OpenStack sure has come a long way since the first Design Summit in San Antonio back in November 2010.  As my team prepares to attend OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong this week, you’d never know that just three years ago there were just 250 people at the first public OpenStack Design Summit that kicked off what has become one of the fastest growing open source projects ever.  This week, more than 4000 are expected to attend the Summit, representing more than 500 companies and nearly 50 countries. What makes this Summit just as exciting as the first is the progress we’ve all made delivering on the mission laid out back in 2010.

To produce the ubiquitous open source Cloud Computing platform that will meet the needs of public and private clouds regardless of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable.

The OpenStack community continues to innovate at an even greater pace with 910 contributors to the new Havana release, a more than 70 percent increase from the Grizzly release six months ago. More than 145 OpenStack ecosystem members employ developers who contributed to this release. While there’s still more work to do, most of us feel OpenStack has reached the level of maturity and deployment success that’s needed for production deployment by organizations of just about any size.

One example is Photobucket, a leading photo sharing site that serves 3 billion images daily to over 3 million sites, reaching 500 million unique browsers.  With Cisco UCS and OpenStack, Photobucket is benefiting from datacenter consolidation, increased performance and improved operational efficiencies.  In October alone, they moved 65 bare metal servers to OpenStack, and in total, more than 200 virtual machines are on OpenStack that would otherwise have needed dedicated bare metal servers.  With OpenStack they are now able to build out a new server in 3 minutes.

To satisfy this kind of end-user demand, commercial OpenStack distributions are finally available that offer reference designs, simpler installation and, most importantly, technical support. To me, technical support from commercial distribution providers was among the last hurdles OpenStack needed to clear to enable widespread, mainstream adoption.

Here at Cisco we’re doing our part as well. Today, Cisco is announcing Cisco UCS Solution Accelerator Paks for OpenStack cloud infrastructure deployments. These bundles, focused on compute-intensive, mixed-deployment, and storage intensive workload configurations, are designed to work with OpenStack distributions from Red Hat, Canonical, SUSE and other ecosystem partners.

Further, we’ve been working closely with Red Hat to enable their upcoming Havana-based distribution (RHEL OSP) to install and configure the Cisco Nexus plugin for OpenStack Networking. Cisco and Red Hat have also partnered on a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) which provides a blueprint on how to quickly deploy RHEL OSP with Cisco UCS. Together these efforts enable customers to deploy and operationalize OpenStack more quickly and  easily than ever before.

Cisco will support OpenStack from Red Hat on the Solution Accelerator Paks, as well as distributions from Canonical and SUSE, giving our customers a variety of alternatives for their on-demand IT service initiatives.

In addition, we are announcing that Cisco Advanced Services is now offering a series of services to help customers in their deployment of OpenStack clouds. These new OpenStack services for Assessment, Validation, Design, and Optimization complements any pilot or deployment for OpenStack with Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus.

As OpenStack evolves, even more infrastructure services and virtualized network functions (NFV) are moving into this infrastructure-as-a-service cloud platform layer.  Cisco, along with others in the community, is helping to drive these new networking capabilities such as VPN/Firewall/Load Balancing-as-a-service into the core services of OpenStack, making it easier to develop and deploy large scale cloud applications.

We are also seeing the underlying physical systems evolve to become more “application aware” to better meet the performance, availability and agility requirements of these new, network-centric cloud applications.  To this end, Cisco is working with the OpenStack community to enable a policy-driven approach for deploying applications and enabling the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)  fabric for OpenStack.  Integration of the ACI controller with OpenStack will simplify and accelerate application deployment and operations through centralized configuration, testing, monitoring of network connectivity, security and other L4-7 services.   Cisco will also collaborate with major OpenStack distro vendors to support higher level ACI integrations so that OpenStack can intelligently instantiate infrastructure to support application performance, security and availability requirements.

It’s clear that OpenStack’s community-driven process has fueled its rapid transition to a solid open source cloud platform, while continuing to evolve and drive innovation in cloud computing. If you are attending the OpenStack Summit next week, stop by our booth, and I’m certain you will see even more examples of how it’s being used by customers across a wide variety of cloud-based applications.


Lew Tucker

Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Cloud Computing