Category Archives: OpenStack

New Canonical offering makes it cheaper to run OpenStack on Autopilot

canonicalCanonical has launched an OpenStack Autopilot system which it claims will make it so much easier to create and run clouds using open systems that it will ‘dramatically’ cut the cost of ownership. In a statement it promised that the need for staff and consultants will fall as a result of the pre-engineered simplicity built into it OpenStack based system.

The OpenStack Autopilot is a new feature in Canonical’s Landscape management system, a platform based on Linux. The Autopilot can add hardware to an existing cloud, making it easy to grow a private cloud as storage and compute needs change.

According to Canonical, currently the biggest challenge for OpenStack operators is finding a way to adapt their cloud to requirements dynamically, when the computing demands of customers are invariably both volatile and unpredictable. The cost of manually doing this, which involves re-designing entire swathes of infrastructure, is proving prohibitive to many clients, it said. The Autopilot provides a best-practice cloud architecture and automates that entire process, it claims.

Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, the most widely used cloud platform and the most popular OpenStack distribution. According the latest Linux Foundation survey 65% of large scale production OpenStack clouds are built on Ubuntu. The OpenStack Autopilot allows an operator to choose from a range of software-defined storage and networking options.

The Autopilot presents users with a range of software-defined storage and networking options, studies the available hardware allocated to the cloud, creates an optimised reference architecture for that cluster and installs the cloud from scratch, according to Canonical.

The OpenStack Autopilot is so simple to use that any enterprise can create its own private cloud without hiring specialists, according to Mark Baker, Canonical’s cloud product management leader.

“Over time the Autopilot will manage the cloud, handling upgrades and dealing with operational issues as they occur,” said Baker.

Second coming of HP Helion OpenStack will concentrate on hybrids

HP has unveiled its latest incarnation of HP Helion OpenStack with a demonstration of Version 2.0 at the OpenStack Summit 2015 in Tokyo.

After it recently announced the imminent closure of its OpenStack driven public cloud offering, the vendor is thought to be concentrating its efforts to help enterprise clients cope with the challenge of straddling private and hybrid cloud environments. This, according to analyst IDC, is the biggest market in the industry with $118 billion of business being generated in 2015.

HP said it has marshalled all the resources withdrawn from the public cloud and sent them to fight on the Hybrid cloud front. The numbers will help the vendor establish confidence among its enterprise customers, according to Bill Hilf, the general manager of HP’s cloud division. “Customers want to put OpenStack technology into production with the confidence that they are backed by the experience and support of a trusted end-to-end technology partner,” said Hilf.

From a technical perspective, the HP platform will be easier to use, said Hilf. In the new version of Helion, created out of the OpenStack Kilo stable, laying on new infrastructure will be a lot easier for system builders and CIOs, he said. The cost of ownership will be lowered, and projects will advance quicker, thanks to a much more user-friendly administrator interface. The problems of integrating different clouds into one hybrid will be easier to confront now, Hilf told the OpenStack Summit audience, because HP is instilling an internal policy of strict adherence to OpenStack application programme interface (API) standards in a bid to speed up cross-cloud compatibility.

HP also claimed that Helion OpenStack 2.0 will allow customers to create and manage software defined networks (SDN) in a distributed, multi-datacentre environment through integration with HP Distributed Cloud Networking (DCN) and Nuage Networks’ Virtualized Services Platform. This, it claims, removes the boundaries of traditional networking and unlocks the full automation and liquidity needed for running a proper hybrid cloud.

Mirantis and UCloud in joint bid to tap massive potential of Chinese cloud market

ChinaSoftware and services vendor Mirantis and Chinese cloud operator UCloud have announced a joint venture to speed OpenStack adoption in China’s finance, telecom, state-owned enterprises and large internet businesses.

The venture, dubbed UMCloud, will be led by UCloud CEO and founder Xinhua Ji with head offices in Shanghai, China.

Investment in cloud computing infrastructure in China is estimated by consultancy Bain & Company to be growing faster than overall IT spending and projected to reach $20 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 40% to 45%. In 2014, China had more than 640 million internet users – more than the USA, India and Japan combined. In 2013, smartphone use in China exceeded 700 million units and 530 million of these Chinese smartphone users accessed the internet from their mobile device.

Cloud computing is a national strategic policy and the government included it in the nation’s 12th Five-Year Plan. Last December, the Ministry of Industry and Information (MIIT) officially declared its intention to support OpenStack ecosystems and to encourage state-owned enterprises to use OpenStack-based cloud products.

California based software and service vendor Mirantis is described as pure-play OpenStack company with installations at AT&T, Ericsson, Walmart and Wells Fargo. It has been funded by a quarter of a billion dollars in venture capital since 2012 and is the second highest contributor of open source software code to OpenStack. Mirantis’ Chinese clients include telco hardware makers Jiesai, Huawei and ZTE.

UCloud is China’s top independent public cloud service provider with clients using e-commerce, gaming, mobile internet and SaaS services, from data centres in China, Hong Kong and the US. The company announced a $100 million Series C financing round in April, with $160 million raised to date.

“China and the United States are two countries where cloud computing is developing the fastest,” said Alex Freedland, president and co-founder of Mirantis, “we see unlimited potential for OpenStack as a major cloud engine in China.”

Astara is born to simplify networking for OpenStack Liberty, claims Akanda

opensourceSystems built on OpenStack now have better management options, according to Akanda, which has unveiled its new Astara Liberty system for network orchestration.

Akanda, which contributed to the recently launched OpenStack Project Astara, announced the new Liberty release at OpenStack Summit Tokyo. The new Astara Liberty release is Akanda’s debut contribution to the project. The makers claims it gives OpenStack operators vendor-agnostic network orchestration platform for everything that lies between layers three and seven on the network services stack.

The design criteria for Liberty is to cut complexity and make Neutron implementations more scalable. It achieves this by dispensing with the need for multiple plugins and software defined networking (SDN) controllers. By orchestrating these network functions from different providers on bare metal, virtual machines and containers, it has given cloud developers more options and more stability, claims Akanda.

These ‘scalability, flexibility and stability’ improvements are achieved because Akanda’s Liberty release gives developers more configuration choices, faster provisioning, smoother integration, higher levels of availability and fuller compatibility, claims the vendor. Among the mechanisms for delivering these improvements are a new type of new load balancer driver, more Neutron resources and Cumulus Networks integration and support for Dynamic Lightweight Network Virtualization.

“The goal of Astara is to make Networking and DevOps’ lives easier,” said Akanda CEO Henrik Rosendahl. The culture of traditional and expensive single vendor lock-ins must be replaced by a massively simplified OpenStack networking range, he said.

The Liberty release demonstrates the power of the big tent approach to OpenStack, claimed Simon Anderson, CEO of DreamHost and OpenStack Foundation board member. “It’s fantastic to see new open source projects extend and simplify the platform,” said Anderson.

VMware opens up at VMworld San Francisco

VMWare campus logoVirtualisation pioneer VMware has unveiled a raft of new services tailored for hybrid cloud services and open systems at its annual VMworld conference in San Francisco.

VMware announced the launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack 2.0, the company’s second release of its distribution of the OpenStack open-source cloud software. The new release, based on OpenStack Kilo, will be available on September 30.

“Customers can now upgrade from version one to version two in a more operationally efficient manner and even roll back if anything goes wrong,” said VMware product line manager Arvind Soni.

The move could be seen as a U-turn by VMware, whose revenue streams come from sales of its vSphere virtualization software. The most recent annual VMware report warned that “open source technologies for virtualization, containerization, and cloud platforms such as Xen, KVM, Docker, Rocket, and OpenStack provide significant pricing competition and let competing vendors [use] OpenStack to compete directly with our SDDC initiative.”

However, with OpenStack distributions available from Canonical, HP, Huawei and Oracle – and investment in OpenStack companies from Intel, IBM and other major players, VMware has announced continued support. In October 2014 parent company EMC bought three OpenStack start ups – Cloudscaling, Maginatics and Spanning – to provide a variety of cloud services which adhere to the increasingly popular open standard.

Meanwhile, testing and running disaster recovery plans will be quicker, promises VMWare, now its vCloud Air service has a new cloud-based Site Recovery Manager. The service is now offered on a pay-per-use basis, replacing the more expensive annual subscriptions.

In the event of a disaster recovery event or test, fees will be charged for each virtual machine protected and the storage they consume, said VMware.

Storage could get cheaper as VMware has introduced vCloud Air Object Storage on the Google Cloud Platform. The debut product from VMware’s new Google reseller relationship will be available from September 30th, which will also see an alternative offering launched: vCloud Air Object Storage service, powered by EMC.

The start of the fourth financial quarter should also see VMware release its new vCloud Air SQL database as a service, as the virtualisation vendor looking to match the breadth of features offered the cloud industry’s top service providers.

With a new Hybrid Cloud Manager, VMware aims to help clients to migrate workloads, extend the range of their data centres and fine tune the process of juggling resources between private and public clouds. The management takes place through the interface of VMware’s vSphere Web Client, and will support the migration of virtual machines.

Hybrid cloud enabler Velostrata bags $14m, exits stealth

Velostrata is the latest hybrid cloud vendor to come out of stealth

Velostrata is the latest hybrid cloud vendor to come out of stealth

Hybrid cloud software vendor Velostrata has secured $14m in series A funding as it emerged from stealth this week.

Velostrata has developed proprietary hybrid cloud software that competes with and functions like offerings provided by VMware and OpenStack.

The software lets users shift and manage workloads between different cloud platforms, and claims to make this process as frictionless as possible by decoupling the storage and compute processes.

The company claims decoupling the storage from compute helps make data more secure by enabling enterprises to keep their databases on-premise.

“Our vision for Velostrata is to enable frictionless hybrid clouds for any workload in real time,” said Issy Ben-Shaul, chief executive  and co-founder at Velostrata.

“Today, hybrid cloud deployments have largely been limited to corner-cases, because there are just far too many barriers involved for general-purpose use, and in particular, customers don’t want to move their large production data assets permanently to the cloud. At Velostrata, we have developed a breakthrough technology that eliminates those barriers and our unique approach has already transformed the hybrid cloud strategy for our large enterprise users,” Ben-Shaul said.

The company, which was founded last year, plans to use the funding to bolster its sales and go-to-market strategy.

There is certainly no shortage of hybrid cloud tools on the market today, with each vendor pitching their own secret sauce in making hybrid workload management and deployment seamless and pain-free. Velostrata’s offerings seem well suited to some hybrid use cases – cloud-bursting, storage consolidation, DR – it seems like one of the primary hybrid challenges that has yet to be solved is latency, one of the problems that severely limits practical use cases for hybrid (i.e. using hybrid cloud to restore performance and service reliability for anything more than a database) and which has yet to be solved.

“The feedback we’ve received from enterprises in our early adopter program has been tremendous and further establishes that our approach to enabling on-demand hybrid cloud for production workloads is unique in the industry,” Ben-Shaul said.

Intel, Ericsson bet $100m on Mirantis and OpenStack

OpenStack vendor Mirantis is raking in buy-in from investors

OpenStack vendor Mirantis is raking in buy-in from investors

Pure play OpenStack vendor Mirantis has secured $100m in new funding this week in a round led by Intel Capital, with the companies also announcing deepened collaboration in the cloud arena.

The latest round, which comes less than a year after Mirantis secured $100m in series B funds from investors, also included participation from new investor Goldman Sachs and existing investors August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures) and WestSummit Capital.

Mirantis said the cash will be used to bolster its partnerships with vendors and other organisations innovating with OpenStack.

“With Intel as our partner, we’ll show the world that open design, open development and open licensing is the future of cloud infrastructure software. Mirantis’ goal is to make OpenStack the best way to deliver cloud software, surpassing any proprietary solutions,” said Alex Freedland, co-founder and president of Mirantis.

“Every industry is being disrupted by software. Smart enterprises are embracing the cloud to grow top line revenues and get new services to market faster. Mirantis is the only vendor 100 per cent committed to only OpenStack,” Freedland said.

At the same time, Intel and Mirantis announced the two companies would deepen their partnership and work together on Intel’s Clouds for All initiative, a series of partnerships with ISVs announced earlier this summer which are intended to accelerate cloud interoperability and boost deployments.

“Our investment in Mirantis is the next step in bringing open cloud infrastructure to the entire industry as part of Intel’s ‘Cloud for All’ initiative,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, Intel.

“As enterprises embrace public, private and hybrid cloud strategies, they need choices in their infrastructure software. OpenStack is an ideal open solution for cloud-native applications and services, and our collaboration with Mirantis is well placed to ensure the delivery of critical new enterprise features helping to create of tens of thousands of clouds,” Bryant said.

Fujitsu, Red Hat partner on OpenStack-based private clouds

Red Hat and Fujitsu are partnering to develop OpenStack converged infrastructure solutions

Red Hat and Fujitsu are partnering to develop OpenStack converged infrastructure solutions

Fujitsu and Red Hat have jointly developed a dedicated solution to simplify the creation of OpenStack private clouds.

The Primeflex is a converged compute and storage combines Fujitsu’s server technology with Red Hat OpenStack and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform software, and backed by Fujitsu’s professional services outfit.

The companies said the OpenStack-based converged offering will speed up cloud deployment.

Harald Bernreuther, director global infrastructure solutions at Fujitsu said: “Primeflex for Red Hat OpenStack can underpin any organisation’s plan to transform their business model by leveraging cloud computing. By opting for an OpenStack-based solution, organisations can run new cloud-scale workloads while also optimising costs.

“Primeflex for Red Hat OpenStack extends the philosophy of cost optimisation, through simplifying system maintenance and consolidating technology updates across the entire system stack, all the way from the underlying hardware through to the operating system,” Bernreuther said.

Red Hat said there is value in driving strong integration between software and hardware in the cloud space.

“OpenStack is a rapidly-growing, open source cloud infrastructure platform that is cost-effective, open, flexible and highly scalable,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack, Red Hat.

“We are excited about Fujitsu’s offering based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to deliver private cloud infrastructure solutions and we look forward to continuing the collaboration to provide customers with an innovative cloud platform for digital business initiatives,” he said.

Red Hat isn’t the only OpenStack vendor boosting its converged infrastructure strategy as of late. In July Mirantis unveiled plans to work with a range of vendors, initially Dell and Juniper, to deliver OpenStack-based converged infrastructure solutions for enterprises.

Mirantis, CoreOS deliver Kubernetes on OpenStack

Mirantis and CoreOS are partnering on Kubernetes integration with OpenStack

Mirantis and CoreOS are partnering on Kubernetes integration with OpenStack

Pure-play OpenStack vendor Mirantis has teamed with CoreOS to integrate its distribution of the open source cloud software with Tectonic, CoreOS’ commercial Kubernetes distribution.

Tectonic blends Kubernetes, an open source container deployment management service, and the CoreOS software portfolio in an integrated package, including a management console for workflows and dashboards, an integrated registry to build and share Linux containers, and additional tools to automate deployment and customize rolling updates. It runs on-premises or in public and private clouds.

The two companies said the move would improve support and manageability of containers running on OpenStack and bolster their mutual hybrid cloud capabilities.

“Mirantis and CoreOS share a vision of helping DevOps teams create better software faster. Putting Kubernetes on top of OpenStack gives them flexibility in how they build their applications, letting them innovate quickly,” said Mirantis chief marketing officer and co-founder Boris Renski.

“We are thrilled to be working with Google and CoreOS, and look forward to hearing more from them about how enterprises can leverage containers with OpenStack at OpenStack Silicon Valley.”

The move comes nearly half a year after Mirantis announced it would partner with Google to get vanilla Kubernetes integrated with its OpenStack distribution and double down on support for containers more broadly, efforts that have seemingly accelerated since Google announced the official 1.0 launch of Kubernetes last month.

“Now that Kubernetes is production-ready, companies using Tectonic and Mirantis OpenStack can have a Google-like infrastructure at their fingertips,” said Alex Polvi, chief executive of CoreOS. “Mirantis possesses a deep understanding of open source software and their commitment to the open source ecosystem around OpenStack is second to none. It was natural to work with Mirantis to help customers see the benefits of Kubernetes on OpenStack.”

HP to buy Stackato to boost hybrid cloud strategy

HP is buying Stackato to boost support for Linux containers

HP is buying Stackato to boost support for Linux containers

HP is to acquire ActiveState’s Stackato business for an undisclosed sum, which the company said would give a boost to its hybrid cloud strategy.

Like HP Helion Development Platform, Stackato’s platform as a service is built on Cloud Foundry and offers robust support for Docker, which is gaining the lion’s share of attention in the Linux container world. It offers deployments on a range of cloud infrastructure including AWS, VMware, OpenStack, HP Cloud and KVM.

HP said the move would strengthen its hybrid cloud strategy, which largely puts application catalogues, workload automation, Cloud Foundry and OpenStack front and centre.

“The Stackato PaaS solution strengthens the HP Helion portfolio and reinforces HP’s commitment to delivering customers open source solutions that help accelerate their transition to hybrid clouds,” said Bill Hilf, Senior Vice President, product and service management, HP Cloud. “The acquisition reinforces HP’s focus on driving Cloud Foundry as the open standard cloud native application platform.”

After the acquisition closes, which is expected to occur sometime in Q4 this year, HP will integrate Stackato into the Helion Development Platform.

The strong support for Linux containers will help HP build on its hybrid cloud strategy. Containers are useful in part because they are extremely portable and can run on pretty much any infrastructure, a useful feature when it comes to lifting and shifting workloads and application components in heterogeneous infrastructure environments. In an interview with BCN earlier this month Xavier Poisson, vice president of HP Helion in EMEA said Linux containers are increasingly at the core of cloud-native app development – so anything that can boost the company’s support of containers could make it more competitive.