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OpenStack and Containers

Containers just might be the hottest technology in the business and quickly becoming a focal point within the OpenStack community and several members of the OpenStack team here at Cisco have been very involved. Daneyon Hansen and Steven Dake have helped me give a quick look at how Containers and OpenStack are coming together.

Two container-focused OpenStack projects, Magnum and Kolla, have evolved significantly through the Kilo development cycle. Kolla formed shortly before the Kilo Design Summit, while Magnum was created shortly afterward. Both projects use Docker for containers, but leverage the technology for different purposes. Magnum is a Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) system, allowing users to build and run container-based applications in OpenStack clouds, while Kolla’s mission is to simplify the OpenStack operational experience.

Kolla improves OpenStack operations by containerizing OpenStack into micro services and providing additional tooling to simplify management. Containerizing OpenStack services improves operations such as providing deployment consistency, simplified upgrades, portability, scaling, etc.. These capabilities are achieved by encompassing the entire application runtime for each OpenStack service into a lightweight, portable unit. Each micro service becomes an atomic unit of management such as deployment, upgrading, scaling, etc. Kolla was developed as an integration project, allowing other tools such as TripleO, Heat, Ansible, etc.. to manage OpenStack at scale using Docker containers.

Magnum is an API service developed for OpenStack to make container management tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, etc. available as first class resources in OpenStack. Magnum uses Heat to orchestrate an operating system image that includes the container management tools and runs the image in a Nova instance cluster. Magnum is meant to launch a minimalistic host operating system such as Fedora Atomic, CoreOS, or Ubuntu Snappy. The operating system includes enough tools to launch Docker, Kubernetes, etc.. Once the operating system is launched, Magnum configures the  clusters to run a Container Orchestration Environment for multi-tenancy.

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OSPod #30: Edgar Magana of Workday

If there was an award for “The Nicest Guy in OpenStack” my vote would be coin toss between Edgar Magana from Workday and Tim Bell of CERN. Actually, Sean Lynch, Metacloud Co-founder is right up there, too, but since he’s technically my boss’s boss, he’s inelgible for my vote. But I digress….

Edgar’s story begins with his “low income” upbringing in Mexico, to an interest in computers, a PhD in Computer Science in Barcelona, and a great career as an authority on OpenStack at Workday. The most difficult part of Edgar’s journey? Learning English!

This episode was certainly one of the most pragmatic shows we’ve done. I expected to hear a bunch of enthusiam about OpenStack Neutron, but that wasn’t compeletely the case. Edgar, formerly of Cisco, shared his opinion on the readiness of Neutron for large-scale production workloads and where OpenvSwitch falls short (40-50 nodes, in case you’re wondering.) Edgar believes that from the operator perspective, Neutron still has shortcomings and more must be done to simplify networking for developers and operators.

Edgar was also kind enough to share information about how he and others have transformed the team at Workday to take advantage of the agility that cloud provides. Through training, labs, and bringing departments together, Edgar is biulding a private cloud suitable for scaling and deplying Workday’s data-sensistive applications. We closed out with Edgar’s willingness to build diverse teams—something Edgar is passionate about since he has one daughter and another on the way. (Congrats!)

If you follow Neutron, SDN, or networking in general, don’t pass this podcast up!

You can follow Edgar on Twitter at @emaganap and find his OpenStack sessions (including a use case session) here.

Jeff and I are headed to Vancouver! Check out Jeff’s sessions, my sessions, and follow @openstackpod to catch the Summit Minicasts of OSPod.

See past episodes, subscribe, or view the upcoming schedule on the OSPod website.

For a full transcript of this podcast, click “Read more,” below

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A Kilo of Cisco Contributions

“Voices of Cisco” is a short-term blog series that will feature insight from Cisco OpenStack experts in the lead-up to the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver. The intent is to shine light on our involvement in the project, explain some of the newest features that are coming out, and explain how our own products are engineered to take advantage of all that this powerful platform has to offer. The first post in the series comes courtesy of Patrick Amor, Director of Engineering, OpenStack:

Voices of OpenStack

OpenStack has gathered considerable momentum and I’m looking forward to the community release of Kilo and the upcoming Summit in Vancouver. Here at Cisco, we have been busy this month putting the final touches on our contributions across the various OpenStack projects in which we are actively involved. As one might expect from a company known for networking, Cisco has completed several blueprints in the Neutron project as well as in other projects such as Horizon, Ceilometer, Barbican, Magnum, and Kolla. We are committed to helping OpenStack mature and succeed so that our customers can succeed. In my engineering team this has always been our focus and this is now reflected in our corporate theme for the Summit. “Committed to OpenStack. Committed to You.”

OpenStack is often perceived as an ever expanding universe, with new projects, new services, and new features being added everywhere and frequently. That’s a fine thing as long as the center of the universe remains stable. That center, or core, roughly defined as compute, storage, and networking, need to be strong, stable, and robust or else that universe will start to contract.

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Social Leadership

Who says executives don’t use social media?

Here are some excellent examples of Cisco executives celebrating our Partners at Cisco Partner Summit 2015 #CiscoPS15.

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Easy to Build, Easy to Manage: Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud

What if a private cloud could give your developers the easy, fast, and predictable experience that public cloud delivers, but inside your own data center, behind your own firewalls?  It’s what more and more companies are looking to provide.

Different clouds for different crowds

Innovative organizations are increasingly deploying two modes of IT — traditional IT and agile IT. Traditional IT is what we’ve all know. The focus is on “doing IT right,” with approval-based governance, and price-for-performance. Agile IT is focused on “doing IT fast,” supporting prototyping and iterative development, rapid delivery, continuous, and value to the business.  Gartner calls this model “bimodal IT” and estimates that 45% of CIO’s already deploy a second, agile mode of IT.

Cisco has a long history of providing infrastructure for traditional enterprise private cloud environments. In fact, we lead the industry with Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure solutions such as vBlock Systems, Flexpod, and VersaStack. With the acquisition of Metacloud in September 2014, we now offer an agile IT environment for developers.

Enter Metacloud

The Metacloud product, now available worldwide as Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud, delivers the engineering and ongoing operations to provide a public cloud experience within the firewalls in an organization. The advanced operations subscription to Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud takes the burden of engineering and operations of the private cloud environment away from your teams, so they can focus on automating the testing, deployment, and scale of your applications.

Metacloud solved the challenges of running a sophisticated OpenStack® private cloud that delivers an easy, fast, predictable “public cloud-like” experience to developers. But under our original model customers are still left with the challenge of building an OpenStack private cloud—cobbling together the data center components of your private cloud, using  traditional IT models for getting those set up and configured.

SSanchezPS15

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