Its all about the infrastructure baby!
Wow…long time no blog. It has been really busy the last couple of months since I have written a blog post, busy you know with Oneiric development work on Ubuntu Server. Oneiric seems to be coming along nicely and we are shaping up for an interesting release when its done. Especially with the the Openstack bits that are being worked on both by the Ubuntu Server Team and the Openstack community.
The Openstack ecosphere has grown a lot of over the past couple of months. With major hardware vendors such as HP, Dell, and Cisco announcing support for Openstack, the marketplace is getting crowded with everyone announcing an Openstack IaaS solution. With more and more companies offering a cloud solution, it is more than likely that they are going to be using the same “Diablo” release of the Openstack. So how are they going to set themselves apart from each other and hopefully stand out? Its all about the infrastructure baby! Right now, there is still a lot of fiddling a user has to do in order to use Nova. Providing an infrastructure for deployment for any number of machines have to be easy and straight forward as possible. Right now, there is a lot of deployment tools that users can use, which is great because it offers users choice. Lets look at some of the offerings that I am aware about.
Lets start off with Dell. Last week at OSCON, Dell had announced “crowbar”. Crowbar is Dell’s solution to the Openstack deployment infrastructre. The twitter universe has been all gaga for it (good marketing) and it looks nice. It is based on Chef and the source is available. Dell is trying to get a community around it which is a good thing. However it looks very Dell specific and right now its based off of Ubuntu 10.10.
Next lets have a look at StackOps. StackOps has their users download an ISO. Once the user installs a base system, it has a web base installer as second stage installer. The second stage installer seems to be hosted by StackOps which is probably not an ideal way to deploy Openstack. This is eerily similar what we did with Eucalyptus minus the web based second stage installer, and have problems with in the past. It is also based off of Ubuntu right now as well. However, this mode of delivery seems to me not for scale for large deployment.
Finally what have Canonical been working on, well its called Orchestra. The idea behind Orchestra is given a number of nodes in a deployment, deploy nova, swift, and glance easily. The tools that we use are the best of the open source technologies, so in Orchcestra we use cobbler to deploy the base operating system and ensemble to deploy Openstack. Orchestra has other features such as monitoring your deployment using Nagios, and a central rsyslog to have all your log files in one place.
Right now, Orchestra is still undergoing a high pace of development and I am quite excited to see where it is going and being the premier tool for deploying Openstack on Ubuntu.
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