Integrating OpenStack into the Enterprise

Adoption of OpenStack in the enterprise has been progressing steadily over the last two years. As a Forrester Report* on enterprise adoption from September noted, “OpenStack demonstrates the completeness, robustness, and capability upon which a broader range of adopters can depend.” OpenStack deployments have proven to be complex in larger IT organizations though, but not because of the reasons that you might anticipate. Much has been made about the complexity of installing the software, but we’ve found that the lion’s share of effort in these implementation comes around the practice of integrating IaaS into the fabric of enterprise IT and evolving existing processes to meet the expectations of the user community.

The first area where we’ve seen complexity in adoption of OpenStack is around the deployment of the infrastructure software itself. While most large organizations have a strong competency in agile development practices at the application layer these days, very few of them have a similar competency at the infrastructure layer. Disciplines like incremental release planning, automated testing, and continuous delivery are often applied to the OpenStack deployment process with great success. These application development processes and tools need to be adapted to the requirements of the infrastructure team and integrated into their workflow. The benefits of this work are large – as infrastructure teams adopt version-controlled configuration management, automated deployments, and automated testing, the scale at which they can operate is dramatically increased.

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Extending OpenStack Disaster Recovery to Google Cloud Storage

The OpenStack Backup Catalog Evolution

The OpenStack Cinder Backup service was introduced in Cinder in the Grizzly release to allow users to create backups from their volumes and store it to their Swift object storage system (still very common use case in OpenStack private clouds to date). Since then, the Backup API continued to mature with every release.

The OpenStack Backup drivers catalog have also become richer and recently added  target options for NFS and POSIX, as well as Block, such as Ceph RBD backend store, notwithstanding one of the coolest evolution points was introduced in the new OpenStack “Mitaka” release: the first integration of openstack-mitaka-logo-sm2the OpenStack Cinder Backup API with a non-OpenStack public cloud provider,  Google Cloud Platform. This is allowing backup of OpenStack Private Clouds volumes to Google Cloud Platform.


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Learn what’s coming in OpenStack “Mitaka”

As the fastest growing open source project in history, OpenStack releases fairly rapidly, with new releases twice per year. Each time, around April and October of every year, a whole plethora of new features and functions move from incubated development status to fully-baked features and accepted into the “core” OpenStack release. Rapidly approaching is the new “Mitaka” release, the 13th release of OpenStack, filled with some great new features.

To best share all the updates, we’ve put together a webinar to explain everything in much greater detail. These webinar’s provide you the opportunity to hear from our senior product managers, as well as ask questions about anything that might peak your own interest. To give you an idea of what exactly will be covered, here are some key highlights we’ll be talking about:

Compute

  • Support for Real-time KVM compute nodes and custom CPU thread policies for use by latency-sensitive NFV guest applications.
  • Improvements to the reliability of live migration to assist with application management and resiliency.
  • Progress update on Cells V2 implementation for improved scalability.

Storage

  • Support for rolling upgrades in Cinder, through backwards compatible RPC and versioned object pinning.
  • New Attached Volumes Extend API was introduced in Cinder, as well as new download/upload support for Cinder volumes in Glace repository.
  • New Disaster Recovery Share-Replication API support in Manila and improved Cinder Replication v2.1 API.

Networking

  • Continuing the work on distributed virtual routers (DVR)
  • Tenant resources cleanup
  • Improved Security Groups performance

In addition we’ll be sure to cover the state of key emerging projects including Barbican, Freezer, Manila, and Magnum, and provide some initial thoughts on what we might expect to see as we look forward to the “Newton” release cycle.

Don’t miss this “What’s New” update about the Mitaka release from two of our senior product managers, Steve Gordon and Sean Cohen. To learn more and register for this webinar, please be sure to  register here.

 

Red Hat confirms over 35 sessions at OpenStack Summit, Austin – Have a look!

As this Spring’s 2016 OpenStack Summit in Austin, TX nears, the Foundation has posted the final session agenda, outlining the week’s schedule of events. I am pleased to see that based on your voting, Red Hat continues to remain in sync with the current topics, projects, and technologies the OpenStack community and customers are most interested in. With the expectation of the largest attendee crowd yet, and some exciting advancements around containers, storage, networking, compute, and more, we look forward to sharing the 35+ generally accepted sessions, workshops, and BoFs that will be included in the weeks agenda.

Red Hat is a Headline sponsor in Austin this Spring and along with the general sessions, workshops, and breakout track, Chris Wright, VP of Software Engineering, will be giving a keynote presentation and update on our OpenStack technologies on Monday April 25th during the main keynote session segment, between 9:00-10:45am. If you’re planning to attend Jonathan’s main keynote on Monday, you’ll be able to catch Chris’s keynote as well. To learn more about Red Hat’s accepted sessions, have a look at the details below. Be sure to visit us at the below sessions, at our booth in the Marketplace, which starts on Monday evening during the booth crawl, 6-7:30pm, or come by and see us for some beer and sausage on Tuesday evening for the evening party event on Rainey St. Either way, we look forward to seeing you in Austin, Texas this April!

For more details on each session, click on the title below:

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Boosting the NFV datapath with RHEL OpenStack Platform

With software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) gaining traction, more cloud service providers are looking for open solutions, based on standardized hardware platforms and open source software. In particular, communication service providers (CSPs) are undergoing a major shift from specialized hardware-based network elements to a software based provisioning paradigm where virtualized network functions (VNFs) are deployed in private or hybrid clouds of network operators. Increasingly, OpenStack is seen as the virtual infrastructure platform of choice for NFV, with many of the world’s largest communications companies implementing solutions with OpenStack today.

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Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Cited as a Leader Among Private Cloud Software Suites by Independent Research Firm

Earlier this week, Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) was named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Private Cloud Software Suites, Q1 2016 report.

The Forrester report states that Red Hat “leads the evaluation with its powerful portal, top governance capabilities, and a strategy built around integration, open source, and interoperability. Rather than trying to build a custom approach for completing functions around operations, governance, or automation, Red Hat provides a very composable package by leveraging a mix of market standards and open source in addition to its own development.”

Moreover: “Red Hat received top marks for workflow life-cycle automation, administrative portal usability and experience, permissions, compliance tracking, capacity monitoring, platform APIs, ITSM and developer tools, and configuration management tool integration.”

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Ceilometer Polling Performance Improvement

During the OpenStack summit of May 2015 in Vancouver, the OpenStack Telemetry community team ran a session for operators to provide feedback. One of the main issues operators relayed was the polling that Ceilometer was running on Nova to gather instance information. It had a highly negative impact on the Nova API CPU usage, as it retrieves all the information about instances on regular intervals.

Indeed, it turns out that Nova is not optimizing the retrieval of these bits of information (a few rows in a database), and does not utilize a cache. Fortunately, Nova does provide a way to poll more efficiently with the Changes-Since request parameter.

As a result of this discovery, the Telemetry team built a blueprint named “resource-metadata-caching”, targeting the implementation of a local in-memory cache in Ceilometer, and the use of the Changes-Since parameter. This blueprint has been completed by Jason Myers during the Liberty development cycle and is therefore part of the final version of Ceilometer released for the Liberty cycle.

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Integrating classic IT with cloud-native

This is the fifth and final in a series of posts that delves deeper into the questions that IDC’s Mary Johnston Turner and Gary Chen considered in a recent IDC Analyst Connection. The fifth question asked:

What types of technologies are available to facilitate the integration of multiple generations of infrastructure and applications as hybrid cloud-native and conventional architectures evolve?

Mary and Gary write that “We expect that as these next-generation environments evolve, conventional and cloud-native infrastructure and development platforms will extend support for each other. As an example, OpenStack was built as a next-generation cloud-native solution, but it is now adding support for some enterprise features.”

This is the one aspect of integration. Today, it’s useful to draw a distinction between conventional and cloud-native infrastructures in part because they often use different technologies and those technologies are changing at different rates. However, as projects/products that are important for many enterprise cloud-native deployments–such as OpenStack–mature, they’re starting to adopt features associated with enterprise virtualization and enterprise management.

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Why cloud-native depends on modernization

This is the fourth in a series of posts that delves deeper into the questions that IDC’s Mary Johnston Turner and Gary Chen considered in a recent IDC Analyst Connection. The fourth question asked:

question asked:

What about existing conventional applications and infrastructure? Is it worth the time and effort to continue to modernize and upgrade conventional systems?

In an earlier post in this series, I discussed how both the economics and disruption associated with the wholesale replacement of existing IT systems makes it infeasible under most circumstances. In their answer to this question, Mary and Gary highlight the need for these existing systems to work together with new applications. As they put it: “Much of the success of cloud-native applications will depend on how well conventional systems can integrate with modern applications and support the integration and performance requirements of cloud-native developers.”

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How cloud-native needs cultural change

This is the third in a series of posts that delves deeper into the questions that IDC’s Mary Johnston Turner and Gary Chen considered in a recent IDC Analyst Connection. The third question asked:

How will IT management skills, tools, and processes need to change [with the introduction of cloud-native architectures]?

Mary and Gary note that the move to hybrid architectures “switches the IT operations team’s priorities from maintaining specific components to ensuring the delivery of end-to-end services measured in terms of service-level agreements (SLAs).” They also note that there’s a huge cultural element. For example, “Line-of-business stakeholders will have to partner with IT operations and development staff, either individually or as part of collaborative DevOps groups, to ensure that services are implemented as expected and that test-and-release cycles are well integrated.

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