So, with our announcements around OpenStack this week a few folks have asked me how OpenStack fits into our broader strategies like Cisco Open Network Environment. The short answer is “quite well, actually”, the longer answer follows.
If you look back our original introduction of the Cisco Open Network Environment, we made a couple of points—there is a plurality of use cases and as a result, there need to be a plurality of enabling technologies. While there are common objectives such as agility and programmability to better handle the macro trends like cloud and virtualization, the truth is, everyone has their own design objectives and priorities. To that sentiment, I might add that folks have varying operational objectives and priorities—the appetite for the amount of risk and complexity they want to take on.
With the three-pillar structure of the Open Network Environment, we feel like we have given folks the flexibility to choose the right technologies for the job. With initiatives like OpenStack we now support a different kind of flexibility.
While a segment of the market seems to want to start writing their own protocols and hand-wiring flow tables, a different segment of the market is moving in the other direction, expressing a desire to get out of the infrastructure business and focus their time and efforts on their apps and their users—this has traditionally been the Vblock and FlexPod crowd. With OpenStack, they now have another option—they get the programmability we talk about with the Open Network Environment, but at the stack level, instead of at the box level. The idea behind something like the Cisco Edition of OpenStack is simplify the task and reduce the risks of standing up a cloud stack. You have the full Folsom release of OpenStack, some Puppet recipes to simplify deployment and validation against the relevant Cisco hardware (follow that last link for details).
To get more insights into our OpenStack announcements this week, check our this blog by Lew Tucker, our VP/CTO for Cloud Computing and this post by Kyle Mestery, one of the many Cisco folks who has invested a great deal of time and effort in OpenStack.
One final thought. We are a long way from being done yet. In just the last few days, I blogged about how our Virtuata and vCider acquisitions fit into a multi-cloud strategy, we have had the aforementioned posts related to this week’s OpenStack announcements, and Rodrigo Flores just posted about our Multi-Cloud Acceleration Kits for our Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution. While cloud is the destination, there are many ways to get there as we have customers and we will continue to innovate and partner on a number of fronts and in a number of ways that will likely surprise some folks. Stay tuned.
Tags: Cisco Open Network Environment, Cloud Computing, FlexPod, OpenStack, programmability, SDN, Vblock, virtualization
As the OpenStack Summit in San Diego is about to start, I wanted to look back upon this past year and talk about Cisco’s future with OpenStack.
When first learning about Rackspace and NASA coming together to create OpenStack, we saw an opportunity for Cisco to contribute to an important open source project to build a new platform for cloud computing. Since then, we’ve seen the community grow and more companies get involved to build on OpenStack as a platform for their own cloud services.
During this time, our OpenStack@Cisco team has contributed expertise and code to advance the platform. Working with several other vendors at the Santa Clara design summit in 2011, we started the Quantum networking service as an incubation project which I’m pleased to say has now moved into core with the Folsom release. This project makes networking a first class citizen alongside compute (Nova), and storage (Horizon), representing a significant step forward in how cloud computing platforms are built and operated.
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Tags: Cisco ONE, cloud, OpenStack, WebEX
In support of our Openstack Edition, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC video) is introducing a community supported “Multi-Cloud Acceleration Kit” (MCAK) that extends IAC Starter Edition to enable provisioning of OpenStack clouds as well as vCloud, Amazon EC2 as well as vCenter and UCS blades. IAC provides both a real service catalog and an orchestration tool that help OpenStack be adopted by the enterprise. IAC provides rich Role-Based Access Control,physical provisioning and adapters to a large variety of back IT systems including help desks, CMDB’s, directories and many other systems.
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Tags: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, cloud, intelligent automation, OpenStack, orchestration, unified management
On Friday, Cisco released the Cisco Edition of OpenStack. This contains all the core OpenStack services for Essex and Folsom, along with installation scripts and other open source components to make it easier to install and run in production. Cisco has been an active participant in OpenStack since the early days of the Quantum project. During the Diablo Summit in Santa Clara in April 2012, Cisco merged it’s own NaaS proposal with other vendor and provider blueprints to create the Quantum component of OpenStack. Over the last year and a half, we’ve been significant contributors to OpenStack in the following areas:
- Quantum: Cisco Plugin, Linux Bridge Plugin, Extensions and L3 work
- Horizon: Quantum integration
- Nova: VIF drivers model
Where Can I Get the Cisco Edition of OpenStack Packages?
The Cisco Edition of OpenStack can be downloaded from this FTP site, and information on the packages can be found on this wiki. The packages are free and open source. The Cisco Edition of OpenStack is tested on Ubuntu 12.04 with the Cisco Nexus family of switches and Cisco UCS C Series servers. You do not need to run the Cisco Edition of OpenStack on Cisco hardware, but it is validated on this hardware configuration. The Cisco Quantum Plugin supports L2 segmentation using VLAN, and is formulated to work with both Open vSwitch as well as the Cisco Nexus sub-plugin. We are evaluating other versions of Linux (RHEL/CentOS) to be validated as the base Linux version.
Cisco Specific Additions
This edition uses Puppet (Puppet Labs) to automate the deployment of OpenStack services and in the Essex version we’ve included other software components required for running in a production setting. Work was done around service assurance. The compute monitoring stack consists of Nagios, Collectd, and Graphite. Compute performance and metric graphs have been integrated with the OpenStack Horizon dashboard. High availability is supported using the open source components ha-proxy, kickstartd and galera. As was mentioned earlier, all of the components of the Cisco Edition of OpenStack are Open Source components. We will release a similar HA version for Folsom shortly.
Cisco Edition of OpenStack: Take It For a Test Drive
We encourage you to download our OpenStack Edition and provide us with feedback. Cisco will have a strong presence at the Grizzly Summit, so please stop by our booth to get additional information on the Cisco Edition of OpenStack.
Tags: open source, OpenStack
One of the things that has always been clear to us is that a pragmatic cloud and virtualization solution is going to need to embrace diversity. There were going to be many paths to cloud and customers would want the freedom to choose to host workloads on physical infrastructure, any of the hypervisors available or one of the emerging number of cloud options. This realization has been one of the factors that has shaped our strategy for delivering practical solutions for virtualization and cloud to the market.
Cloud Networking: Multi-Hypervior and Multi-Service
Initially, we focused on physical/virtual consistency and separation of duties. We kicked this effort off with the Nexus 1000V, which was a fully functioning NX-OS switch rendered fully in software. With L2 handled, we moved on to deploy virtual services consistent with this physical counterparts like the ASA 1000V, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and vWAAS. Finally, we fleshed out the networking stack with the Cloud Services Router (CRS 1000V).
The network has always been a platform for enabling heterogeneous OS and heterogeneous applications to connect. Naturally, the next step was to take the capabilities we had built and extend them across multiple hypervisors so we could now deliver a consistent experience for customers with heterogeneous hypervisor environments. We built on our success with over 6,000 enterprise and service provider VMware vSphere customers and are now extending those came capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well for Xen and KVM open source hypervisors. With the recently announced shift to a “freemium” pricing model, with the Nexus 1000V-Essential Edition, customers are gaining these benefits with minimal cost and risk.
vCider and Virtuata: Opportunity for Secure Multi-cloud Networking
However, some of the most interesting progress has come from our two of our more recent acquisitions that have been centered on the concept of providing better operations and management of multi-cloud environments. As customers more broadly adopt cloud and virtualization, security and isolation at the VM level become of paramount importance. To address this need we acquired Virtuata this summer. The Virtuata technology will give us (okay, you) the ability to have sophisticated and consistent security for VMs across multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments.
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Tags: Cloud Computing, Hyper-V, KVM, Nexus 1000v, OpenStack, security, VMware vSphere, Xen