Taking the ‘fun’ out of OpenStack

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“May you live in interesting times.” This Chinese proverb probably resonates well with teams running OpenStack in production over the last 18 months. But, at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated that life is going to get much less ‘interesting’ for people running OpenStack and that is a good thing.

OpenStack has come a long way in a short time. The OpenStack Summit event in April attracted 3000 attendees with pretty much every significant technology company represented.

Only 12 months ago, being able to install OpenStack in under a few hours was deemed to be an extraordinary feat. Since then deployment tools such as Juju have simplified the process and today very large companies such as AT&T, HP and Deutsche Telekom have been able to rapidly push OpenStack Clouds into production. This means the community has had to look into solving the next wave of problems – managing the cloud in production, upgrading OpenStack, upgrading the underlying infrastructure and applying security fixes – all without disrupting services running in the cloud.

With the majority of OpenStack clouds running on Ubuntu, Canonical has been uniquely positioned to work on this. We have spent 18 months building out Juju and Landscape, our service orchestration and systems management tools to solve these problems, and at the Summit, Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated just how far they have come. During a 30 min session, Mark performed kernel upgrades on a live running system without service interruption. He talked about the integrations and partnerships in place with VMWare, Microsoft and Inktank that mean these technologies can be incorporated into an OpenStack Cloud on Ubuntu with ease. This is is the kind of practicality that OpenStack users need and represents how OpenStack is growing up. It also makes OpenStack less “interesting” and far more adoptable by a typical user which is what OpenStack needs in order to continue its incredible growth. We at Canonical aim to be with it every step of the way.

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