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OpenStack Conference Wrapup

It’s been a few weeks since the Spring 2012 OpenStack Conference took place in San Francisco. The semi-annual event allows developers to get together and plan for the upcoming OpenStack release. It also allows for OpenStack users to show how they deploy the software in production. Given that a year ago was when Quantum, the networking component of OpenStack, was born, I thought it was a good time to reflect back on Cisco’s contribution to the 2012 OpenStack Summit. Cisco was a very active participatant at the event, both in the Design Summit as well as the conference. The OpenStack Foundations 19 members were announced just prior to the event, and Cisco is a Gold level contributor.

In the Design Summit, Cisco OpenStack Engineers made the following contributions:

  • Debo Dutta lead sessions on Quantum System Test as well as Scaling OpenStack. The session on scaling was particularly interesting, as it highlighted the gap in understanding what the current scaling limits of OpenStack really are. It also was a forum for some organizations to discuss how far they are scaling OpenStack in production, and for the developers to try and come to an agreement on what scale to shoot for in the Folsom timeframe.
  • Edgar Magana Perdomo lead a track on L2 & L3 Network Services Insertion. The key takeaway from this session is that Edgar was not proposing adding new APIs at this point in time, but rather allowing for a CLI to assist with stitching in network services.
  • Sumit Naiksatam lead a track on L3 topics. The session was called “IPAM/L3-fwding/NAT/Floating IPs II“, and given the name, was a continuing session on discussing how Quantum can provide L3 services. Getting everyone on the same page was the key for both of these sessions.
  • Soren Hansen was responsible for organizing all sessions in the Nova hypervisors track. Soren is a long time OpenStack contributor who recently joined Cisco’s OpenStack team.
  • On top of actively leading the above sessions, Cisco’s OpenStack engineering team were active participants in all of the Quantum related sessions, as well as sessions around scaling OpenStack and Horizon integration with Quantum.

As OpenStack continues to mature, the interest in Quantum providing the correct network abstractions is very real. An entire track on day 2 was dedicated to Quantum in fact, and all of the sessions had a large number of attendees. The goal for Quantum in the Folsom timeframe is to hit parity with the existing nova-networking, such that Quantum can become the standard networking environment when people deploy OpenStack.

During the conference Cisco participated in the following ways:

  • Lew Tucker, Cisco’s CTO of Cloud and the face of Cisco’s OpenStack participation, gave a keynote at the conference portion of the event. Lew’s slides are available on slideshare here.
  • As a Gold Level sponsor, Cisco had a booth in the main exhibit area not far from the conference entrance. We distributed t-shirts with the “OpenStack@Cisco” logo on them. We were able to engage with fellow OpenStack developers, partners, and customers the entire week.
  • Cisco was a sponsor of both the conference and the summit.

The key take away from the event was around the production deployments of OpenStack announced around the conference timeframe. OpenStack continues to have a lot of momentum going forward, and the announcements by places like Rackspace show the technology is already being deployed at scale in production.  Cisco is actively working with the OpenStack community to help shape the development of Quantum, Nova, Horizon, and other parts of OpenStack. If you are interested in joining the OpenStack@Cisco team, the team is hiring. Please contact Murali Raju (murraju at cisco dot com) for more information about joining the team!

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Openstack, Big Data and Cisco Cloud Software at Cloud Connect Next Week

Next week is Cloud Connect in Santa Clara and Cisco’s Cloud Software group will have a big presence.

While we have plenty to talk about on how Cisco is helping customers build their cloud, we also want to listen to our customers plans and needs. We are bringing some of our engineers and architects so you can engage directly with them.  There are three things you can see next week.

CITEIS -- Cisco’s, in production, private cloud.

See how it was built, the results in agility and cost, and best of all see a demo. Not a fake demo but the real thing.

Of course, we will also be showcasing our award winning cloud automation software, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (CIAC) (formerly newScale and Tidal), which provides the self-service catalog and orchestration to our private cloud

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oVirt Kickoff Workshop

The formation of a new community in the Open Source world is an exciting time. We at Cisco were lucky enough to participate in the formation of one such community while hosting the oVirt Kickoff Workshop at our San Jose headquarters. In making the decision to Open Source their RHEV-M product, Red Hat also decided to create a community, and ultimately an ecosystem around oVirt. The workshop filled up early after being announced, and the presentations and discussions have given the new community a look at the assets Red Hat is placing under the oVirt umbrella.

One area generating a significant amount of discussion was the network. The discussion revolved around elevating the network as an equal to other components of oVirt. If this sounds familiar, it is because the exact same discussion was recently undertaken in the OpenStack project, the result of which is the Quantum project. Quantum is an attempt to create a standalone network service, capable of provisioning virtual and physical networks. In OpenStack, it works with Nova to create networks and bring up interfaces, attaching them to those networks. Given Quantum was created to be standalone, looking into how it could integrate with oVirt seems logical. Quantum has the potential to become a clear way to consolidate the handling of network topologies and overlays, both hardware and software, for OpenStack and oVirt. With it’s plug-in architecture, vendors can provide value with their hardware or software plug-ins, writing a single plug-in to enable their network technologies to work on both OpenStack and oVirt.

With one day left of the Workshop, the workshop will shift to BoF sessions, as well as roadmap and release scheduling. Cisco is excited to not only be a part of this community, but also to be a strategic partner with a board seat. Going forward, we hope the excitement level demonstrated at the workshop will carry over as the community drives to the initial release of oVirt.

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Cisco’s contributions to the OpenStack Diablo release

On February 3rd of this year, Cisco announced its membership in, and commitment to, the OpenStack community. OpenStack is an open source cloud computing software project founded in the spring of 2010 by Rackspace and NASA, and which provides compute, storage and image management services for cloud computing environments.

In his announcement, Lew Tucker, VP and CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, stated:

Since joining Cisco several months ago, you may have heard me talk about the importance of architecture, APIs, and open source in Cloud Computing. So today, I’m particularly proud to announce that Cisco has joined the OpenStack community. The effort here is being led by the CTO organization but also draws on other engineers throughout Cisco’s product groups to help with the design, specification and development of this open source cloud stack. And yes, that does mean code.

Fast forward to September 23rd, 2011. On this date, Cisco, along with an extremely dedicated group of developers from several fellow members, including Nicira and Citrix, delivered the first fruits of that labor. The first experimental release of OpenStack’s cloud network service, Quantum, is now available for download.

Details of Quantum’s functionality and architecture can be found on the OpenStack Quantum wiki page. The source code for the service can be downloaded from OpenStack’s Launchpad repository.

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OpenStack@Cisco update

This week is a big step forward for the OpenStack community as we come together at the Design Summit to share our ideas about building the Essex release, the current development release from OpenStack scheduled for final release in the spring of 2012. I’m at the OpenStack Summit, and the excitement and feeling of participation in the creation of this important new platform is everywhere.

So what am I doing there and what is Cisco doing with OpenStack? First off, OpenStack represents Cisco’s strategy in action, helping customers build and use clouds. Our partnering effort in OpenStack represents a big part of our progress this year. By our efforts, we are ensuring that OpenStack performs well with Cisco technologies, and hopefully will contribute to the advancement of the cloud computing through abstractions and APIs that enable rich use of networking technologies and services.

Here are a few highlights of Cisco’s involvement to date, all of which will play into the activity in Boston this week:

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