Taking the FUD out of private cloud and OpenStack

Even though it’s been around since 2000, with technology like OpenStack, there’s a lot of hype (and fear, uncertainty, and doubt–or FUD) to weed through. Is OpenStack being used in production? Is public cloud the new cloud?

Margaret Dawson, head of global product marketing at Red Hat, started her Building a private cloud with OpenStack Summit session saying she would arm us with “ways to combat the hype in the marketing, ways to justify why you want to use OpenStack, and real-world examples of OpenStack deployments.”

What is OpenStack?

A modular, open-source software platform for cloud computing with components that manage resources or compute, networking, and storage. In IT parlance, it’s private cloud, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Why should you care?

  • Private cloud computing is the #1 major IT initiative planned for completion in 2016 by Red Hat customers
  • OpenStack is the leading private cloud technology (40% of Red Hat customers polled plan on launching OpenStack POC or production deployment)

Continue reading “Taking the FUD out of private cloud and OpenStack”

Live from the Summit: Intro to Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform

oxanham-RHEL-OSP-sessionIf you’ve been anywhere near a tech conference, blog, or the word “cloud” in the last year, you’ve probably heard about OpenStack. It’s one of the most exciting projects right now in the open source community, and with good reason. But what does it do, and what is Red Hat’s involvement in the project?

Rhys Oxenham, OpenStack field product manager for Red Hat, answered these questions and more in a standing-room only afternoon session on Tuesday.

THE WHAT

“In the most basic sense,” he said, “OpenStack is an open source cloud operating system. It has a number of sub-projects and building blocks that let you create an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud.”

OpenStack’s architecture has 9 components, such as identity, image service, object store, orchestration, and more, and each serves a uniquely separate purpose. They combine to offer “a framework for how you would implement a cloud, relying on plugins and drivers to let you configure the cloud you want to choose,” said Oxenham.

Developed by a community of contributors, both individual and corporate, OpenStack offers an innovative alternative to propriety cloud services. The community produces a new release every 6 months, and the timing for Oxenham’s session is perfect—the next release, codename “Icehouse,” is due out on April 17.

The current release, Havana, had 13,700+ code commits, 920 individual contributors, 150+ organizations, and 400+ new features. “It’s growing exponentially,” said Oxenham.

THE WHY

Traditional IT has its share of issues, as Oxenham explained. “There’s too much data, and service requests are too large,” he said. “Applications weren’t written to cope with this kind of demand, and performance is slipping as a result.”

“Public clouds are setting the benchmark for how IT can deliver to users, but not all organizations are ready yet,” said Oxenham. “With OpenStack, you get public cloud-like capabilities behind the privacy of your own internal firewall.”

Red Hat got involved with OpenStack 10 months after the project launched in July 2010 and has been the “No.1 corporate contributor for the last 2 releases,” Oxenham said. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform offers all of the benefits of the community in an enterprise-grade product, “built specifically for, and tightly integrated with, [Red Hat Enterprise Linux], with a focus on code maturity, stability, and security.”

THE WHOA

The afternoon session promised a live demo of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and Oxenham delivered. After logging in as an unprivileged user, Oxenham walked the crowd through a tour of the dashboard and a step-by-step guide to creating a workflow for launching an instance. A moment of suspense…and the instance was successfully launched (we had all the faith in the world, Rhys).

After briefly reviewing the security group rule options, his virtual machine (VM) became active, and he showed the overview, log, and console views of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 VM running on top of OpenStack.

In just under 8 minutes, Oxenham showed how to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to launch a successful VM instance—a fitting conclusion to a solid introduction.

More information

 

Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: 3:40 p.m., Tues April 15, 2014
Type: Session
Track: Cloud readiness
Title: Introduction to Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
Speaker: Rhys Oxenham (Red Hat)

Live from the Summit: Best practices for PaaS, OpenStack, & cloud adoption

13883319464_9c866cf43e_zDefining a cloud strategy for your organization comes with a lot of questions, but once you’ve answered the why, you need the how. Enter best practices for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), OpenStack, and more with industry expert David S. Linthicum and Red Hat cloud evangelist Gordon Haff.

After covering emerging standards in cloud adoption, Linthicum discussed 3 important questions to ask yourself as you look for solutions to fit your IT needs:

1. What is open and extensible?
2. What is cost-effective?
3. What meets your damn requirements?

That led him to best practice #1: Open your mind. “Coming in with a pure-born view of everything you’re going to leverage and ‘damn if it doesn’t meet your requirements’ is a dangerous approach,” said Linthicum. An open mind is essential for a mix-and-match environment, where you have to find what just works. “What impresses me about Red Hat is that it works and plays with other stuff really well,” he said.

The audience comprised a variety of verticals—when asked, hands shot up representing transportation, healthcare, tech, retail, finance, and more. That certainly speaks to the broad appeal of open cloud solutions, but Linthicum brought up an interesting and often overlooked trend: “The larger the industry gets, the more likely they are to fail because they don’t like to share [IT services or knowledge],” he warned.

That brought us to best practice #2: Go hire someone with a brain. “You need someone who can make the appropriate calls so that you’re marching in the right direction,” said Linthicum.

Most cloud-based systems are lacking architecture, and what’s more, solutions architects can get too narrowly focused on their own areas. “Typically, people aren’t going to have a range of skills that lets them be agnostic architects to make the right decision from all available choices,” Linthicum said. Hence, the need for open minds and sharp brains.

CAUGHT IN THE TRAP

One of the common pitfalls organizations make when investing in cloud resources is when that investment ignores training, or proofs of concept, or support. As a result, he described, many clouds are not meeting expectations.

Additionally, customers get caught up in the technology itself sometimes. “They call up and the first thing they want to know is ‘what’s the best out there? Amazon? Google? Red Hat?’ instead of asking ‘what’s the best solution for me?” said Linthicum.

That reinforced the advantage of keeping an open mind and choosing open cloud infrastructures.

13883316664_ff9c1f7d0c_zA FIRESIDE CHAT

The session pivoted from structured presentation to a “fireside chat” of sorts as Red Hat’s Gordon Haff steered the hour into audience interaction, which he found in spades.

One audience member asked about adoption habits or trends with PaaS, which coincided with another question about multi-hypervisor strategies. Linthicum explained that a lot of PaaS use is initially small at first but increasing to more mission-critical apps. “If you look at IDC and Gartner, they show a lot more multi-hypervisor use out there. It’s becoming the norm,” he said. “People aren’t throwing out VMware but they’re initially adopting KVM, RHEV, and Hyper-V for new types of projects so they don’t have to increase their VMware spending.”

Another audience member asked about private/public hybrid infrastructure approaches to PaaS. Haff described the variety of options within the OpenShift portfolio—Red Hat’s offering—including OpenShift Online for public and OpenShift Enterprise for private PaaS. Both got ringing endorsements from Linthicum. “Theirs is pretty much the only one in the industry that just works right now. It’s rock-solid, and I have no problems saying that” he said.

 

More information

 

Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: Tues, April 15, 2014
Type: Session
Title: Best practices for PaaS, OpenStack, & cloud adoption
Speaker: David S. Linthicum (Cloud Technology Partners), Gordon Haff (Red Hat)

GlusterFS: Current state & roadmap

In this session, we’ll provide an update on the current state of the GlusterFS community and discuss future directions of the project. Attendees will learn:

  • Details on new features in the recent GlusterFS 3.5 and 3.6 releases.
  • What lies ahead in GlusterFS 4.
  • How GlusterFS is being integrated with other projects in the open source ecosystem, including OpenStack, oVirt, and Apache Hadoop.
  • Use cases.

Red Hat Certification update, changes, & roadmap

Red Hat’s certification program will celebrate its 15th year of helping IT professionals prove their skills and knowledge through rigorous, hands-on testing. In this session, we’ll discuss changes and additions to this program in support of Red Hat’s growing emerging technology portfolio, including new architect-level certifications. We’ll also discuss planned changes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

Red Hat Certified Professionals (RHCPs) are especially encouraged to attend but everyone with an interest in Red Hat’s certification program and its new directions is welcome.

Real-world perspectives: Innovation Award finalists

Join the 2014 Red Hat Innovation Award finalists to learn how they use Red Hat solutions to stay ahead of the evolving IT curve. With 5 industries represented, you’ll hear about about various technology challenges and solutions. Learn how each of the winning organizations teamed with Red Hat to modernize and scale their infrastructures while saving costs.

Open, software-defined storage: The new priority for modern datacenters

Datacenter modernization is a priority for everyone working with virtualization, cloud, hybrid, and fabric architectures and technologies. Yet, traditional approaches to traditional data management are like anchoring your modern speedboat with cement. Enter open software-defined storage, a new approach to storage that brings applications closer to data while adding agility and intelligence.

In this new world of big data and open cloud environments like OpenStack, open, software-defined storage enables you to deploy storage how you need to, when you need to, and where you need to: in the cloud, in virtual or physical environments.

In this session, you’ll learn how customers are changing their relationships with traditional storage vendors and capitalizing on today’s economics with Red Hat Storage Server. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of software-defined storage and if you’re ready to capitalize on it.

Automating Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments with Cisco ACI & OpenStack

The drive to simplify IT tasks has led to Cisco developing an open application-centric policy model as the foundation for datacenter automation.

In this session, you’ll learn how:

  • To incorporate an application-centric SDN policy model for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OVS deployments.
  • The ACI model can easily be incorporated into an OpenStack management framework.
  • Cisco is opening up the ACI framework and working with various open source communities.