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OpenStack, Juno, Neutron & The Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

As always, the OpenStack Summit presents one challenge. How to choose from so many excellent presentations and topics, whilst many are on at the same time! Nevertheless, we prevail and hopefully attend the session that really offers some excellent food for thought, generating healthy discussion over a glass of Pinot Blanc at the <insert vendor name here> function! : )

I offer to be of some assistance in selecting from the multitude of sessions to choose from.

Why is OpenStack important for enterprise hybrid cloud?

My favourite quote sums it up: “Open and diverse eco-system is essential for any enterprise considering hybrid cloud.”

Why? To ensure that enterprise leverages choice and enables flexibility within their organisation. What this openness really delivers, is the desirable end-goal of the enlightened enterprise CIO:

“..how the enterprise CIO assesses their data centre strategy, cloud management and their inherent future together presently; will dictate major financial outcomes, both write-offs and future costs.”

What new developments in OpenStack are important for enterprise hybrid cloud?

It is a journey that will deliver us the ultimate unicorn, not something off the shelf. We’re getting there with OpenStack Juno release, but the journey continues. Some Juno release highlights in the area of networking, include Neutron supporting Layer 3 High Availability and Distributed Virtual Router (DVR).

Additionally, a personal particular area of interest is in partner ecosystems, with providers such as Red Hat CloudForms (or the OSS version ManageIQ) and interoperation with Heat. A cloud is not realising full potential without the benefits that orchestration brings to the table. Same with Hybrid Cloud and orchestration, particularly for enterprise.

Of course Nuage Networks VSD synchronisation with OpenStack and full ML2 plugin support are fantastic Juno inclusions that the Nuage Networks OpenStack contribution team have been working on.

Beyond a Policy Driven Network

Following are some core concepts and capabilities that actually enable the ideal hybrid cloud unicorn rainbow. Moving to a “Policy Driven Everything” – is the panacea of Hybrid Cloud.

Utilising Service Templates that are interoperating with OpenStack Keystone, Heat Templates, Policy and consequential business logic interoperating with OpenStack, via multiple hypervisor (ESXi, KVM, Xen) and bare metal resources.

This is obviously a hot topic at the summit, with many sessions focusing, or dancing around the topics of Heat, automation and orchestration. Consequently the session that I’m keen to see is Group Based Policy summit presentation. Abstraction of the network is key to successful orchestration across heterogeneous vendor environments and a subject relevant to many enterprises.

Using Heat and other Tools to deploy Highly Available Environments is a hands on lab that will also get plenty of interest on this topic. 

Neutron DVR

The inclusion of Distributed Virtual Router in Juno release of Neutron is a nod towards the realisation that networking is one of, if not the most important aspect of enterprise hybrid cloud. VMs can be rebuilt, data restored from storage backup. But if the network fails, you’re done.

The DVR implementation in Neutron is certainly a “first run” at HA components through the Neutron stack, but will inspire operators to leverage the distributed capabilities in their environments. This also opens opportunities for cloud operators to leverage more robust and enterprise grade distributed network overlays.

Consequently the session Architectural Overview of Distributed Virtual Routers in OpenStack Neutron will be an interesting one for those exploring this new feature of Neutron.

Scale, resiliency, robustness and vendor interoperability are key tenets for enterprise in relation to distributed software networking. If you want enterprise grade, you must consider a scalable control plane (based on open protocols such as BGP) and a fully distributed data-plane. This provides enterprise resiliency, prevents choke points and offers consistent performance.

Scott Sneddon’s presentation on Nuage Networks: Deployable Neutron Networking is my pick of the bunch on this topic. 

Other Neutron Sessions of note

Some good discussions, no doubt great question opportunities from the audience in the following sessions:

Neutron Network Node High Availability

Neutron Roundtable: Overlay or Full SDN?

Come along, to potentially see me asking some hairy questions!

Real World Enterprise

BBVA Bank on OpenStack by Jose Maria San Jose Juarez, Global Head of Innovation in Technology, BBVA. They have two sessions, the previous as a Keynote and the following BBVA Bank on OpenStack as a User Stories session, which no doubt will get right into the nitty gritty and be most interesting to other enterprise OpenStack Operators and Users.

Enterprise Vendors

It is always great to understand what the vendor and partner ecosystem is working on, especially when they are sharing and cooperating on technology development. Most interesting will be the Panel discussion of Global enterprise IT Companies Supporting OpenStack, in particular what Mark McLoughlin has to say as OpenStack Technical Director, Red Hat. 

Another session of note will be OpenStack and the Enterprise Cloud with Marten Mickos Senior Vice President and General Manager, HP Cloud, Hewlett-Packard. Most interesting due to his role in Eucalyptus, long time contribution to cloud technology and recent move to HP.

Personally I’m also really looking forward to the Design Summit component, such as Land your first Neutron patch. I’m not a professional developer per-se, but can cut code and am always willing to learn more. As a previous Operator and User of OpenStack, getting more involved with the developers and contributing more is a key outcome of my OpenStack Summit this year.

As I said there are too many, even to mention here. Check out the online schedule and for yourself. See you at the Summit in Paris!

For an easy read list of where we can be found at the Summit, please look here.

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