Jonathan Bryce executive director for the OpenStack consortium

Jonathan Bryce, executive director for the OpenStack consortium.

Rise Of The OpenStack Federation

The folks that run the OpenStack Foundation consortium made plain its global ambitions for OpenStack clouds. The announcement was made at the OpenStack Summit 2015 conference. Here are the details.

At the OpenStack Summit 2015 conference this week, the folks that run the OpenStack Foundation consortium made plain its global ambitions for OpenStack clouds.

In addition to launching an OpenStack Powered certification program designed to make implementations of the core elements of OpenStack more standard, the OpenStack Foundation also announced OpenStack Identity Federation, an effort to provide a common identity management framework across both public and private cloud implementations of OpenStack.

Speaking at the OpenStack Summit, Jonathan Bryce, executive director for the OpenStack consortium, said the consortium is currently working on interoperability tests and requirements that every implementation of OpenStack will have to pass in order to be certified. Thus far, OpenStack implementations from Bright Computing, IBM, HP (HPQ) Rackspace (RAX), VMWare (VMW), Red Hat (RHT), SUSE and Ubuntu are among the first to have been certified.

As part of that process, Bryce said the goal is nothing less than to build a global network of interoperable clouds that all share a common set of core application programming interfaces (APIs).

At the same time, Bryce made it clear that the federated identity capabilities that OpenStack expanded in the latest Kilo release of the cloud management framework are a foundational element of that strategy. The goal is to not only make it easier for users to navigate multiple clouds, but also dynamically scale application workloads across hybrid clouds based on a common set of OpenStack services. Thus far, 30 cloud service providers have committed to supporting OpenStack Identity Federation.

Despite several fits and starts OpenStack momentum is starting to build. Red Hat this week revealed the results of a survey of 310 IT professionals that found that 75 percent are planning to use OpenStack cloud initiatives. To be clear that doesn’t mean those IT organizations won’t be deploying cloud frameworks based on commercial code. But they are most certainly investigating using an open source framework as less expensive alternative.

At the moment, however, OpenStack deployment experiences are mixed. IT organizations that stay within the confines of an official OpenStack distribution tend to do better than those that try to make use of raw OpenStack bits. At the same time, IT organizations with access to OpenStack engineering expertise are generally further along than most traditional IT environments.

All told, it’s clear that OpenStack is going to be a force to be reckoned with inside and out of the traditional data centers. In fact, if the OpenStack Foundation has its way the line between where one data center picks up and another one leaves off will in the fullness of time become virtually indistinguishable.

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