OpenStack Summit, May 2017, Boston – An Experience

I got the opportunity to attend the OpenStack summit in Boston. The summit was full of events mostly focused on OpenStack cloud, but many other things including NFV, Kubernetes, Containers, DevOps and approaches to pursuing multi-cloud approach. Many companies showcasing their products, platforms, software solutions were the highlights of the marketplace at the summit. I visited most of the booths in market and tried to understand their solutions. Also, I talked to many prospects about Calsoft and our expertise.

There were open source days showing demonstrations, roadmaps of technologies like OpenDaylight, OpenVswitch, cloudify, fd.io, Ceph and cloud foundry. There were talks about on-boarding for most of the OpenStack projects. There was an interesting talk about OpenStack management using Kubernetes. Canonical, Suse has come up with their special distribution of Kubernetes.

There are many new things I found and this provides us insights into where the cloud industry is headed towards. It’s all about creating high throughput, low latency and resource efficient services for various deployment environments, namely the virtual machine (VMs), bare metal (BM) and the containers.

Here are some of the important take-aways from my point of view.

  1. With the OpenStack Okata and upcoming Pike release, there is lot of focus on new projects in terms of network automation, container deployment, application data protection as well as adding new features to core OpenStack projects like Nova, Cinder, Neutron. Some of the new projects to watch out for are:
    • Ironic: This is OpenStack bare metal service for monitoring and provisioning of bare metals. It enables bare-metal server to plug into an existing Neutron networking framework. This gives consistent networking model between virtual machines and bare metal.
    • Magnum: OpenStack can use configuration management tools like Puppet/ Ansible to request and configure cloud resources to run containerized apps. The steps are to set up your VMs, security groups, networking and orchestration tool, applications on those VMs. Magnum provides APIs to perform these automated tasks.
    • Zun: With OpenStack’s support for the containerized deployments, zun is a new project to provide the management service.
    • Kuryr, Kolla: Kuryr is a Docker network plugin that uses Neutron to provide networking services to Docker containers. It provides containerized images for the common Neutron plugins. Kuryr requires at least Keystone and neutron, but Kolla makes Kuryr deployment faster and accessible. On similar lines, TripleO project (OpenStack On OpenStack) deploys an undercloud which uses OpenStack to deploy an overcloud.
    • Octavia: This is LBaaS project for OpenStack. It’s an operator grade open source scalable load balancer.
    • Senlin: Senlin is a clustering service for OpenStack clouds. It creates and operates clusters of homogeneous objects exposed by other OpenStack services. This makes the orchestration of similar objects easier. It is also designed to be capable of managing different types of objects.
    • Tacker: Tacker is a NFV Orchestrator and VNF Manager for OpenStack. It is completely based on ETSI NFV MANO framework. In case of Tacker, OpenStack components such as Nova, Neutron and Cinder collectively act as the VIM. Tacker takes of VNF lifecycle management interface, VNF lifecycle changes notifications interface and VNF configuration interface.
  2. NFV is hot word in current telecom market. Telecom operators have a challenge to adhere to faster demanding needs of the customers in terms of various services. These services need to be deployed in short span of time, reliably. Hence, they need much more flexible and adaptable network, one that can be easily and quickly installed, provisioned and the one which provides high scalability, elasticity in terms of load. There is a lot of buzz around this technology in overall cloud solutions including OpenStack. The tacker project is gaining lot of traction and momentum. Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) facilitates the development and evolution of NFV components across various open source ecosystems. Through system level integration, deployment and testing, OPNFV creates a reference NFV platform to accelerate the transformation of enterprise and service provider networks.
  3. Hybrid Clouds: Cloud computing provides advantages like ability to scale on-demand, paying only for the compute resources used and end-to-end service automation. For organizations that want to move beyond public cloud and into hybrid cloud, the ability to move workloads between public and private environments becomes crucial. One of the cloud migration company Zconverter showed their demo of cloud migrations. It provides Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) as well in addition to migration.
  4. Open Source: OpenStack already is the most important open source technology for enterprises and developers. Organizations have utilized OpenStack for their purposes to build own private clouds. IT providers like Telekom use OpenStack to build their cloud platforms. In the growing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market, Cloud Foundry is mostly used by organizations to deploy a private PaaS environment for internal developers. KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is the default hypervisor of infrastructure solutions like OpenStack. Docker enables the loosely coupled movement of applications that are bundled in containers, across several Linux servers, thus improving application portability. So, most of the open source technologies OpenStack, KVM, Docker Containers are here to live long.
  5. Cloud/Application layer security: Interacting microservices have a large dynamic attack surface from exposed APIs, communication channels, data-store interactions, and agile deployment. With the advent of most of cloud technologies and huge interaction among applications, security does not lag behind. There are many projects around application level security enforcement while microservices deployed in cloud environment interact with each other. Some of active security projects are Keystone, Barbican, Trove for message bus security, Cloudvisory for Cloud security and Container security.
  6. OVN: It’s an open source project launched by OpenvSwitch developers. OVN can also be used in OpenStack-based networks, where Open vSwitch is the most popular virtual-switch option. OVN is going to become one of the default network control plane for hybrid cloud operations platform. OVN is looking forward to highly accelerated scalability, flexible and mutable cloud cluster where its resources can be reconfigured without downtime.

In addition to all of these, OpenStack foundation had arranged a get-together at Fenway Park, Boston, which is one of oldest baseball park in country. I enjoyed spending time there as well.

Kiran Divekar

Kiran Divekar

Software Architect at Calsoft Inc.
Working on Networking domain, SDN, NFV, OpenVswitch, DPDK, Vmware NSX, Cloud computing, Docker.
Kiran Divekar

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