DevOps in a Bi-Modal World (Part 2 of 4)

In Part 1 of this series we explored how IT is now faced with the challenges of what Gartner calls a Bi-Modal world where the business must continue working with their existing infrastructure and processes (Mode 1), while at the same time developing new processes and building new infrastructure to become more agile (Mode 2). The challenges are complex and we concluded that most organizations are trying to address four key problems across their emerging bi-modal world.

In mode-1 they are looking to increase relevance and reduce complexity.

In mode-2 they are looking to improve agility and increase scalability.

Here, we will discuss in more detail how organizations can address the challenges of Mode 1.

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Red Hat and Lenovo: More Choice, More Clouds

In August 2015, we released Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7, bringing some of the latest innovations of OpenStack to the enterprise in a hardened, production-ready, and simple-to-deploy solution. The latest version of Red Hat’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, based on the security and reliability of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 delivers a host of enhancements, including:

  • A new orchestration and management tool, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform director;
  • Improved network flexibility with Neutron;
  • Enhanced object and block storage functionality with integrated Red Hat Ceph Storage Server; and
  • A fully supported bare-metal deployment service (Ironic).

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DevOps in a Bi-Modal World (Part 1 of 4)

Driven by technology, the business world is rapidly changing and disruption is everywhere. The new reality for businesses is that in order to compete they must rapidly develop and deliver services to their customers, as well as to their own organization. There is much riding on IT to develop the infrastructure and processes needed to deliver services while at the same time working with existing assets and processes. In in this four part series we will explore how the business environment is changing, the challenges to IT, what needs to be done and solutions.

New realities for businesses

The business environment has never been more competitive and disruptive than it is today. Businesses need to come to terms with three realities:

  1. They need a continuous competitive advantage

Just ask Kodak who has seen the camera business transform from a standalone device to a feature on every mobile phone with new players like Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Chatbooks creating new ways of engaging with markets. If you don’t have a way of continually developing new competitive advantages you will not be relevant for long.

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Troubleshooting Networking with RHEL OpenStack Platform: meet ‘plotnetcfg’

Network troubleshooting can be hard. Network troubleshooting in a complex distributed system like OpenStack can be even harder. With a typical Neutron deployment using the Open vSwitch (OVS) plug-in, one can expect rich networking configurations on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform nodes, the Compute and Controller nodes in particular.

While the network implementation details are well hidden from the end customer (who interfaces with the Neutron API or the Horizon Dashboard), the actual backend implementation involves the creation of various Linux devices, bridges, tunnel interfaces, and network namespaces. This is where the “magic” happens, and how OpenStack tenants can create and consume network resources such as networks, IP subnets and virtual routers, and get proper communication for their applications.

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What’s new in OpenStack Liberty: webinar recap

OpenStack “Liberty,” due for imminent release, represents the 12th release of the open source computing platform for public and private clouds. Recent OpenStack releases have focused on improving stability and enhancing the operator experience. This is still the case with Liberty, but there are still new features to consider.

On October 1st we provided a sneak peek into the highlights of OpenStack Liberty, if you missed out you can now view the recording of the event on demand. As well as providing an overview the highlights of the Liberty release we also discussed the recent restructure of the way governance of OpenStack projects works, colloquially referred to as the “big tent”, and what it means for you as a consumer of OpenStack.

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Highly available virtual machines in RHEL OpenStack Platform 7

OpenStack provides scale and redundancy at the infrastructure layer to provide high availability for applications built for operation in a horizontally scaling cloud computing environment. It has been designed for applications that are “designed for failure” and voluntarily excluded features that would enable traditional enterprise applications, in fear of limiting its’ scalability and corrupting its initial goals. These traditional enterprise applications demand continuous operation, and fast, automatic recovery in the event of an infrastructure level failure. While an increasing number of enterprises look to OpenStack as providing the infrastructure platform for their forward-looking applications they are also looking  to simplify operations by consolidating their legacy application workloads on it as well.

As part of the On-Ramp to Enterprise OpenStack program, Red Hat, in collaboration with Intel, Cisco and Dell, have been working on delivering a high availability solution for such enterprise workloads running on top of OpenStack. This work provides an initial implementation of the instance high availability proposal that we put forward in the past and is included in the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7.

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Analyzing the performance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform using Rally

 In our recent blog post, we’ve discussed the steps involved in determining the performance and scalability of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform environment. To recap, we’ve recommended the following:

  1. Validate the underlying hardware performance using AHC
  2. Deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
  3. Validate the newly deployed infrastructure using Tempest
  4. Run Rally with specific scenarios that stress the control plane of OpenStack environment
  5. Run CloudBench (cbtool) experiments that stress applications running in virtual machines within OpenStack environment

In this post, we would like to focus on step 4: Running Rally with a specific scenario to stress the control plane of the OpenStack environment. The main objectives are:

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Driving in the Fast Lane: Huge Page support in OpenStack Compute

In a previous “Driving in the Fast Lane” blog post we focused on optimization of instance CPU resources. This time around let’s take a dive into the handling of system memory, and more specifically configurable page sizes. We will reuse the environment from the previous post, but add huge page support to our performance flavor.

What are Pages?

Physical memory is segmented into a series of contiguous regions called pages. For efficiency instead of accessing individual bytes of memory one by one the system retrieves memory by accessing entire pages. Each page contains a number of bytes, referred to as the page size. To do this though the system must first translate virtual addresses into physical addresses to determine which page contains the requested memory.

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Red Hat Confirms Speaking Sessions at OpenStack Summit Tokyo

As this Fall’s OpenStack Summit in Tokyo approaches, the Foundation has posted the session agenda, outlining the final schedule of events. I am happy to report that Red Hat has nearly 20 sessions that will be included in the weeks agenda, along with a few more as waiting alternates. With the limited space and shortened event this time around, I am please to see that Red Hat continues to remain in sync with the current topics, projects, and technologies the OpenStack community and customers are most interested in.

Red Hat is a Premiere sponsor in Tokyo this Fall and will have a dedicated sponsor presentation, along with our general accepted sessions. 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 and at our booth (P7). We look forward to seeing you in Tokyo in October!

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

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Big data in the open, private cloud

Organizations that take advantage of comprehensive insights from their data can gain a competitive edge. However, the ever-increasing amount of data coming in can make it hard to see trends. Adding to this challenge, many companies have data locked in silos, making it difficult—if not impossible—to gain critical insights. Big data technologies like Hadoop can help unify and organize data, but getting fast, meaningful insight still isn’t easy.

Organizations consistently face 4 main challenges when trying to implement big data initiatives:

  1. Setting up and operating a big data and analytics platform
  2. Attracting, managing, and applying big data and analytics skills
  3. Integrating insights into business processes
  4. Iterating quickly

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