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OpenStack® Technology Goes Mainstream


This is the second blog post in a series around announcing the availability of HPE Helion OpenStack 3.0. Read Mark Interrante’s first post in the series.

Guest post: Bruno Zerbib, Vice President, Product Management, HPE Helion

Bruno Zerbib.jpg

With the OpenStack Mitaka release coming out just a few weeks ago, and just a few days away from the OpenStack Summit in Austin TX, where the Newton Design Summit will be in full force, I've been reflecting on how far OpenStack technology has come in the last few years and where it needs continued focus.

Today, the needle has moved for the OpenStack project. The combination of community driven innovation, customer success stories (like Walmart and Yahoo, among many others) and strong architecture driven best practices from those implementations, have truly changed both the perception and value proposition.

OpenStack software now represents a viable and compelling foundation to run a diverse set of enterprise grade workloads at scale, especially in some key areas:

Resiliency & Scale: your SLA-bound cloud - In my previous lifetime, I was in charge of product management activities for the Yahoo Cloud Services Organization and supported Yahoo’s next generation Mobile and Web Services. As part of that, my former team built a large scale IaaS offering available to Yahoo Developers based on OpenStack technologies. For next generation applications in particular, cloud resiliency for the data plane was not as critical, because it was expected that the types of cloud native applications running on OpenStack code would be self-healing, or more precisely self-adjusting.

However, for you, our HPE enterprise customers, the top of mind concern when looking at scale has to do with SLAs and workload performance regardless of the type of application. Luckily, much of the textbook covering the concept of “efficient scale”, achieving at-scale performance with the least number of people involved, was written by the big OpenStack success stories and established best practices. OpenStack releases continue to make headway in making it easier to expand deployments to increasingly larger number of nodes, while also increasing the ability to monitor and effectively manage those nodes. The technology now has support and continues to improve the resilience of both the control and the data planes, which helps  keep services from ending abruptly and enables better workload protection (through projects such as Freezer for backup restore and disaster recovery, High Availability and live migration type scenarios).

Visibility leads to Control, leads to Optimization: A tale of monitoring the chatty cloud at scale —monitoring solutions have been around for decades, but in many respects, they have yet to address the requirements of monitoring large scale public and private clouds, which generate an enormous amount of times-series data, logs, and many other artifacts. When Monasca, the Monitoring at Scale OpenStack project, was introduced a few releases ago, it addressed a significant and much needed operational gap to making OpenStack clouds ready for business critical workloads.  The Monasca project enables the Operations team to monitors large-scale clouds with thousands of physical servers and hundreds of thousands of virtual machines (VMs) and containers.  Hundreds of terabytes of monitoring data can be stored in an online, retrievable, lossless form with data retention periods greater than thirteen months to meet SLAs, business continuity, compliance and operations analytics requirements. You can’t control, nor optimize a cloud you are not able to monitor properly, and it certainly makes it challenging to deploy key workloads or applications.

Your OpenStack cloud now conforms to security best practices — the interesting thing about security is that those requirements don’t really change – they are truly the same, whether your application runs on a stand-alone server, in a VM, a public cloud, or private cloud. What you need is for the cloud infrastructure you deploy to conform to those requirements and not introduce new, unmitigated risk. In this area, OpenStack technology has always done a great job at encrypting data in motion, but it’s only been recently, through the Barbican project, that OpenStack cloud expanded its security configurability from protecting “data in motion” to also protecting “data at rest”, thus addressing a critical need for protecting archived data against the risk of theft. OpenStack projects have hardened the control plane and, again, continue to make lots of progress in this key area, including enabling PCI readiness.

OpenStack technology goes mainstream - Although the set of expectations for what OpenStack projects need to address will continue to evolve (enterprise grade container support, advanced manageability for traditional and cloud native workloads, increased scale and multi geographic support), it's fair to say that the technology is past a critical inflection point... OpenStack cloud is mainstream.

The OpenStack™ Word Mark and OpenStack Logo are either registered trademarks/service marks or trademarks/service marks of the OpenStack Foundation, in the United States and other countries and are used with the OpenStack Foundation's permission.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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