LOKI: An open-source enterprise cloud to call your own

If you put Linux, OpenStack, and Kubernetes together, you get a great Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud: LOKI.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

OpenStack has long been the foundation for open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds. Linux, of course, is the leading operating system for all clouds. And Kubernetes is the open-source software everyone uses to manage containers. Put them together, as the OpenInfra Foundation has, and you get LOKI: Linux OpenStack Kubernetes Infrastructure.

OpenInfra executive director Jonathan Bryce says that just as the "LAMP [Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python/Perl/PHP] stack became the standard for deploying web applications, LOKI helps operators identify successful patterns and combinations of technologies to build production infrastructure."

But don't OpenStack and Kubernetes do the same job? Not really, Bryce explains

The OpenStack User Survey repeatedly shows that LOKI is the de facto way to run containers on open source clouds. Over 70% of surveyed organizations integrate OpenStack with Kubernetes. While I hear all the time that these technologies replace each other or that operators must choose one or the other, that's not the case. Combined, they're powering mobile networks all over the world, research, retail organizations, and a growing footprint of open-source public clouds in more than 180 data centers.

This makes OpenStack as big as the top public clouds, and it isn't idle boasting. Major companies such as AT&T, LINE, Workday, Verizon, and Yahoo have all adopted LOKI and run it in production today. 

There are now over 25 million cores of OpenStack compute in production today. That's a 66% increase in total cores year over year. Seven companies have joined the ranks of the "1 Million Core Club," including China Mobile, Line, Walmart Labs, Workday, and Yahoo.

This isn't just companies playing with LOKI. Almost 80% of OpenStack clouds are in production,13% are under development, and only 8% are still in the proof of concept stage.

This summer, Microsoft also became a serious OpenStack player; the company is an OpenInfra Foundation Platinum member.

Why would Microsoft, of all cloud providers, join up with the OpenStack crew? Because Azure and OpenStack go together like bread and butter. Forty percent of OpenStack users running their deployment in a multicloud configuration are doing it with Microsoft Azure. Who knew?

Another driver is that OpenStack is popular with 5G vendors. Microsoft is working with AT&T to migrate its 5G mobile network to Azure for Operators, Microsoft's cloud for 5G infrastructure. Azure for Operators will eventually support LOKI.

As Ryan van Wyk, Microsoft's Partner Software Engineering Manager for Azure for Operators, says, "Microsoft is joining this effort to support building the next decade of open infrastructure technology because hybrid cloud is an important element of our technology portfolio. We believe in a variety of clouds: public and private, from hyperscale to edge, each tuned to the unique workloads that our customers need to deliver and we can't do it without open source."  

According to van Wyk, this also means Microsoft will look for "opportunities to integrate OpenInfra projects into Microsoft Azure product roadmap as it evolves."

Looking forward, the OpenInfra Foundation needs more developers, cloud vendors, and users to join. As Bryce says, "Seamless integration... requires continued cross-community collaboration. To ensure these services continue to provide access to end-users like you and me all around the world, we must work together. We must combine the momentum across these three projects [LOKI] and build the future of open infrastructure together."  

Editorial standards