Archive

Posts Tagged ‘dell openstack cloud solution’

Thoughts on the Spring 2012 OpenStack Design Summit

.

The Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution - sweet!It’s been a couple of weeks since the OpenStack summit took place in San Francisco.  It was a great one, and I’m finally getting some time to put down a few thoughts about this year’s show. 

The company I work for, Dell, chose to sponsor again, which was great.  That would make five OpenStack conferences in a row, including the first one in Austin before OpenStack was announced.

It was great to see all the familiar faces, some with new companies.  And there was a number of new faces, which is a great indicator of the progress the OpenStack movement is making.  In fact, in the first keynote delivered by Jonathan Bryce, he asked for a show of hands of those who had never been to an OpenStack Summit before – I ballparked it at about 25% of the room as new! 

Some interesting takeaways from the conference:

  • The user community showed up A nice OpenStack crowd!
      
    The topic of users has been coming up at our local Austin OpenStack meetup often, and I was glad to see a number of inquisitive users come to the show to learn about using OpenStack in operation.  Users are an important part of our communit’y’s evolution, and it was good to see that group out in force to have their voices heard.
      
  • HPC as a cloud use case
      
    In a number of user sessions, high performance computing came up as a use case on OpenStack.  This has not been a space where I would have expected HPC to come up as a technology, but in thinking about it, it makes sense.  Similar to other spaces, the HPC communities are looking for more flexible, extensible platforms to build their systems on.
      
  • More user adoption of Crowbar
      
    Dell has been at the forefront of bare metal provisioning of multi-node OpenStack clouds since the advent of OpenStack, and every conference featured Dell doing bare metal deployments live.   It was great to hear about a number of methods of deployment that users were using, but also enlightening to know about all the users using Crowbar that we weren”t even aware of.  (It’s an open source community so that happens. 🙂 )   We’re commited to continuing to drive Crowbar as a deployment / mgmt / configuration framework, and it’s good to see the community adopting it as a platform.
      
  • www.Dell.com/OpenStackContinuing interest in the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution.
      
    Lots of good work is being done all over the community – software, services, and public cloud featuring OpenStack.  But I was happy that Dell was still clearly focused on being a central provider of OpenStack as an on-premise, cloud solution, whether private cloud for IT, or a public cloud option for service providers to offer.   Along with the announcement of the Emerging Solutions Ecosystem, which features a number of Dell partners like Canonical, enStratus, and Mirantis, there were a number of great discussions on how customers could get going on OpenStack asap.
      

And there’s a ton more that I’m not covering – the foundation, user group formation, hypervisor talk, etc, etc, etc – I’ll let you do that.

Drop me a comment about some of the things that you took away from the summit.  There was a lot to be excited about.

Already looking forward to the next summit in the fall.

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

More info:

Advertisements

RoadStack RV: Dell, Rackspace, OpenStack and a Long Stretch of Road…

April 29, 2012 Leave a comment

.The RoadStackers in Austin!

This past week marked the end of a nearly three week journey by a few brave souls from Rackspace and Dell, as the two companies sponsored the team to travel to and from the OpenStack Summit in San Fran last week, making Stacker Stops along the way.

A team that included folks like Dell’s Andi Abes and Rackspace’s Wayne Walls, Jordon Rinke, Scott Simpson, and Glen Campbell, finally ended their tour this past Friday, pulling into their San Antonio home base.

The team had quite a lofty mission – make the drive from San Antonio to San Fran, spend the week at the summit, and drive back hitting key cities like Los Angeles, Boulder, Dallas, and Austin.  As they drove, they’d code and blog.  When they stopped, they spread the good word around the OpenStack open cloud. 

(And I hear there was a bit of hijinks thrown in as well.)

We had the pleasure of hosting the RoadStackers when they stopped by the Dell campus in Austin – I had a chance to chat with the guys, so take a look at a few of the 90 second videos we put together…

And yeah – we had a little fun with it – enjoy!

If you want to learn more about Dell is doing in the OpenStack space, including the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution, check out www.Dell.com/OpenStack or drop me an email at OpenStack@Dell.com.

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbegeorge

Videos:

The #Dell #Crowbar Software Framework: Who, What, When, Where, and How

August 1, 2011 1 comment

.

It’s been about a week since Dell (the company I work for) officially announced the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, the market’s first HW / SW / Services solution for OpenStack – and the response has been great! 

(Check out my last blog post about it here for more details.)

Crowbar from Dell

Crowbar from Dell

Since this wasn’t your average announcement with a big company like Dell actually contributing to the community, I received a number of questions, comments, and accolades around our contributed software framework – Crowbar.

So I thought I’d pass on some of the people, history, functionality, and background behind Dell’s Crowbar software.
  

History

Since Dell had been a committed partner of OpenStack’s since it’s announcement in July of 2010 (over a year ago), we were among the first to begin working with the OpenStack code as we began developing the Dell solution for it.   Since it was very early, very raw code, there was a lot of installing / testing / coding / re-testing / blowing it away / reinstalling / testing / coding  / re-testing / blowing it away… you get the idea. 

And as any cloud technology goes, deploying OpenStack on bare metal took time, effort, and expertise

It wasn’t long before our solutions development team decided we’d automate this process to make our efforts quicker.  But lo and behold, we discovered that others in the community were dealing with the same thing.   A few early users indicated that it was taking them a full day to deploy OpenStack from start to finish, and in most cases, it was taking multiple days.

So we decided build out a quick, automated method of deploying OpenStack on bare metal technology that the whole community could use.

And Crowbar was born.
     

Functionality

Extending the capabilities of the Chef configuration management framework from Opscode, our team began developing Crowbar with the goal of installing a multi-node OpenStack cloud on bare metal PowerEdge C servers in less than four hours.  “Multi-node” was a key requirement as almost every use case we encountered required that. 

We announced Crowbar’s existence and development in early 2011, with our intent to field test, and then release to the open source community.  Over the course of time, we began testing it out in various instances and scenarios, as well as demo-ing it at various cloud events.  Many of you may remember us showcasing our progress at SCaLE, CloudConnect, and the Apr OpenStack Design Summit (which Dell sponsored).  

With time and experience, we came across a number of requirements for this type of a tool – automated BIOS configuration, RAID configuration, network discovery and set up, installation of the open source system monitoring tool Nagios, installation of the open source performance monitoring tool Ganglia, and more.  So we built it all in.

And based on the extensive cloud cloud experience on our team, we knew that cloud development and management is an ever evolving exercise – as the Dell OpenStack lead architect and OpenStack community celeb Rob Hirschfeld would say, “Cloud is always ready, and never finished.”  So Crowbar is designed in a way to manage change.  Add in a new supported server to the mix, and Crowbar detects it and proceeds to add it to the OpenStack pool.  When software needs to be updated, Crowbar can be leveraged to update once, and deploy to all.
     

Barclamps

Dell Crowbar featuring Barclamps!

Dell Crowbar featuring Barclamps!

And what about new components that come out?  There are a number of new OpenStack capabilities coming out of various projects – how do those get rolled in?

Barclamps.  

(Yes, we designed Crowbar with modularity in mind.)

Think of it this way:  Crowbar is made up of two general functionality categories – the Crowbar core and Crowbar barclamps.  The Crowbar core contains all the main functionality that allows Crowbar to perform tasks.  Barclamps are modules that actually perform a function.  So need to deploy OpenStack Nova (aka cloud compute)?  Leverage the Nova barclamp.  Need to deploy OpenStack Swift (aka cloud storage)?  Leverage the Swift barclamp.

Need to deploy some software that doesn’t have a barclamp?

You can create your own barclamp!

And that’s the beauty of Crowbar – we created (and will continue to create) barclamps that work for our customers, but we’re encouraging / training our customers to develop their own barclamps, and we want the community at large to do the same.
  

What real customers are doing with the Crowbar and the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

In our press release, one of our OpenStack customers, DreamHost, spoke about their success with the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution.  Along with Dell server technology and services, the innovative DreamHost team really picked up on the Crowbar tool.  In fact, as they are working on hosted options for their Ceph technology, the DreamHost team has begun developing a barclamp for Ceph!

In fact, here’s what the DreamHost GM of Emerging Technologies, Ben Cherian, had to say about Crowbar:

“If Dell had not developed Crowbar, we would have been forced to write a similar tool ourselves. It’s a fundamental goal that we have in the company: automate, automate, automate. That’s how we drive down prices.”

Ben also went on to say that since Dell had already developed a technology like Crowbar, we ended up saving them four to six months of development time.
  

Common Questions

  1. Is Crowbar for Dell products only?
      
    The Crowbar software that we’ve developed at Dell will obviously work with Dell supported platforms.  But there is no reason that this framework will not work for any other vendor technology – all that needs to happen is for that vendor / user / community member to create a barclamp for that technology.
       
  2. Is Crowbar for OpenStack only?
      
    Obviously, our original use case is for OpenStack – it has been tested and validated for that model.  However, again, it is a flexible software framework.  We can see a number of use cases for OpenStack, and welcome the community to use it where it makes sense.
      
  3. What do I get with Crowbar as a part of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution vs open source Crowbar?
      
    There are two main differences at this point: 
      
    First, open source Crowbar has everything that the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution Crowbar has, except for the BIOS and RAID capabilities, where we’re trying to clear some legal hurdles before we open source.  Once those are cleared, we expect to open source those capabilities.
      
    Second, when you get Crowbar as a part of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, you will get full support from Dell via Dell Services.  Any questions, support, training you need on Crowbar, Dell delivers it.
      

Where do I get Crowbar?

OK, the question of the hour.   How do you get Crowbar?

  1. You get Dell-supported Crowbar when you purchase the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution.
      
  2. You get open source Crowbar from our github site – http://www.github.com/dellcloudedge.
      

You can head over to http://www.RobHirschfeld.com and see much more TECHNICAL content on the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution and Crowbar.  In addition to being our lead architect on OpenStack, Rob is actually one of the developers of the actual Crowbar software.  (You can also follow him on Twitter at @zehicle.)

And as always, if you want to learn more about the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, you can head to http://www.Dell.com/OpenStack.  Or if you’d like to reach out to us to learn more, drop me and the gang a line at OpenStack@Dell.com.
  

Until next time,

JOSEPH
@jbgeorge
  

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

THIS JUST IN: Dell Announces the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

July 26, 2011 6 comments

.

On the heels of the one year anniversary of the OpenStack open source cloud operating system – here’s some awesome news…

Dell (the company I work for) announces the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, the market’s first hardware + software + services OpenStack solution for customers seeking to build out their own OpenStack clouds!

Let’s take a look under the hood, shall we?
  

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Hardware (Dell PowerEdge C cloud optimized servers)

 Built on a reference architecture honed since DAY ONE of the OpenStack movement, the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution offers a hardware configuration featuring cloud optimized Dell PowerEdge C servers.  Dell has built cloud infrastructure for some of the biggest names in the world, like Facebook and Microsoft Azure, and have used those learnings to develop the highly dense, power-efficient PowerEdge C servers that the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution has been architected with.

  

Software (Dell Crowbar deploying and managing the OpenStack cloud platform)

When Dell began testing OpenStack in mid 2010, we were installing it, testing it, blowing it away, reinstalling it, tweaking it, blowing it away, reinstalling it… you get the picture.  And it wasn’t trivial.  These deployments took considerable time, effort, and expertise, so we developed the Dell Crowbar software framework extending Opscode’s Chef automation, which can deploy MULTI-NODE OpenStack clouds in hours or even minutes, rather than days when done manually.   (Anyone remember our team deploying a 6 node Nova and Swift OpenStack deployment in 29 minutes at CloudConnect?)   Crowbar enables BIOS and RAID setup and configuration, network setup, deploys open source tools like Nagios and Ganglia for monitoring, and much more.  

And hey, we’re a community here, right?  So here’s what the OpenStack community has been waiting to hear – Dell has now open sourced Crowbar!  We’ve made it available to the open source community via our Github site, which is linked below.   My partner in crime, Rob Hirschfeld, goes into Crowbar deep on his blog, so I’ve provided a link to his site below as well.  (FYI – we are still working through some of the legal aspects of BIOS and RAID capabilities, but decided to open source the rest of Crowbar while we work it out.)

And speaking of support…

    

Services (Dell Services + Rackspace Cloud Builders)

After a year of being in OpenStack, we’ve built up some expertise, so Dell Services, along with our partner Rackspace Cloud Builders, will be offering a plethora of services to help you make your OpenStack cloud a reality.

  • Consulting
  • Deployment
  • Training
  • Support for the entire solution – HW, Crowbar, OpenStack, etc
  • And a host of other services direct from Dell Services

When you get the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, you can call Dell for support on any aspect of the solution, and we’ll help you figure it out, with our crack support teams, our OpenStack engineers, and our OpenStack partners.

And those are the basics. 

  

Fast. Easy. Now.  The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

Fast. Easy. Now. The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution

A few more comments….

Let me just say – I am proud that we’ve delivered this solution to market, but even PROUDER to be part of a company had the vision to see the potential of OpenStack on Day One.  Yes, that’s a big deal to me.

I’d like to call out a number of partners we’ve worked with to get to this point – Rackspace, Citrix, Opscode, Canonical, Intel, and others – the community is a big deal in OpenStack, and it’s great to have their support in this announcement.   I’m also very happy that one of our first Dell OpenStack customers, DreamHost, is a part of this announcement as well with a full case study on how they’re doing OpenStack with Dell.  (HINT: they’re neck deep in Crowbar and loving it!) 

We plan to celebrate the announcement big time at OSCON, so if you’re here, come by the Dell booth – demos, gear, giveaways, etc.   And our breakout session will be on Thursday (10:40am in room E-141) – “Prying Open the Cloud with Dell Crowbar and OpenStack” – Rob will present the deep down details on Crowbar. 
(And if you want to get in on the celebration, feel free to tweet the news and your thoughts – be sure to use hashtags #Dell, #OpenStack and #Crowbar…)

 

So What’s Next?

Time for YOU to start using this.  The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution, Crowbar, all of it.   Talk to your Dell rep, emaial us at OpenStack@Dell.com, download Crowbar, start building Crowbar barclamps, discuss it in the forums, etc…  and get started building OpenStack clouds with Dell.
  

More info:

Until next time,

JBG
@jbgeorge