Dell launches OpenStack cloud infrastructure product

The company has announced a cloud infrastructure product that uses OpenStack open-source cloud software and is designed to work with Dell PowerEdge C servers

Dell has announced a cloud infrastructure product, based on OpenStack and aimed at organisations using public and private clouds.

The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, an infrastructure-as-a-service product (IaaS), uses the OpenStack open-source cloud operating system, and is designed to work with Dell PowerEdge C servers, Dell said on Tuesday.

The product comes with an installer called 'Crowbar' to load the product on Dell PowerEdge C servers, according to Dell senior cloud solutions architect Rob Hirschfeld. Crowbar comes in both open-source and paid-for versions, with the latter supporting Raid.

"I'm delighted to announce... that my team at Dell has opened the Crowbar source under the Apache 2 licence," said Hirschfeld in a blog post. "This action is part of the broader Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution."

The product includes Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builder services to support deployment, and a reference architecture, Dell said in its statement. The reference architecture, which is designed to work on Dell PowerEdge C servers and is supported by Dell, provides templates for OpenStack architectures.

The Crowbar installer is modular and comes with a user interface (UI) and application programmable interfaces (APIs), according to Hirschfeld's blog post. Dell calls Crowbar modules "bar clamps", which are used to set up an OpenStack cloud. Much of Crowbar is powered by Chef server, a Merb web application with an API and a management console.

The open-source version of Crowbar does not come with Dell BIOS or Raid configuration, which is currently only available in the Dell Licensed version of Crowbar due to licensing restrictions, said Hirschfeld.

The Crowbar roadmap includes Hadoop support, Red Hat Enterprise Linux support, and network configuration, Hirschfeld added.

OpenStack initiative

The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution is based on the third packaged distribution of OpenStack, called Cactus, which has broader hypervisor support than previous versions. It supports Amazon and Rackspace APIs, the company said.

OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing initiative that provides components for infrastructure. These include open-source software and standards for large-scale deployments of automatically provisioned virtual computing instances.

The OpenStack cloud project was started by storage company Rackspace and Nasa in July 2010, and now has over 75 participating organisations, including Citrix, AMD, Intel, NTT, Canonical and Cisco.

Dell had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

ZDNet UK understands that Rackspace support for Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution will be available at some point in Q4.

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