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OpenStack: Legitimate Division 1 Contender

Posted by Joe Burke on Nov 5, 2015 5:47:15 PM
Joe Burke
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division-1Living in New England, I often find myself poking fun at many of my friends and colleagues who pledge an allegiance to a certain football team who participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Sure they’ve produced some viable NFL talent over the years, but with zero BCS national title appearances while participating in a conference that some would say is less than stellar, I often ask “are they really division 1 material?” And while they have some pretty vocal “super fans” there never seems to be a whole lot of results, but I digress.

It’s funny, because I think initially we could all draw some (see SOME) parallels here between a vocal and evangelistic following, but not a whole lot to speak of results wise, with KVM and OpenStack. But boy does it seem that those days are simply a distant memory recently.

openstackIn case you’ve been living under a rock since roughly 2010, OpenStack provides an open source framework that allows anyone to build or participate in infrastructure as a service solutions and offerings. One of the main issues that many OpenStack detractors seemed to have initially when it came to enterprise adoption was that – its open source. That means lack of formal support, functional gaps, and a wide variety of other concerns that typically come with open source software.

Fast-forward to 2015 and it would seem that OpenStack isn’t just ready for enterprise adoption, it’s already there.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

Maybe you missed how Walmart standardized its entire e-commerce operation of more than 100,000 cores and serval petabytes of storage on OpenStack, or perhaps you didn’t catch that PayPal converted nearly 100 percent of their traffic serving web/API applications and mid-tier services to run on their internal private cloud, based on OpenStack. The bottom line is that OpenStack isn’t go anywhere anytime soon and it seems that more and more larger enterprises are taking notice.

More recently, a blockbuster piece of information was released last week when Apple decided not to renew an expiring VMware enterprise licensing agreement and instead opted to step up their deployment of KVM, an open-source alternative to VMware server virtualization. Although it’s not entirely clear if Apple is planning to use KVM and OpenStack to completely replace its VMware private cloud, this is a huge win for open source and contributes to a major shift in the enterprise computing landscape.

Day 1 and Day 2 – Two Days, Two Strategies

Deploying OpenStack can be enough of a challenge. There is a reason that packaged OpenStack distributions have risen in popularity so much, and that so much funding has gone into building the companies who are working on solving the deployment challenges.

Day 2 challenges are entirely different. This is the beginning of building out operational procedures to run and manage your OpenStack environment. There are some very interesting ways that organizations are attacking the Day 1 issues, but at this point it is still primarily being done with people.

As the OpenStack adoption increases, so will the challenges of Day 2 management. It is an interesting time as we see the shift towards enterprise OpenStack and the need to provide the best of the new and some of the best practices of the old.

Topics: Cloud

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