Google, OpenStack target containers as Project Magnum gets first glimpse

Otto, Collier and

Otto, Collier and Parikh demoing Magnum at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver this week

Google and OpenStack are working together to use Linux containers as a vehicle for integrating their respective cloud services and bolstering OpenStack’s appeal to hybrid cloud users.

The move follows a similar announcement made earlier this year by pure-play OpenStack vendor Mirantis and Google to commit to integrating Kubernetes with the OpenStack platform.

OpenStack chief operating officer Mark Collier said the platform needs to embrace heterogeneous workloads as it moves forward, with both containers and bare-metal solidly on the agenda for future iterations.

To that end, the company revealed Magnum, which in March became an official OpenStack project. Magnum builds on Heat to produce Nova instances on which to run application containers, and it basically creates native capabilities (like support for different scheduling techniques) that enable users and service providers to offer containers-as-a-service.

“As we think about Magnum and how that can take container support to the next level, you’ll hear more about all the different types of technologies available under one common set of APIs. And that’s what users are looking for,” Collier said. “You have a lot of workloads requiring a lot of different technologies to run them at their best, and putting them all together in one platform is a very powerful thing.”

Google’s technical solutions architect Sandeep Parikh and Magnum project leader Adrian Otto (an architect at Rackspace) were on hand to demo a kubernetes cluster deployment in both Google Compute Engine and the Rackspace public cloud using the exact same code and Keystone identity federation.

“We’ve had container support in OpenStack for some time now. Recently there’s been NovaDocker, which is for containers we treat as machines, and that’s fine if you just want a small place to put something,” Otto said.

Magnum uses the concept of a bay – where the orchestration layer goes – that Otto said can be used to manipulate pretty much any Linux container technology, whether its Docker, Kubernetes or Mesos.

“This gives us the ability to offer a hybrid approach. Not everything is great for private cloud, and not everything is great for public [cloud],” Parikh said. “If I want to run a highly available deployment, I can now run my workload in multiple places and if something were to go down the workload will still stay live.”