The future of the cloud is OpenStack

OpenStack

Want to add a new functionality to your system? Or solve a bug in one of your applications? You probably don’t want to have to wait days for this to be completed. In fact, you probably don’t even have the time. Because your customers, employees or users refuse to wait.

Current IT developments are becoming more demanding in terms of the way applications are developed and the way developers work on projects. Continuous integration, development and releasing  applications have different requirements when it comes to the way the underlying infrastructure is used. The answer? OpenStack cloud by CloudVPS.

Public cloud: easy scaling possibilities

When you choose the public cloud, you’ll have immediate access to the right infrastructure components. In addition, you’ll have access to as many components as you need – and only when you need them. Initial investments are rarely necessary. And you’ll only pay for what you use. You’ll no longer need to anticipate peak loads in the underlying infrastructure. The cloud allows you to scale when you need to – both horizontally and vertically.

You might associate the words public cloud with the big American hyperscale clouds, like AWS or Microsoft Azure. Using an infrastructure like that results in other issues than a traditional infrastructure or an infrastructure at a local service provider. A cloud (exit) strategy, security and compliance, service levels, support, rules and regulations: they’re only a few of the topics you’ll need to consider before you move your data and applications to a hyperscale cloud. Are you using a strictly Dutch service provider? In that case these issues play a less important role. Especially when this cloud is based on open source software and has an open nature, such as an OpenStack based cloud.

Open with OpenStack

Being open source software, OpenStack is a Cloud Operating System, which can be used to manage infrastructure resources such networking, storage and compute. You can manage these resources via the API and/or the dashboard. OpenStack doesn’t just offer you multitenancy and an extensive rights and role structure, but also monitoring and measuring. A large community of developers and users maintains and develops the platform on a continuous basis – including renowned parties like Mirantis, Red Hat and Suse[1].

OpenStack can be implemented in a variety of ways. Many companies choose a public cloud instead of building their own private cloud. A logical choice, since implementing and managing OpenStack is complex, and you’ll have to deal with hardware and data center components. On an OpenStack cloud, you’ll immediately be able to start using the infrastructure resources. And with the right supplier, you’ll also benefit from all possibilities and functionalities OpenStack has to offer. OpenStack provides a number of interesting benefits when you use it for your application environment.

You’ll have a choice of multiple (inter)national parties with a cloud based on the same underlying OpenStack technology. This means you can easily select a cloud provider that best matches your wishes. In addition to a public cloud based on OpenStack, using a Dutch cloud provider offers a multitude of benefits, such as guidance and personal support, and assistance in case of technology and legislation changes.

Not all OpenStack clouds are the same: the implementation offers room for your own interpretation. With CloudVPS, your instances are delivered from a central storage environment. The advantage? CloudVPS offers high available instances. In case one compute node is lost, the instances are resumed on one of the other compute nodes. If a cloud provider doesn’t use central storage, it might be that your instances aren’t highly available and that you’ll have to set up a solution within your application environment. This could result in extra complexity and unnecessary additional costs.

Freedom of choice is an important advantage. Because of OpenStack’s open nature, you’re able to lift your application environment and shift it to a different provider with a cloud based on OpenStack. This provides a direct answer to the application and data portability issue.

OpenStack is managed manually with the dashboard – or it can be fully automated. The OpenStack API offers more functionalities than the dashboard. You’ll be able to automate your entire application environment, from implementation and management to degradation. Automation can be realized with Heat, which is part of OpenStack. However, thanks to its open nature, you’ll also be able to use other orchestration and provisioning tools, such as Terraform, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes and Ansible. This will allow you to become even more flexible and efficient, since you are enforcing standardization, duplicating application environments both quickly and easily, and responding dynamically to your application’s behavior.

Current and future application

One thing is clear: OpenStack is the right choice – now and in the future. The platform is actively being optimized based on user input and a new version of OpenStack is released every six months. These new versions contain improved stability and security and offer new functionalities and services. This makes OpenStack suitable for your legacy application, cloud-ready applications and even future developments that are currently still on the roadmap – as long as you choose the right type of OpenStack cloud.

[1] Contributor overview: http://stackanalytics.com/