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April 26, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 10:48am

Telco’s, Red Hat, NASA & certification: 5 major talking points from OpenStack Summit

List: Summit in Austin is being used to showcase OpenStack use cases for NFV and aiding space exploration.

By James Nunns

The OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas is underway and there has been numerous announcements from the large community of vendors which operates in it.

The event has a serious tone, aside from a vodka drinking Russian bear, which feels like it suits the mission of being seen as a mature enterprise cloud offering. The language being used during the keynote highlighted this as they don’t so much appear to be talking to business users but more to the developers that will help push its adoption.

Product announcements and plenty of talking points came out of the first day, CBR gives you a list of the big ones.


1. OpenStack as the private cloud standard

While not a lot of time was spent talking about this message from AT&T, it was a point that holds some weight. While OpenStack offers both public and private cloud, it is being associated with private cloud a lot more.

There is no suggestion that this is a focus from OpenStack, it just happens to be how a lot of customers are choosing to use it as this style of deployment clearly fits the requirements.

With a large community of major vendors behind it, OpenStack could find itself becoming the standard for how private clouds are built and deployed, if it solves the complexity problem.

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2. Complexity

Like it or not, OpenStack has had problems around complexity since its inception. This isn’t just to do with there being numerous different vendors and solutions to choose from for each element of the cloud, but it’s to do with have the skilled professionals to be able to manage and build on it.

Tackling this problem has been one of the main focuses for the community of vendors and both the OpenStack Foundation and Red Hat have revealed new efforts to resolve the issue.

The OpenStack Foundation has launched the Certified OpenStack Administrator exam in a move that is designed to give cloud professionals a way to prove their expertise. An exam which is based heavily on practical skills, it will be available virtually, around the world through the Foundation’s training marketplace. This is the first professional certification offering from the Foundation.

Red Hat meanwhile has been playing up the advantages of its own training program, saying that in 2015 alone, more than 10,000 IT professionals and partners used its OpenStack training program.

As OpenStack matures there is likely to remain a focus on these training and certification programs.

OpenStack Summit: From Red Hat & NASA to making OpenStack the standard for private clouds

3. Verizon NFV

Telcos are well represented in OpenStack, with the likes of AT&T, China Mobile and Orange all using the technology.

Verizon revealed at the summit that it has the largest OpenStack NFV deployment. This has been developed in collaboration with Red Hat, Dell and Big Switch Networks to deploy the Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage across five US datacentres.

The NFV project began in 2015 and created a production design that is based on a core and pod architecture that provides hyperscale capabilities and flexibility to deal with network requirements.

This deal is big for OpenStack as it helps to prove another real-world use case for the technology, something that should only help to increase its adoption.

The deployment which covers five of Verizon’s US data centres highlights the strength of the community with vendors like Dell, Red Hat and Big Switch all working together under the umbrella of OpenStack.

4. Red Hat and NASA

Red Hat has certainly been busy on the first day of the Summit. Its latest announcement revealed that NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has built a private cloud based on Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

NASA, which is one of the original founders of the OpenStack Project, has decided to use Red Hat’s technology in order to modernise its on-premise storage and server capacity. The hope is that this will help NASA to support hundreds of JPL mission scientists and engineers and allow researchers to use their own private cloud in addition to external cloud sources such as AWS, when necessary for peak demand.

JPL, which is NASA’s primary centre for robotic exploration of the solar system, is using Red Hat’s OpenStack and Linux technology so that it can save time and resources from being spent on datacentres by retooling and consolidating its in-house hardware.


5. Cambridge University

The University is enhancing the connectivity between High Performance Computing, data analytics and its OpenStack cloud to improve its scientific research capabilities.

By deploying Mellanox’s End-to-End Ethernet interconnect solution the University is hoping to bridge the divide between its solutions and improve the interconnected performance of the technologies that it uses.

Having a fully interconnected technology stack means that the University’s researchers will be able to work across multiple disciplines more easily.

The University said that its use of analytics-based research has helped to fuel the development of an OpenStack based scientific cloud for research.

Mellanox’s technology will create a high-throughput, low-latency cloud network fabric that will allow them to use offload and high acceleration capabilities.

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