basic management functions. Kudos to our awesome video team (Jim Meegan and Ben Oliver) and to our curriculum architect (Forrest Taylor).

These videos were first developed as guided demonstrations for use in our Red Hat OpenStack Administration II (CL210) and Red Hat CloudForms Hybrid Cloud Management (CL220) courses. Now they are available for you to view for free. Remember that we also offer a free introductory course, the CL010 Red Hat OpenStack Technical Overview, to get a taste of our courses.

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Full Stack Automation with Ansible and OpenStack

Ansible offers great flexibility. Because of this the community has figured out many useful ways to leverage Ansible modules and playbook structures to automate frequent operations on multiple layers, including using it with OpenStack.

In this blog we’ll cover the many use-cases for Ansible, the most popular automation software, with OpenStack, the most popular cloud infrastructure software. We’ll help you understand here how and why you should use Ansible to make your life easier, in what we like to call Full-Stack Automation.ansible openstack automation

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Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9 is here! So what’s new?

This week we released the latest version of our OpenStack product, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9. This release contains more than 500 downstream enhancements, bug fixes, documentation changes, and security updates. It’s based on the upstream OpenStack Mitaka release. We have worked hard to reduce the time to release new versions and have successfully done so with this release! Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9 contains new Mitaka features and functionality, as well as the additional hardening, stability, and certifications Red Hat is known for. Of course, there continues to be tight integration with other key portfolio products, as well as comprehensive documentation.

So what are some of the main new highlights for this release?

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TripleO (Director) Components in Detail

In our previous post we introduced Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director. We showed how at the heart of Director is TripleO, short for “OpenStack on OpenStack”. TripleO is an OpenStack project that aims to utilise OpenStack itself as the foundations for deploying OpenStack. To clarify, TripleO advocates the use of native OpenStack components, and their respective API’s to configure, deploy, and manage OpenStack environments itself.

The major benefit of utilising these existing API’s with Director is that they’re well documented, they go through extensive integration testing upstream, and are the most mature components in OpenStack. For those that are already familiar with the way that OpenStack works, it’s a lot easier to understand how TripleO (and therefore, Director) works. Feature enhancements, security patches, and bug fixes are therefore automatically inherited into Director, without us having to play catch up with the community.

With TripleO, we refer to two clouds: The first to consider is the undercloud, this is the command and control cloud in which a smaller OpenStack environment exists that’s sole purpose is to bootstrap a larger production cloud. This is known as the overcloud, where tenants and their respective workloads reside. Director sometimes is treated as a synonymous to the undercloud; Director bootstraps the undercloud OpenStack deployment and provides the necessary tooling to deploy an overcloud.

undercloud vs overcloud

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Introduction to Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director

Those familiar with OpenStack already know that deployment has historically been a bit challenging. That’s mainly because deployment includes a lot more than just getting the software installed – it’s about architecting your platform to use existing infrastructure as well as planning for future scalability and flexibility. OpenStack is designed to be a massively scalable platform, with distributed components on a shared message bus and database backend. For most deployments, this distributed architecture consists of Controller nodes for cluster management, resource orchestration, and networking services, Compute nodes where the virtual machines (the workloads) are executed, and Storage nodes where persistent storage is managed. general

The Red Hat recommended architecture for fully operational OpenStack clouds include predefined and configurable roles that are robust, resilient, ready to scale, and capable of integrating with a wide variety of existing 3rd party technologies. We do this with by leveraging the logic embedded in Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director (based on the upstream TripleO project).

With Director, you’ll use OpenStack language to create a truly Software Defined Data Center. You’ll use Ironic drivers for your initial bootstrapping of servers, and Neutron networking to define management IPs and provisioning networks. You will use Heat to document the setup of your server room, and Nova to monitor the status of your control nodes. Because Director comes with pre-defined scenarios optimized from our 20 years of Linux know-how and best practices, you will also learn how OpenStack is configured out of the box for scalability, performance, and resilience.

Why do kids in primary school learn multiplication tables when we all have calculators? Why should you learn how to use OpenStack in order to install OpenStack? Mastering these pieces is a good thing for your IT department and your own career, because they provide a solid foundation for your organization’s path to a Software Defined Data Center. Eventually, you’ll have all your Data Center configuration in text files stored on a Git repository or on a USB drive that you can easily replicate within another data center.

In a series of coming blog posts, we’ll explain how Director has been built to accommodate the business requirements and the challenges of deploying OpenStack and its long-term management. If you are really impatient, remember that we publish all of our documentation in the Red Hat OpenStack Platform documentation portal (link to version 8).

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How connection tracking in Open vSwitch helps OpenStack performance

Written by Jiri Benc,  Senior Software Engineer, Networking Services, Linux kernel, and Open vSwitch

 

 

By introducing a connection tracking feature in Open vSwitch, thanks to the latest Linux kernel, we greatly simplified the maze of virtual network interfaces on OpenStack compute nodes and improved its networking performance. This feature will appear soon in Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Introduction

It goes without question that in the modern world, we need firewalling to protect machines from hostile environments. Any non-trivial firewalling requires you keep track of the connections to and from the machine. This is called “stateful firewalling”. Indeed, even such basic rule as “don’t allow machines from the Internet to connect to the machine while allowing the machine itself to connect to servers on the Internet” requires stateful firewall. This applies also to virtual machines. And obviously, any serious cloud platform needs such protection.

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