Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17 arrives

Red Hat continues to support the open-source OpenStack cloud for the simple reason that telecom giants such as Verizon depend on it.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
5G tower

Some people still insist that OpenStack, the open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud, is dead. They are so, so wrong. By Statista's count, OpenStack is the most popular open-source cloud of all. And what's more important for Red Hat is that telecoms, such as Verizon cellular and 5G networks, live and die by OpenStack. So, it comes as no surprise when Red Hat rolled out Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOP) 17 at Mobile World Congress in Las Vegas Wednesday, the company talked up how OpenStack and telecom work hand-in-hand. 

I mean, when you're talking about over 2.5 billion mobile users running on RHOP, you're talking real money.  

With this release, Red Hat also emphasized how it's working ever closer with its Kubernetes-based OpenShift release. Some people labor under the delusion that OpenStack and Kubernetes are rivals. They're not. They can, as Red Hat is showing, work together to get the benefits of both virtual machines and containers. 

Maria Bracho, OpenStack's principal product manager, explained, "We have found over the last couple of years that the conversation is not a religious dispute between the two platforms but rather where their workloads are served best." So, OpenStack 17 now supports a virtualized control plane that runs with OpenShift. This enables users to run both Kubernetes-based cloud-native services and virtual machines (VMs) on the same cloud. 

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At the same time, if you want to run OpenShift on bare metal, then work with OpenShift and OpenStack together when that works better for your workloads, you can. Bracho added, "We've done a ton of work to make sure that the platforms can be used together. In addition, you can run both virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs) on the paired platforms. There is also an open virtual network (OVN) migration tool to validate migrations between Open vSwitch (OVS) and OVN and offload support for smartNICs. There's also a tech preview of role-based access control (RBAC) with increased enforcement across OpenStack services for more security." 

The updated OpenStack 17 also boasts dynamic resource allocation to support "lighter" deployments. These are deployments, such as for edge computing, that don't require as many services. 

While the new RHOP will appeal mostly to telecoms, it remains a solid platform for other use cases. These include private clouds, public clouds, and edge deployments. Indeed, anyone who wants to control their own cloud rather than trusting their services to one of the hypercloud companies, such as Amazon Web Services, Azure, or Google Cloud, should consider RHOP. 

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