OpenStack Stacks Up: Open Source Software Sees Strong Uptake

COVER STORY

OpenStack Stacks Up: Open Source Software Sees Strong Uptake

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  July 27, 2016

There is a tendency in the tech industry in general for the hype to get ahead of reality. Pick your area, whether it be VoIP, 4G, private cloud adoption for mission critical applications, big data, NFC, etc., there is barely an area where what would be the market realities are not behind the initial promise of rapid adoption. Interestingly, one area where this may not be the case is in regards to OpenStack deployments.

In fact, the Seventh OpenStack Foundation User Survey shows that OpenStack users and community members are well on board. The results of the most recent survey, which gathered responses from more than 1,600 users representing 1,111 organizations, provide insights into the community’s technology choices and future requirements.

In a word, the results are encouraging. At a high level the reasons for optimism are based on the following. Sixty-five percent of OpenStack deployments are now in production, 33 percent more than a year ago. Ninety-seven percent of community members said that “standardizing on the same open platform and APIs that power a global network of public and private clouds” was one of their top five considerations in choosing OpenStack.

In revealing the survey results, the OpenStack Foundation noted that this willingness to invest in OpenStack solutions illustrates well the maturity of OpenStack and its value as a flexible platform that “has become an innovation engine for companies in diverse industries, enabling users to operate both legacy systems and cloud-native apps through a single framework.... OpenStack is unique in its ability to support organizations managing legacy IT workloads while also adopting agile IT systems to drive competitive advantage through rapid iteration of software development.”

They provided a comment from a major global financial institution which said: “Being a flexible framework to build on is the most important aspect of the OpenStack platform.... Also, being able to support both traditional and cloud-native workloads is very important because large enterprises don't have the luxury of dropping their legacy applications and fork-lifting them into the microservices-type designs from day one. The benefits of the cloud are too great to only allow new workloads onto the platform.”

A few other findings from the report are cause for understanding the enthusiasm. Here they are.

• Users are aligning around OpenStack as it becomes the de facto open source enterprise infrastructure-as-a-service API.

• Container technology continues to be a major interest for the OpenStack community, earning the most interest among emerging technologies, with 70 percent of respondents reporting interest in containers as a part of their OpenStack projects.

• Though there were few shakeups in deployment decisions, the use of platform-as-a-service and container orchestration tools saw significant changes among the leading technology choices, with Kubernetes leading.

• Deployments are rapidly adopting the two most recent releases of OpenStack, Kilo, and Liberty.

• Organizations of all sizes use OpenStack. Forty-three percent of respondents reported working in organizations of fewer than 1,000 people.

The report names Juniper Networks (News - Alert) as a leading vendor in the OpenStack arena, calling it the No. 1 commercially available SDN controller. The Contrail product line from Juniper includes both NFV and SDN solutions.

Juniper in late April announced a bevy of updates to its Contrail SDN solution, including container support, bare metal service VMware vCenter Integration, and enhanced service chaining. The container support allows users to create virtual networks using Docker containers, and to support container cluster management systems like Kubernetes so users can segment pods for microservices. The support for bare metal VMware allows users to interconnect their new and legacy environments. And the service chaining allows for the combination of physical and virtual network functions, the ability to add IPv6 to services in a service chain, and more.

The company also unveiled a new compact, containerized virtual firewall, the cSR, which is SDN-controlled and supports microservices, and a superfast (100Gbps) virtual firewall called the vSRX, which it says offers speed that is 10 times that of the nearest competitor.

Scott Miles, Juniper’s senior director of cloud and enterprise portfolio marketing, told INTERNET TELEPHONY that because the firewall can boot so fast and is designed for a large number of scale-out sessions it can actually work in new container environments. That’s important, he added, given that containers are isolated but not inherently secure.

“We believe that security is the killer app that will accelerate SDN adoption,” said Mike Spanbauer, vice president of security, test, and advisory at NSS Labs. “The complement of SDN and security can solve one of the greatest problems enterprises have dealt with over the last 25 years of enterprise network expansion, an operationally efficient way to implement policy, detection and enforcement across the entire network. With its Software-Defined Secure Networks vision, Juniper is making a move in that direction.”

AT&T (News - Alert) is among the network operators leveraging Juniper Contrail for its NFV deployment, Miles noted. Juniper’s technology will enable AT&T to do service chaining and orchestration and deliver virtualized firewalls, load balancers and other virtualized functions to customers so they can provision their own services, he said. As INTERNET TELEPHONY reported in October, AT&T offers a Network on Demand service powered by technology from Brocade, Cisco (News - Alert), and Juniper. Symantec and a handful of other network operators are also leveraging Contrail solutions today to power commercially available services, Miles said.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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