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Five Reasons You Can’t Ignore OpenStack

Five Reasons You Can’t Ignore OpenStack

1.    It’s growing dramatically.
OpenStack User Survey, Nov 2014
Source: OpenStack User Survey, November 2014

·       The growth trajectory of OpenStack® is similar to that of Linux, and is on track to grow even faster. What started as a sandbox for developers has now become significantly more stable and mainstream.

·       Many larger enterprises are now using OpenStack, even in limited deployments, and as the advantages become more apparent, use will increase.

·       The code itself has matured dramatically since its introduction five years ago. Updates are now far more likely to be bug fixes and usability improvements rather than major new code releases.

·       An impressive number of technology and cloud vendors now offer OpenStack solutions and tools. Almost every major cloud vendor now has a presence in OpenStack. We are nearing critical mass.

2.    The OpenStack community is vigilant about protecting flexibility.

·       The biggest advantage of an open-source approach is that you can create a much more flexible and vendor-neutral cloud environment. As a result, you can lower your costs, avoid the risks of vendor lock-in, and add new capabilities and approaches much more quickly and easily.

·       The cloud is still an incredibly dynamic, rapidly evolving marketplace. New features and approaches are being introduced all the time. If you lock yourself into a single vendor, you’ll be on that vendor’s timeline to bring those new capabilities to your business. Your success may well rest on responding more quickly than your competitors.

3.   It can make a big difference in productivity and staffing.

·       Using OpenStack on an integrated infrastructure platform, like Cisco UCS® offers significant productivity benefits, because the two architectures work together to eliminate many of the manual tasks involved in building a cloud. OpenStack defines how computing, networking, storage, and other essential cloud elements will interoperate, so your IT engineers are free of repetitive deployment tasks and can focus on more value-added projects.

·       If you lock your cloud environment into a single vendor’s approach, you’re limited to staff who specialize in that vendor’s technology—or to long ramp-up times to train existing staff who don’t.  But open source technologies are a smart investment and many of today’s developers and engineers are adding open source to their skill set, expanding the number of people qualified to support your OpenStack cloud.

·       OpenStack is growing rapidly. Even if you’re not planning to begin implementing an open-source approach right away, it’s critical to start building OpenStack skills in your team now, so you won’t be scrambling to catch up later.

4.    Are you avoiding OpenStack because you think using an open-source solution means a long, complex do-it-yourself project?  Not necessarily.

·       Hardened, enterprise-class OpenStack solutions are now available from open-source leaders like Red Hat®, often as part of pre-integrated, ready-to-deploy solutions developed in partnership with vendors like Cisco.  Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Red Hat OpenStack is a fully documented design guide and bill of materials, designed to accelerate deployment of your OpenStack cloud.

·       And for those who prefer to leave operation of OpenStack to the experts, Cisco now provides a fully-managed, on-premises private cloud option, based on technology acquired from Metacloud.  Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud® gives you all of the benefits of a public cloud in a private cloud environment, so you can focus on application development.

·        The number of tools is growing and responding to the need for support.  OpenStack users have made Chef cookbooks and Puppet configuration modules freely available on GitHub.  In addition, the latest technologies for putting infrastructure at the service of cloud applications and services are being made available for OpenStack.  Vendors now offer software-define networking (SDN) controllers, such as the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), that allow you to perform policy-based management of your OpenStack-based cloud environment.

5.   Are you ready for a hybrid cloud world?

·       For many businesses, the immediate priority is to create a private cloud environment to deliver IT as a service (ITaaS). But you want to be able to shift workloads to public cloud resources when it makes sense to do so, as well as meet growing demands from lines of business that want to use public cloud services in the enterprise.

·       Hybrid cloud is growing in importance as it combines the economic benefits of the public cloud with the control and security of a private cloud.  The December 2014 Ubuntu Cloud and Server Survey found that 40% of respondents using OpenStack were planning to implement an OpenStack-based hybrid cloud in the next 12 months.  OpenStack is an obvious candidate for hybrid cloud, with the support of an active open source community, as well as major cloud vendors.

OpenStack may have seemed like a curiosity a few years ago. But it’s becoming a big part of the cloud landscape. If you want to capitalize on the benefits of open source cloud environments before your competitors, start paying attention now—or be prepared to play catch-up later.

 

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OpenStack Podcast #26: Amrith Kumar

Ready to learn about Trove? Oh, sure–you know it’s OpenStack’s database project. But do you really know what it does?

Amrith Kumar is the founder and CEO of Tesora, and on OpenStack Podcast #26, he sat down with us to talk about Trove, Tesora, and the database applications they work with. Specifically, he covered:

  • What Trove does well
  • Who is using it
  • How it interacts with other OpenStack projects
  • Why the hardware matters when it comes to databases
  • What Tesora does
  • How Trove is changing the way data analysts make decisions
  • Why OpenStack is a wonderful teaching tool

To see who we’re interviewing next, or to sign-up for the OpenStack Podcast, check out the show schedule! Interested in participating? Tweet us at @nextcast and @nikiacosta.

For a full transcript of the  interview, click read more below.

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The Farmers’ Market for Development Teams

OpenStack blended cloud

Some people are perfectly happy buying and eating pre-made microwaveable meals.

These meals are rarely amazing. They’re never innovative. But they’re quick, perfectly consistent, and they get the job done. The only flexibility on the part of the consumer is which pre-made meal to pick. The decisions about what’s inside have been made for them, and there’s almost no risk of food poisoning. It’s a perfect example of “Good, fast, cheap. Pick two.”

Other people however, prefer the farmers’ market. The best chefs in the world are artists. They need selection. Choice. Flexibility. It’s that combination that allows for culinary innovation and creativity.

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5 Ways to Manage Your Developers in OpenStack

Handcuffs01_2003-06-02

Photo courtesy of Klaus with K, Creative commons.

Customers frequently ask how to avoid a “wild wild west” situation as they move from tightly-controlled traditional infrastructure to the self-service, highly abstracted model that Cisco OpenStack® Private Cloud provides.

They have concerns over quality assurance, security, costs, resource utilization, and more. There’s often a hesitation to take the handcuffs off their developer teams by giving them access to real cloud, even though they clearly realize that if they want to let those teams innovate faster and roll out new features faster, it’s necessary.

Here are five tips for maintaining control of your developers as you move to OpenStack, in no particular order:

#1 – Just don’t do it

If moving fast is your goal, meaning that you want your development teams to be able to create and roll out features faster than ever before, you may need to trade control for speed. That’s right. Don’t do it. There’s a real argument to be made that if your goal is to move fast, you need to get out of your developers way. To summarize a quote from Adrian Cockcroft (@adrianco) in a great talk he gave at Monktoberfest last fall: when big-company CIOs ask how he found such awesome developers at Netflix, his answer is that he hired those smart developers away from those same CIOs, got out of their way, and they built amazing things.

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Will OpenStack Blend? Managing Legacy and Cloud Together

Photo courtesy of Breville, USA, Creative Commons license.

Photo courtesy of Breville, USA, Creative Commons license.

We talk to customers all the time that want to move to OpenStack, but the tools and processes they rely on just aren’t ready. Or the policies around their applications or data don’t support a true self-service cloud.

Not wanting to be stuck with VMware for the rest of their lives, we talk to them about what I call “cloud blending.”

Depending on what their tools and deployment processes look like today, some of the stateless, cloud-friendly components of their apps can be deployed to Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud, while leaving the scale-up or VMware-reliant (let’s call them “existing” instead of legacy), portions of their applications in the VMware environment.

An example might be to leave your SQL Server database in VMware, but move your web or content tier that’s going through a modern overhaul to a load-balanced, auto-scaling OpenStack environment–freeing up those costly VMware licenses for other purposes.

The response we often hear goes like this “Sure, but what about the processes I have in place to control my environment? Don’t those go away with OpenStack since everything is so self-service, where as today with VMware my teams control what happens?”

The answer is, as always, “It depends.”

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