CERN, Rackspace to harden federated cloud reference architecture

CERN and Rackspace want to create standard templates for an OpenStack cloud of clouds

CERN and Rackspace want to create standard templates for an OpenStack cloud of clouds

Rackspace and CERN openlab announced plans to redouble their efforts to create a reference architecture for a federated cloud service model.

The earliest implementations of Keystone – the mechanism in OpenStack for OpenStack-to-OpenStack identity authentication and cloud federation – came out of a collaboration between CERN and Rackspace, and now the two organisations plan to extend those efforts and create standardised templates for cloud orchestration.

“More companies are now looking to use multiple clouds to effectively serve the range of workloads they run – blending low-cost, high-performance, enhanced security and optimised environments,” says Giri Fox, Rackspace’s director of customer technology services. “But, we are still seeing the complexity businesses are facing to integrate just one cloud into their business. Federation is an opportunity to re-use that initial integration for future clouds you want to run your business on, making multi-cloud a business benefit choice rather than a business cost one.”

For those of you that aren’t familiar with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, it operates the Large Hadron Collider which during its tests (which take place intermittently) spits out over 30 petabytes of raw data per year, which then needs to be processed and made available in near real-time for physicists around the world.

But CERN is like many research organisations resource constrained, so relying on federated set of infrastructure to get all of that processing accomplished can help it overcome the capacity limitations of its own datacentres. The organisation relies on multiple OpenStack clouds based in Europe that need to be accessed by thousands of researcher, so it has a strong incentive to develop a robust open model for cloud federation.

“Our CERN openlab mission is to work with industry partners to develop open, standard solutions to the challenges faced by the worldwide LHC community. “These solutions also often play a key role in addressing tomorrow’s business challenges,” said Tim Bell, infrastructure manager in the IT department at CERN.

“After our work on identity federation with Rackspace, this is a very important step forward. For CERN, being able to move compute workloads around the world is essential for ongoing collaboration and discovery,” Bell said.