OpenStack Summit: Day one round up

IDC Storage has been following and tracking the OpenStack movement for some time now. OpenStack has received significant press lately and it seems every major IT company is circling the preverbal wagon around OpenStack. What's reality vs. hype?...

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IDC Storage has been following and tracking the OpenStack movement for some time now. OpenStack has received significant press lately and it seems every major IT company is circling the preverbal wagon around OpenStack. What's reality vs. hype? Let's dive-in and dissect day 1 of the summit.

Cinder

Let's debunk the first myth, Cinder is not software defined storage trying to replace existing storage systems. Rather, Cinder is really a storage management abstraction layer for orchestration between virtual machines and storage systems. However, Cinder does utilise Linux's built-in LVM to provide storage intelligence to JBOD storage devices. Therefore it is possible to connect JBOD to a Cinder storage node and perform Cinder storage features such as snapshots. More to come on Cinder when the design sessions start on Wednesday.

Fibre Channel Support for Cinder
Grizzly brought very basic support for Fibre Channel (FC) and previously (in Folsom) Cinder only supported iSCSI. People ask:
  • Why support FC?
  • Isn't FC dead?
  • Isn't FC support just a bridge until everyone goes iSCSI?
The fact is FC storage systems are still being bought, deployed, and as a protocol dominates the storage market. IDC forecasts in 2016, iSCSI will have ~1/3 revenue & ~1/2 capacity deployed compared to FC. Therefore it's logical for OpenStack to support FC to increase OpenStack's TAM and allow infrastructures to leverage their existing investments. It was good to see Brocade, HP, and EMC working together & contributing to the OpenStack community. Points to note for FC in Grizzly:

  • Only supports KVM hypervisor
  • Manual zoning setup
  • No LUN or host authentication (i.e. security concerns)
  • HP 3PAR has the only driver supported
End-user deployments
 At the analyst day, the OpenStack foundation did a good job of organising lots of end-users to come in, present, and share their OpenStack experiences with the analysts. End-user experiences presented:
  • Comcast
  • eBay
  • Best Buy
  • Intel internal IT cloud
  • AT&T Synaptic Cloud
  • RackSpace
  • HP Cloud
  • Cisco WebEx
  • DreamHost
If I had to give an award, Best Buy had the "best" presentation because they laid out the problem, their journey, lesson's learned, and the financials. If you are at the OpenStack Summit or could listen to only one user presentation, definitely listen the Best Buy guys and then Cisco WebEx. OpenStack summit April 2013.jpg Points to note:
  • Organisations are putting portions of services in production with OpenStack
  • Most deployed Essex & are skipping Folsom to upgrade straight to Grizzly. Upgrading OpenStack, requiring downtime & organisation believe Grizzly's features are overwhelmingly compelling
  • Complaints around OpenStack Swift with regards to long distance replication. IDC is going to dig deeper into this issue & provide an update later in the summit
  • Ceph seems to be getting some traction as the duel purpose block and object store
  • OpenStack installation requires significant engineering for production & maintenance
Posted by Dan Iacono, Research DirectorIDC

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