Easy Usually Starts Out Being Hard

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors have been surprisingly receptive to getting on board with the OpenStack initiative.
  • OpenStack is still a major challenge for companies to adopt.

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of key acquisitions in the world of hosted and managed private cloud startups. First tier vendors like IBM, EMC, and Cisco have all made significant investments in private cloud startups that have already built a respectable business providing a simplified path to an OpenStack private cloud through either hosting secure externalized private clouds (which seems like an oxymoron) or by offering a managed private cloud service that can take a lot of the pain out of building an OpenStack-based private cloud. But to me, this raises the obvious question of just why is private cloud so darn hard? Read more of this post

Which Is Better: Automation or SDN?

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • You can use automation without software-defined networking (SDN), but you cannot use SDN without automation.
  • Many enterprises will gain enough benefits from automation and may not need to migrate to SDN.

The answer, of course, is whatever option works for you is the one that’s best, but that is a little too facile, so let’s dig in a bit. Automating operations such as scripting configuration changes and responding to events has enormous value for any IT department. When I actually worked in a data center, my rule of thumb was: if I did something more than three times in a month, I’d automate it, including the little atomic actions such as changing the syslog entries on a switch which could take as many as five to seven command line entries. Automation saved me hours, perhaps days, per month executing configuration changes (and even more because I had far fewer errors). Read more of this post

OpenStack and ONS in Same Week; Can’t NetOps and Dev Just Get Along?

Mike Spanbauer

Mike Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises struggle with whether a programmatic networks is a developer concept, a networking concept or both
  • The long term success of SDN will eventually depend on solutions being simple to integrate across multi-vendor environments

At the Open Networking Summit this week in Santa Clara, the largest SDN conference and marquee event for the Open Networking Foundation, the leading SDN standards body, it is not lost on this attendee that the event is concurrent with the OpenStack event, a parallel standards body that also fosters open initiatives and technology (though on compute and the software stack vs. networking and the L1-3 services stack).  It is ironic that while this particular conflict was not intentional, it does represent the challenge faced by enterprises who are seeking to incorporate more “open” technologies into their ecosystem.  The question is whether to pursue the early adoption path as is the case with SDN and several solutions which are more coding than CLI configured today, or to wait for the fully “baked” solutions expected to arrive in the future.  The skill sets, staffing challenges, and operational paradigm for each radically differ.  Where one is often sought for a solution that cannot be accomplished by other means, the other is more focused on resource optimization, solution maintenance, and minimized disruption. (While not necessarily technical interruption, introducing a new technology such as SDN is highly disruptive to people and processes at minimum.)

Read more of this post

How Open Is OpenStack?

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • As the OpenStack Summit kicks off this week, the latest release, dubbed ‘Grizzly,’ is attracting notice for its impressive new feature list, which includes new support for VMware and Microsoft hypervisors as well as support for software-defined networking (SDN) implementations from Big Switch, Brocade and others.
  • However, if history teaches us anything, it is that individual vendor and provider implementations of the open source cloud platform may be sufficiently different from one another to eliminate the non-proprietary advantage that OpenStack claims.

In its relatively brief history, OpenStack has made remarkable gains.  Now in its seventh release, the open source cloud solution launched by Rackspace and NASA in 2010 boasts a veritable industry who’s who list of hundreds of developer contributors, including IT heavyweights such as Cisco, Dell, and Red Hat which have helped extend the cloud operating system’s feature set and capabilities to include support for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, compatibility with SDN implementations from a number of vendors, and more integrated security functionality.  The new features, along with a series of recent announcements of support for the open source infrastructure solution from providers such as IBM (and more organizations including Bloomberg and PayPal running OpenStack in production), highlight just how hot the cloud operating system is right now.  Read more of this post

The Sky is the Limit for OpenStack, and the Cloud

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • More than 180 corporate members, including some surprising names like VMware, lined up to join the OpenStack Foundation.
  • The foundation’s dynamic entrance onto the cloud scene marks the beginning of an important new phase in the on-demand computing era as more organizations see the model as a long term strategic IT solution.

OpenStack is having something of a coming out party with the arrival of the newly minted OpenStack Foundation.  This month’s successful launch of the OpenStack Foundation, designated as the independent organization overseeing the development efforts around the cloud development platform originally developed by NASA and Rackspace, is proof of growing demand for open source solutions to help cloud adopters avoid the dreaded vendor lock in, as well as the real drive by more enterprises into the on-demand IT realm.  Read more of this post