Workday readies OpenStack cloud

Workday readies OpenStack cloud

Summary: 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.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Cloud

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  • If they are going open - what are they now?

    This begs the question(s) -
    1. If Wdayare going to an open stack what are they now?
    2. Is replatforming an indictment of their current, outdated technology infrastructure?
    3. Is Wday's outdated infrastructure the reason that their Big Data solution had to be launched on AWS?
    4. What implications does this have for customers? Isn't replatforming a major technology risk - akin to changing engines on an airplane while in flight?