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OpenStack – Private Cloud with a New Purpose

December 28, 2020 By BlueAlly

The OpenStack Foundation is now known as the Open Infrastructure Foundation. Apart from OpenStack, it includes several other projects like Airship and StarlingX to reshape the next generation of open compute platforms.

“But isn’t OpenStack dead?”, asked my engineering manager when we discussed the industry trends and roadmap deliverables.

He’s not the only one asking that question. OpenStack has not lived up to its hype as a utopian private cloud, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform. OpenStack, however, has a strong niche, powering many mission-critical applications in private cloud environments as demonstrated at the recent Virtual Infrastructure Summit. We continue to work closely with several of our customers, primarily in the financial services, technology, and service provider / managed service provider segments.

Understanding the Private Cloud

The private cloud infrastructure predates the emergence of the public cloud. Private clouds require an initial technology and human capital investment. However, for the right scale, they offer a better return on investment. Security used to be a common concern while considering a cloud migration strategy.

“Is Public Cloud secure?,” used to be a common question.

The rapid innovation enabled by leading cloud providers and partner ecosystems has addressed most of the basic security concerns. It is therefore not uncommon that the builders and operators of private clouds ask the following questions:

  1. Can I get 5-9s of high availability and service assurance on my private cloud?
  2. Can I offer the elasticity and simplified user workflow provided by the public cloud to my private cloud customers?
  3. Can I offer a marketplace or extend services as a self-service portal to my private cloud customers?
  4. Can I consolidate the functionality, reduce the footprint, and improve my private edge cloud’s performance density?

How do Containers and Kubernetes Fit into the Public and Private Cloud infrastructure?

Containerization and Kubernetes have improved the portability of applications, enabling accelerated adoption of the hybrid (private and public) clouds. It is typical for a micro-services application to have tens of micro-services. These services are designed and managed by different teams and have their self-serving lifecycle. Further, to keep the customer continuously engaged, each development team is incentivized to push and commit changes to production, as high as several times a day. These requirements amplify the need for a self-healing, auto-remediated mechanism for identifying and resolving inconsistencies – at the application, infrastructure, network, or security layer.

Visibility and control over your users and applications shouldn’t change irrespective of whether they are running in public clouds, private clouds, or at edge locations.

Open Infrastructure Summit

As demonstrated at the Open Infrastructure Summit, we are an early vendor to provide the Load Balancer as a Service (LBaaS) functionality on Octavia. Octavia is a stark contrast to Neutron, and embraces the “amphorae” concept, which has been a popular choice to deploy LBaaS and security services. This enables high-performance application delivery, security, and visibility for OpenStack. It also extends the elasticity and user experience of public cloud to OpenStack.

We cover the details in our talk (and solution demo) “The Amphorae of Application Delivery & Security with Octavia” from the Open Infrastructure Summit.

Key Takeaways:

  • OpenStack has its place in the private cloud
  • Private cloud features and functionality will look like Public Cloud in the long run.
  • A10 is an important player and has a strong offering for application delivery and application security in OpenStack, Kubernetes and public clouds