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What’s new in Helion OpenStack 2.0: The Helion Lifecycle Manager


Guest Post: Mark Perreira, Chief Architect, HP Cloud 


One of the major new features of HOS 2.0 is our new flexible, Ansible-based lifecycle manager.  It is a model-based, desired state deployment system.  It is a combination of open source tools (Cobbler and Ansible), HP value-added tools (configuration processor) and HP value-added content (input models and playbooks) architected together into a system for end-to-end seamless deployment.

 Here’s what you need to know about the new lifecycle manager:

  •  It not only handles deployment of a cloud but is used for all configuration changes (adding nodes, changing services configuration, updating services, etc.) throughout the life cycle of the cloud.
  • The lifecycle manager utilizes a desired state mechanism. That means that the cloud topology and configuration are captured completely and then applied to the infrastructure making the designed state the current state. The current state of the cloud is always captured by HLM and can be re-applied at on demand.
  • Bare metal configuration is applied precisely the same way as cloud service topology and configuration. This means bare metal OS imaging, NIC configuration/bonding, underlay networking (VLAN mapping) and storage preparation are all handled by the lifecycle manager as part of deploying a cloud onto bare metal nodes.
  • The Helion lifecycle manager formulates the bare metal nodes, cloud services topology and services configuration into a set of "input documents" that model a cloud. This model-based approach to deploying a cloud gives the user a broad set of capabilities of how the bare metal, cloud control plane and compute/storage nodes should be deployed. HLM comes with a set of pre-created templates for easy deployment, but the power to deploy clouds that exactly fit your environment and scale needs are available. 
  • Finally, it also uses the model-based approach to extract all of the variability of deploying clouds out of the Ansible Playbooks that apply the desired state configuration. A user can work on the cloud model documents and not have to ever touch the playbooks that drive the deployment orchestration. This greatly simplifies changing (in dramatic ways) the cloud topology and configuration while creating a clear line between user cloud models and HLM playbooks.

Our new lifecycle manager is a powerful new system in Helion OpenStack 2.0. It replaces the deployment system of HOS 1.x, which made installation of OpenStack self contained deployments easy but did not provide the flexibility that many customers needed with regard to integrating clouds into their existing infrastructure and options needed to achieve various scaling goals. Based on customer feedback, the new Helion lifecycle manager has the right mix of open source and value-added features to easily solve customer challenges.

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