OpenStack DevOps Roundup: Developers Breathing Life into the Cloud


Dan Woods is CTO and editor of CITO Research, a firm that focuses on technology leadership in Forbes article, “Why OpenStack will Become the First Open DevOps Project,” he takes a look at the OpenStack Cloud Software and how it’s going to change the game by being more than just an open source software project.  Typically, the “main event” of open source is the collaboration of developers and the people who take the software and run it.  OpenStack changes all that—now collaboration includes the entirety of the design process: software, hardware, and networking.

By taking the task of collaboration and expanding it above and beyond what anyone previously thought possible Rackspace’s OpenStack project, at least according to Woods, will will formally adopt the Open DevOps vision by providing, “a stimulus that will force Amazon, a secretive company, to adopt a much more open way of guiding the massive ecosystem that is developing around its cloud computing services.”  Woods also is a believer that such a development would be in the best interest of Amazon.

The OpenStack Foundation has platinum and gold partners who are industry movers and shakers: IBM, AT&T, HP, SUSE, Cisco, Dell, and ITRI with the platinum partners providing at least two full-time developers to the OpenStack project.  Putting these heavy hitters behind OpenStack creates even more potential for magic to happen and creating an entirely new ecosystem that will revolutionize and expand upon what has already been done with the cloud.

The group meets twice yearly at a design summit, and the summit held last week was focused on the creation of software that runs parts of the cloud computing infrastructure.


Heat, by Rackspace, orchestrates multiple composite cloud applications with the AWS CloudFormation template format through OpenStack-native ReST API and a CloudFormation-compatible Query API and has quickly grown to well over 1000 commits.  Through convergence with a second team at Rackspace working on another project, “the development of a portable syntax for application description and deployment orchestration,” with the functionality of Heat the autoscaling features will provide a much-needed product for Rackspace customers.


VMware acquired Nicira in July 2012, and instead of allowing their work on OpenStack to fly under the radar, VMware instead nearly doubled the number of developed working on the project, and they were a top 10 contributor to Grizzly.  Since the acquisition, they’ve been a part of large OpenStack deployments while integrating technology like VMware vSphere and vShield Edge.  Following a pretty basic rationale for its involvement, VMware understands that there’s a “transformation to the software-defined data center,” and that will take several different forms and they want their customers to be able to put together the technologies they require by using open frameworks.


Red Had launched their own version of OpenStack known as the Red Hat Distribution OpenStack (RDO) following surveys that showed that many companies were interested in their own private clouds and designed RDO for firms looking for “a standardized approach, as well as lock-in avoidance in their cloud architecture.”  OpenStack is used by Red Hat to provide a customized cloud provider with their platform in lieu of the virtualization vendor’s own proprietary software or using the standard of Amazon’s APIs with Eucalyptus Systems code.  RDO will run on CentOS, Fedora v. 18, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 with CentOS being the basis for Oracle’s Linux.  The general manager of Red Hat’s cloud business unit, Asheesh Bandani explains that they’re “trying to invest heavily in an open, hybrid cloud strategy… We’ve never been as well positioned as we are now,” and the results are starting to show.


Randy Bias, the CTO of Cloudscaling, has announced the third major release of Open Cloud System version 2.5 is to be made available by mid-summer with the goal of “solving the networking problem in these new clouds.”  To do this, cloud management software needs to be able to put a virtual layer on top of the physical networks existing in organizations and the 2.5 release of Cloudscaling will do exactly that, creating the virtual networks and conveying them to newly created virtual machines.  This is possible due to a collaboration with Juniper Networks which supply the virtual nets required while allowing Juniper to jump ahead of the pack in the software-defined networking crowd.  This partnership is what has allowed for the 2.5 release to create a virtual layer on top of existing physical networks.  This release will make this new release the only available OpenStack product that is a complete system.


The Wall Street Journal reports on the OpenStack Summit in Portland, OR last week and writes about Persistent System’s announcement of the Persistent Cloud Lifecycle Services, an end-to-end public, private and hybrid enterprise Cloud Practice.  Persistent Systems has widely increased its “OpenStack expertise to include workload assessment, selection and implementation, migration, Dev-Ops, disaster recovery and managed services for building and supporting infrastructure-as-a-serice (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (Paas) clouds.”  Persistent shared with the world how they can leverage OpenStack for companies in order to build these clouds that are fully integrated into the existing IT systems.

Last week was an important week for OpenStack thanks to the myriad of announcements of new products at the Summer in Portland.  With the integration of OpenStack into the business and enterprise community IT departments are better able to serve their client-base with the best product available, that can be personalized and customized for the specific needs of the organization without sacrificing.