In late October, 2011, cloud service provider Internap announced that it has an OpenStack-based cloud ready for public consumption. This open-source cloud computing platform is designed to rival VMware and create competition for Amazon Web Services.
How did it happen?
Surprisingly, Internap even beat OpenStack founder Rackspace, to release an OpenStack-based cloud. It was able to offer a solution first, because it began early. The company had announced its plans for the OpenStack offering in May 2011 and immediately got to work building it on top of the projects Cactus release. The product is known as the Open Public Cloud compute service and adds to Nova, the core OpenStack compute code.
Developing Open Public Cloud
Josh Crow, Internap’s senior vice president of product engineering said, “There are some challenges in server sizing in an open-source project like this, there’s quite a bit to be done in tuning the cloud platform into product offerings and making them carrier grade.”
In its release, Internap also claims to have removed a number of key points of failure in its database, messaging and networking. It has also adjusted the firewalling and IP addressing features, in order to pass jobs and workloads more conveniently around a network, as well as across multiple machines.
While the company plans on contributing code changes back to OpenStack, it would have to relinquish control over the IP, and allow larger companies access to the APIs that the service rests on. All changes to the product will be returned to the OpenStack Quantum networking project.
In response to the risk of losing its competitive edge, Crow said,
“We do gain competitive advantage through IP we develop, but also gain advantage by having a large development community working on this platform, so we get all the benefits of the baseline improvements.”
The company also plans to differentiate its product on the service front. It plans to offer top-notch support, client management and infrastructure.
There are other potential OpenStack offerings which are in the works. For instance, Citrix’s Project Olympus was announced in May as an infrastructure. Currently, it is still in private beta. According to the company,
“Project Olympus will be a tested and verified distribution of the popular open source cloud infrastructure project OpenStack, combined with a cloud-optimized version of XenServer.”
Hewlett-Packard’s Cloud Services claims that it will be all things to all people. It touts itself as infrastructure, platform and solutions for anyone, ranging from developers, ISVs and businesses. Cloud Services was announced in September 2011 and is still in beta form.
In October 2011, Attachmate’s Suse division announced its plans to offer a private OpenStack cloud for enterprises. While the product, known as Suse Cloud, will not be available for at least nine months, it will be based on the latest version of OpenStack, known as Diablo. A beta version of Suse Cloud is available for testing.
Suse Cloud is compatible with hypervisors from Microsoft and VMware, as well as the Xen and KVM hypervisors. It runs on the Suse Linux Enterprise servier and can be used with Suse Studio, in order to build and deploy cloud applications, as well as the Suse Manager server administration tools.
According to Nils Brauckmann, president and general manager of Suse,
“We have successfully commercialized enterprise-quality open source software for twenty years. Today we help over 13,000 customers run their business more efficiently and cost effectively on SUSE Linux Enterprise along with our technical support that is recognized in independent studies as the best Linux support in the industry. What we have done with SUSE Linux Enterprise, we will now do for OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure.”
This article takes a look at the OpenStack solution offered by Internap. This product is known as the Open Public Cloud, and contributes code to Nova, which is the core OpenStack compute code. In addition to Internap’s offering, the article also introduces other OpenStack offerings, including: Citrix’s Project Olympus; Hewlett-Packard’s Cloud Services; and Attachmate’s Suse Cloud.
CCSK Exam Preparation
In preparation for the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), a security professional should be comfortable with topics related to this post, including:
- Provider selection (Domain 8)
- Recommended provider tools and capabilities (Domain 9)
- Differences in S-P-I models (Domain 10)