The momentum behind OpenStack® technology is at a pivotal point, and over the next year the industry could see a breakout of production deployments. If deployment doesn’t happen, the promising open source project could just tread water with a lot of new features and capabilities but used by only a small number of companies. Currently, those using OpenStack are large service providers or web companies who have the resources, technical expertise and budget. There are few smaller companies who are running OpenStack in production environments, except those trying to build a business around it. Ease of use and maintenance seems to be a major issue, and industry heavyweights such as Red Hat, HP and IBM are expending millions of dollars to make OpenStack a solution that is appealing to a broader set of customers; but it is hard to tell how far the finish line is.
Up to now, the community has focused on the development of OpenStack capabilities to increase the use cases. However, there has been little effort to make OpenStack more usable, meaning a simplified interface that does not require deep technical understanding of the logical OpenStack architecture. The community must turn its attention to increasing the adoption of OpenStack. The developers of OpenStack are a global community consisting of developers, corporations, service providers, researchers and users. Coordinating the efforts of such a diverse community is difficult with a consensus approach and no centralized decision making body. A group within the community has to emerge and lead the efforts to make OpenStack usable and increasing the adoption over a broad set of companies and industries. AMD and Canonical have identified this need and are leading the effort to create a solution that is easy to deploy, use and maintain from the bare metal servers all the way up to application management. The packaged bundle is the industry’s easiest and fastest way to create an enterprise private cloud using OpenStack.
The Promise of OpenStack
OpenStack was created to overcome the key challenges in running a private or public cloud: agility and scale. In addition, the OpenStack framework should allow companies to avoid vendor lock-in and be “open” enough to pick and choose any hardware or software vendors’ products. The end game is extremely attractive, but whether it becomes reality is yet to be seen, especially given the open source project is dominated by developers from vendor companies. These developers are involved to ensure that their company’s products are supported in the OpenStack framework. To achieve this, many companies have created their own OpenStack distributions that incorporate their own products but may not allow the user to mix and match key OpenStack components.
Delivering the Promise of OpenStack
AMD and Canonical have maintained their focus on not just developing new technology but creating an OpenStack solution that can be adopted broadly. As with any new technology, there is little focus on usability, and since OpenStack is such a complex set of applications and workflows, it often requires a team of people and multiple days to fully deploy it even for a proof of concept environment. The two companies have tightly integrated SeaMicro SM15000™ server and Ubuntu® LTS 14.04 and OpenStack so that it is possible for one person to deploy this OpenStack solution in a matter of just a few hours.
AMD and Canonical Make OpenStack Easy
Simplicity and ease of use is what will accelerate OpenStack adoption and right now, the industry faces a shortage of experienced OpenStack experts. Nearly every company is finding it difficult to recruit developers and DevOps personnel who can run large scale data centers using OpenStack. There is even a lack of comprehensive training, most of which are geared towards using a vendor’s particular OpenStack distribution, or the training only covers the most basic administrative functions and do not provide any expertise on key topics such as security and data governance.
OpenStack must be simple, and a simple solution will encourage adoption since it will not require a large team of people days to get things running. This allows companies to focus their energy on operating the cloud rather than figuring out how to make it work. AMD and Canonical are dedicated to help the industry expand the use of OpenStack and have expended a tremendous amount of development resources to make OpenStack easy by providing a tightly integrated solution that can scale to hundreds of thousands of computing nodes. The finish line for an easy to use OpenStack is actually very visible. As a matter of fact, we have already crossed it.
To learn more about the SeaMicro-Ubuntu Reference Architecture download a copy here [hyperlink] or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young-Sae Song is a Corporate Vice President of Product Marketing, Data Center Server Solutions at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.