OpenStack: multiple technologies, many companies, diverse geographies

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OpenStack isn't a single technology from a single company - and the open-source collaboration between developers required to take the standard further is a multi-national, multi-tool effort.

That was the key message from OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce, at the opening of its summit in Hong Kong this week - the first time that this twice-yearly event has been held outside of the United States.

In a briefing in which he outlined the diversity of the OpenStack community, Bryce told attendees that the OpenStack Foundation now has members in over 1,000 cities worldwide; developers in over 400 cities; and known deployments of its technology in over 200 cities.

A recent poll of 822 OpenStack Foundation members, meanwhile, sheds light on the different workloads that OpenStack is supporting and the tools that developers are using to get these deployments built.

Right now, web services is identified as the top application workload for OpenStack, followed by quality assurance (QA) testing environments. In third, fourth and fifth places, respectively, were databases, research, and continuous integration/automated testing.

Ubuntu Linux, meanwhile, is the most commonly deployed host operating system (OS) for OpenStack, used in over half (55 percent) of all deployments. CentOS comes next (24 percent), followed by RHEL [Red Hat Enterprise Linux] (10 percent), along with other OSs (10 percent).

And when it comes to deploying OpenStack clouds, tools from Puppet Labs are the first choice of users, followed by tools from DevStack, Chef and Pack Stack. Crowbar and Saltstack, meanwhile, tied for fifth place.

A string of vendor announcements are expected at the Summit, but first out of the starting blocks were open-source software company Red Hat and networking giant Cisco.

Red Hat took its next steps in its plans to build out its OpenStack platform, with the release of RHEL OpenStack Platform 4.0 beta. This includes the latest OpenStack release, Havana, and the beta release of RHEL 6.5, along with new features for improved deployment and manageability of hybrid cloud implementations.

For example, OpenStack Platform 3.0 supports Foreman, a lifecycle management tool from Puppet Labs that will allow IT pros to add new physical and virtual compute nodes to deployments, and also integrates with Red Hat CloudForms 3.0, a newly announced unified management interface for open hybrid cloud.

Cisco, meanwhile, has introduced ‘accelerator packs’ designed to make it easier for organisations to deploy OpenStack cloud infrastructures on Cisco’s UCS converged infrastructure stacks. The UCS Solution Accelerator Packs for OpenStack will operate with various distributions of the open-source cloud packages from vendors including Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical. The networking giant is also rolling out services that range from assessment and validation to design and optimisation, for organisations that want to deploy OpenStack clouds on UCS and Cisco Nexus switches.

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