At this year’s OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, the message was clear. OpenStack needs to pivot from a science experiment to a production system. Even though this is happening, it has been happening slowly. Some would argue that it has been achieved for the likes of PayPal and other extremely large institutions, such as AT&T. However, running, configuring, and installing OpenStack still takes more knowledge than the average enterprise system administrator has available to them. The new Certified OpenStack Administrator certification is a way to exhibit a level of competence for the age of the new OpenStack: the production-ready OpenStack.
In my last article, I spent a little time talking about the difference between automation, which is an automated task or scripted solution to perform a task, and orchestration, which is the complete process. I topped it all off with a discussion about how DevOps is a philosophy driving orchestration. For this article, I want to focus in on the some of the most common tools of the trade behind the automation and orchestration for different types of environments.
Last year marked the turning point at which mobile devices worldwide surpassed desktop devices. Depending on where you reside in the world, a smartphone or tablet may commonly be the only computing device a person owns, or it may be one of several devices. Within many enterprises, users are increasingly demanding the ability to access their virtualized resources from their own devices so that they can have the opportunity to work anytime and anywhere.
In the industry, OpenStack is seen as very hard to implement. Considering this, I began to think that most people who deploy OpenStack try to bite off too a large chunk of OpenStack at one go, to implement it all instead of just what they need. OpenStack is a cloud management platform, not the hypervisor, so perhaps we can take some lessons from how we installed VMware products when we just started out. We still implement things using the same patterns for vSphere. We should revisit OpenStack with this history in mind.
One of the things we associate with existing IT infrastructure vendors is their determination to go it alone for a major portion of their businesses. Vendor each believe that their solution is the best. They feel that integrating with competing solutions is unnecessary. Oracle and Microsoft were the most well-known examples, happily attracting users with a locked-in architecture and using that dominance to stifle competition. VMware has also exhibited this trait. You may layer additional technologies on top of vSphere, but you cannot put another hypervisor under a VMware product. What we see in open source is a willingness to integrate with other solutions, even competing projects. We are seeing some signs of a change in VMware, but not the dramatic shift that Microsoft has made.