Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 is here!

Accelerate. Innovate. Empower.

In the digital economy, IT organizations can be expected to deliver services anytime, anywhere, and to any device. IT speed, agility, and innovation can be critical to help stay ahead of your competition. Red Hat OpenStack Platform lets you build an on-premise cloud environment designed to accelerate your business, innovate faster, and empower your IT teams.

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Red Hat Certified Cloud Architect – An OpenStack Perspective – Part Two

Previously we learned about what the Red Hat Certified Architect certification is and what exams are included in the “OpenStack-focused” version of the certification. This week we want to focus on personal experience and benefits from achieving this milestone.

Let’s be honest, even for the most skilled engineers the path to becoming an RHCA can be quite challenging and even a little bit intimidating!  Not only do the exams test your ability to perform specific tasks based on the certification requirements, but they also test your ability to repurpose that knowledge and combine it with the knowledge of other technologies while solving extremely complex scenarios.  This can make achieving the RHCA even more difficult; however, it also makes achieving the RHCA extremely validating and rewarding.

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Photo by Samuel Clara on Unsplash

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Red Hat Certified Cloud Architect – An OpenStack Perspective – Part One

The Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) is the highest certification provided by Red Hat. To many, it can be looked at as a “holy grail” of sorts in open source software certifications. It’s not easy to get. In order to receive it, you not only need to already be a Red Hat Certified Engineer  (RHCE) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (with the Red Hat Certified System Administrator, (RHCSA) as pre-requisite) but also pass additional exams from various technology categories.

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Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

There are roughly 20 exams to choose from that qualify towards the RHCA. Each exam is valid for 3 years, so as long as you complete 5 exams within a 3 year period, you will qualify for the RHCA. With that said, you must keep these exams up to date if you don’t want to lose your RHCA status.

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An Introduction to Fast Forward Upgrades in Red Hat OpenStack Platform

OpenStack momentum continues to grow as an important component of hybrid cloud, particularly among enterprise and telco. At Red Hat, we continue to seek ways to make it easier to consume. We offer extensive, industry-leading training, an easy to use installation and lifecycle management tool, and the advantage of being able to support the deployment from the app layer to the OS layer.

One area that some of our customers ask about is the rapid release cycle of OpenStack. And while this speed can be advantageous in getting key features to market faster, it can also be quite challenging to follow for customers looking for stability.

With the release of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 in December 2016, we introduced a solution to this challenge – we call it the Long Life release. This type of release includes support for a single OpenStack release for a minimum of three years plus an option to extend another two full years. We offer this via an ELS (Extended Life Support) allowing our customers to remain on a supported, production-grade OpenStack code base for far longer than the usual 6 month upstream release cycle. Then, when it’s time to upgrade, they can upgrade in-place and without additional hardware to the next Long Life release. We aim to designate a Long Life release every third release, starting with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 (Newton).

Now, with the upcoming release of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 (Queens), we are introducing our second Long Life release. This means we can, finally and with great excitement, introduce the world to our latest new feature: the fast forward upgrade.

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Enabling Keystone’s Fernet Tokens in Red Hat OpenStack Platform

As we learned in part one of this blog post, beginning with the OpenStack Kilo release, a new token provider is now available as an alternative to PKI and UUID. Fernet tokens are essentially an implementation of ephemeral tokens in Keystone. What this means is that tokens are no longer persisted and hence do not need to be replicated across clusters or regions.

“In short, OpenStack’s authentication and authorization metadata is neatly bundled into a MessagePacked payload, which is then encrypted and signed as a Fernet token. OpenStack Kilo’s implementation supports a three-phase key rotation model that requires zero downtime in a clustered environment.” (from: http://dolphm.com/openstack-keystone-fernet-tokens/)

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An Introduction to Fernet tokens in Red Hat OpenStack Platform

Thank you for joining me to talk about Fernet tokens. In this first of three posts on Fernet tokens, I’d like to go over the definition of OpenStack tokens, the different types and why Fernet tokens should matter to you. This series will conclude with some awesome examples of how to use Red Hat Ansible to manage your Fernet token keys in production.

First, some definitions …

What is a token? OpenStack tokens are bearer tokens, used to authenticate and validate users and processes in your OpenStack environment. Pretty much any time anything happens in OpenStack a token is involved. The OpenStack Keystone service is the core service that issues and validates tokens. Using these tokens, users and and software clients via API’s authenticate, receive, and finally use that token when requesting operations ranging from creating compute resources to allocating storage. Services like Nova or Ceph then validate that token with Keystone and continue on with or deny the requested operation. The following diagram, shows a simplified version of this dance.

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Courtesy of the author

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Using Red Hat OpenStack Platform director to deploy co-located Ceph storage – Part One

An exciting new feature in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 11 is full Red Hat OpenStack Platform director support for deploying Red Hat Ceph storage directly on your overcloud compute nodes. Often called hyperconverged, or HCI (for Hyperconverged Infrastructure), this deployment model places the Red Hat Ceph Storage Object Storage Daemons (OSDs) and storage pools directly on the compute nodes.

Co-locating Red Hat Ceph Storage in this way can significantly reduce both the physical and financial footprint of your deployment without requiring any compromise on storage.

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Tuning for Zero Packet Loss in Red Hat OpenStack Platform – Part 3

In Part 1 of this series Federico Iezzi, EMEA Cloud Architect with Red Hat covered the architecture and planning requirements to begin the journey into achieving zero packet loss in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 for NFV deployments. In Part 2 he went into the details around the specific tuning and parameters required. Now, in Part 3, Federico concludes the series with an example of how all this planning and tuning comes together!

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Tuning for Zero Packet Loss in Red Hat OpenStack Platform – Part 2

Ready for more Fast Packets?!

In Part 1 we reviewed the fundamentals of achieving zero packet loss, covering the concepts behind the process. In his next instalment Federico Iezzi, EMEA Cloud Architect with Red Hat continues his series diving deep into the details behind the tuning.

Buckle in and join the fast lane of packet processing!

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Tuning for Zero Packet Loss in Red Hat OpenStack Platform – Part 1

For Telcos considering OpenStack, one of the major areas of focus can be around network performance. While the performance discussion may often begin with talk of throughput numbers expressed in Million-packets-per-second (Mpps) values across Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) hardware, it really is only the tip of the performance iceberg. The most common requirement is to have absolutely stable and deterministic network performance (Mpps and latency) over the absolutely fastest possible throughput. With that in mind, many applications in the Telco space require low latency that can only tolerate zero packet loss.

In this “Operationalizing OpenStack” blogpost Federico Iezzi, EMEA Cloud Architect with Red Hat, discusses some of the real-world deep tuning and process required to make zero packet loss a reality!

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