OpenStack for Hybrid Clouds: Challenges and Considerations
OpenStack is an obvious candidate for building hybrid clouds: it is an open source project supported by an active community that has the stamp of approval from major cloud vendors, including Red Hat, HP and Rackspace. If you are thinking about deploying an OpenStack hybrid
cloud, it can help to first consider how you will deal with some common challenges, including differences in OpenStack implementations, automating configuration operations, cloud bursting, and network connectivity issues.
Differences in OpenStack implementations stem both from changes across releases and from vendor specific modifications or additions. OpenStack has had eight major releases since 2010 and two are still actively supported: Grizzly is security-supported and Havanna, the latest, is the current stable and security-supported release.
While there is less risk of vendor lock-in than with proprietary platforms, commercial OpenStack versions have their own vendor-specific features. Also, the components of different versions of OpenStack can use different database schemas making migrations from one version to another a non-trivial task.
These are just a couple of examples demonstrating the fact that not all OpenStack implementations are interchangeable.
OpenStack is a modular system with an array of interacting components supporting compute, storage, and networking services. Getting started and then maintaining OpenStack private and hybrid clouds can be difficult. There are ways, however, to reduce the management pains that come with software as complex as OpenStack.
OpenStack users have made Chef cookbooks and Puppet configuration modules freely available on GitHub. Using existing configuration scripts as a starting point has several advantages, such as capturing current best practices and support across vendor platforms.Cloud management vendors, such as RightScale, offer multi-cloud management systems that offer an integrated management environment spanning multiple clouds and supplementing OpenStack management tools.
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