Workday readies OpenStack cloud

Sortware as a service HR systems vendor tackles final technical challenges before deployment.

Human Resource SaaS provider Workday expects to roll out a new cloud platform based on OpenStack in the next three to four months, Workday director of cloud engineering Carmine Rimi says.

The company began developing its new cloud in earnest in January, he told an audience at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong.

Rimi said Workday evaluated OpenStack, Eucalyptus and CloudStack in its search for a robust, industrial strength platform because it was not clear, as an outsider looking in at the time, which would be the winner.

Rimi said Workday’s criteria were that the platform had to be open, easy, flexible, robust, resilient, supportable, have a strong community and have momentum.

But selection decisions didn’t end after OpenStack was chosen. In areas such as operating system, virtualisation, network, provisioning and deployment further choices had to be made.

Workday had experience with CentOS, rimi said, and chose KVM for virtualisation. Among other systems, Chef delivered configuration management while Cobbler was selected for deployment.

After that, the project team “dived in” to create a proof of concept followed by a production candidate.

Rimi said questions remain ahead of the global deployment, such as how to manage tens or hundreds of instances of OpenStack. He said Workday doesn’t have a solution to that yet but is working hard to get one in place.

Rimi was not prepared to answer further questions when approached by email after his Tuesday presentation. Workday’s exact relationship with cloud vendors HP and AWS, a matter of some confusion earlier this year, therefore remains unclear.

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