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Getting OpenStack Ready for the Enterprise

The latest OpenStack User Insights survey showed more than half of production OpenStack deployments use Linux as the host operating system. Co-engineering OpenStack and Linux can provide a more stable, reliable and higher-performing cloud platform.

According to new findings from Gigaom Research and CipherCloud, the cloud market is set to "grow 126.5% this year". Organizations need a flexible cloud platform, however, and one that facilitates massive scalability and flexible architecture - key for fast-changing environments.

Cloud market is set to grow 126.5% this year

Considering OpenStack

OpenStack is gaining popularity as the cloud platform of choice for IT organizations. This was reflected in a 2013 IDG survey that found as much as 64 percent of IT managers including OpenStack in their technology roadmap. In the current fast-paced IT market, the massive scalability and flexible, modular architecture of OpenStack can help give organizations the agility they need.

As Gartner analyst Lydia Leong summarized in a blog post reflecting on the May 2014 OpenStack Summit, there is much work to be done for OpenStack to become enterprise-ready. Matt Asay recently opined that a vendor like Red Hat has the opportunity to help organizations make the most of OpenStack through existing knowledge on how to make the technology ready for enterprise adoption.

Depending on Linux

The latest OpenStack User Insights survey showed more than half of production OpenStack deployments use Linux as the host operating system. Co-engineering OpenStack and Linux - developing the components together and then optimizing them to offer greater benefits once they are combined - can provide a more stable, reliable and higher-performing cloud platform, and help enterprise organizations harness the power of cloud technologies while maintaining the stability, security and reliability needed for critical business operations.

diagram-1

OpenStack depends on the underlying Linux operating system for a number of services and capabilites. For example, security, compute, networking and storage all rely on Linux for key functionality and access within an OpenStack environment:

  • Security - Interconnected components are necessary for OpenStack, based on Linux, including SELinux and sVirt.
  • Computing - Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), the hypervisor for OpenStack, is provided by the Linux operating system.
  • Storage - Critical storage modules depend on Linux for drivers, along with connections to physical storage.
  • Networking - Open vSwitch is issued to facilitate communication between OpenStack virtual machines, which Linux provides.

These are all critical OpenStack functions that depend on the Linux operating system, and serve to showcase the value of co-engineering. By why else is co-engineering important?

Readying OpenStack for Enterprise Use

Co-engineering OpenStack and Linux can offer many advantages for enterprise cloud deployments:

  • Improved security: Security is becoming increasingly necessary as cyber attacks proliferate. Through co-engineering, the native security features of Linux can be extended across an OpenStack environment.
  • Interoperability: Organizations depend on a range of third party tools and drivers when using OpenStack, and Linux provides the platform to ensure a high level of functionality and certification.
  • Straightfoward support: Dealing with multiple vendors can cause communication and workflow issues, but with an integrated OpenStack and Linux set up, this becomes a non-issue. Instead a single vendor can help to streamline issue resolution.

Co-engineering is an important aspect of OpenStack, and it can prove useful when deploying an enterprise cloud environment. With a strong co-engineered solution, organizations can operate a safe, secure and adaptable cloud environment, one that's easily supported and scaled depending on the needs of the organization.

Resources:

  • Learn more about co-engineering OpenStack and Linux with this technical overview
  • Install OpenStack with an excerpt from this step-by-step guide on Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.
  • Try Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform with an evaluation download.

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