Monday, May 12, 2014

OpenStack Builds Momentum with Icehouse Stack and Open Marketplace

The OpenStack community continues to gain momentum following last month's release of Icehouse - its ninth software stack -- and the opening of an OpenStack Marketplace, said Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, in his keynote address to the OpenStack Summit, which is being held in Atlanta this week.  Bryce said the OpenStack movement is many ways representative of the tech industry -- we are moving to an era of agile infrastructure supporting a "software-defined economy."

The new OpenStack Marketplace has five initial categories: Public Clouds, Distributions and Appliances, Training, Consulting and Systems Integrators, and Drive. All included products and services must meet specific technical requirements and be transparent with product information, such as OpenStack versions and capabilities supported.

As in previous OpenStack releases, Icehouse provides a framework for managing pools of resources in a data center. The new code adds support for rolling upgrades along with about 350 new features, including:


  • OpenStack Compute (Nova): New support for rolling upgrades minimizes the impact to running workloads during the upgrade process. Testing requirements for third-party drivers have become more stringent, and scheduler performance is improved. Other enhancements include improved boot process reliability across platform services, new features exposed to end users via API updates (e.g., target machines by affinity) and more efficient access to the data layer to improve performance, especially at scale.
  • OpenStack Object Storage (Swift): A major new feature is discoverability, which dramatically improves workflows and saves time by allowing users to ask any Object Storage cloud what capabilities are available via API call. A new replication process significantly improves performance, with the introduction of s-sync to more efficiently transport data.
  • OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder): Enhancements have been added for backend migration with tiered storage environments, allowing for performance management in heterogeneous environments. Mandatory testing for external drivers now ensures a consistent user experience across storage platforms, and fully distributed services improve scalability.
  • OpenStack Networking (Neutron): Tighter integration with OpenStack Compute improves performance of provisioning actions as well as consistency with bulk instance creation. Better functional testing for actions that require coordination between multiple services and third-party driver testing ensure consistency and reliability across network implementations.
  • OpenStack Identity Service (Keystone): First iteration of federated authentication is now supported allowing users to access private and public OpenStack clouds with the same credentials.
  • OpenStack Orchestration (Heat): Automated scaling of additional resources across the platform, including compute, storage and networking is now available. A new configuration API brings more lifecycle management for applications, and new capabilities are available to end-users that were previously limited to cloud administrators. Collaboration with OASIS resulted in the TOSCA Simple Profile in YAML v1.0, demonstrating how the feedback and expertise of hands-on OpenStack developers can dramatically improve the applicability of standards.
  • OpenStack Telemetry (Ceilometer): Improved access to metering data used for automated actions or billing / chargeback purposes.
  • OpenStack Dashboard (Horizon): Design is updated with new navigation and user experience improvements (e.g., in-line editing). The Dashboard is now available in 16 languages, including German, Serbian and Hindi added during this release cycle.
  • OpenStack Database Service (Trove): A new capability included in the integrated release allows users to manage relational database services in an OpenStack environment.
Some other highlights from OpenStack Summit:

A10 Networks -- demonstrating on-demand provisioning of L4-L7 services in an OpenStack cloud environment. This showcases how A10’s aCloud Services Architecture, integrated with OpenStack, allows customers to dynamically scale up and down L4-L7 services in public or private clouds.

Brocade and Huawei -- proposed a new OpenStack service to support inter-data center multitenancy. The idea is to provide an automated solution for companies with multiple data centers to address the challenge of maintaining connectivity and policy context for virtual machines migrating between data centers. This proposal The proposal has the potential to simplify the manageability and overall efficiency of inter-data center multitenancy.

Brocade's earlier contributions include Fibre Channel (FC) Zone Manager, which was released as part of the OpenStack Icehouse release supporting key FC SAN functionality. Cinder, the OpenStack Block Storage service, creates a layer of abstraction that supports connectivity of multiple iSCSI and FC storage devices. The FC Zone Manager extends Cinder's FC support to provide automated SAN zoning. In today's OpenStack environments, FC SANs are either pre-zoned or open-zoned. Pre-zoning introduces complexity in cloud orchestration and involves considerable manual effort that may be error-prone. The Automated Zone Management overcomes challenges and limitations related to complexity and human error resulting from FC SAN zoning.

Ericsson -- announced plans to deploy OpenStack as a framework for its Network Function Virtualization (NFV) development. During the OpenStack Summit, Ericsson will demonstrate the Ericsson Virtual Enterprise and Residential Gateways, which are examples of integration of OpenStack into its Service Provider SDN solution.  Ericsson will also demonstrate a charging system for OpenStack, based on the Ericsson online charging system.

F5 - will support OpenStack open source cloud software across four key areas: (1) Application Delivery – OpenStack Networking (Neutron) Load Balancing as a Service (LBaaS) and other capabilities can be integrated with F5’s BIG-IP and BIG-IQ solutions via plug-ins, (2) Orchestration – OpenStack Orchestration (Heat) integration provides enhanced functionality with BIG-IQ cloud connector capabilities for OpenStack Community Edition software, (3) Vendor Certification – F5 is in the process of validating its integrations with other companies in the community to ensure fully supported, vendor-tested OpenStack deployments, (4) Community Innovation – F5’s DevCentral user community is expanding to better support OpenStack developers with plug-in downloads, sample code, and documentation to help organizations maximize their technology investments.

PLUMgrid --  announced its secure virtual networking product for large-scale OpenStack clouds. Built using PLUMgrid Platform and IO Visor technology, it provides a solution to build cloud infrastructure at scale and offer secure, multi-tenant network services to OpenStack cloud users. Based on a highly automated workflow, the PLUMgrid OpenStack Networking Suite enables applications and users to deploy private Virtual Domains in seconds without changing the physical network fabric.

Pluribus -- showing OpenStack orchestration based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, featuring tighter integration with native network services, as well as additional capabilities that include the ability to set per-tenant and per-application QoS, and the use of the Netvisor’s ‘vflow’ capability for application flow programming. The integrated server hardware and storage on the Pluribus Freedom platform can host the OpenStack controller in addition to other network services, eliminating the need for separate orchestration hardware within the rack.

Red Hat --  announced the formation of the ManageIQ community, which aims to provide the industry's leading open source cloud management platform with advanced governance and automation capabilities. Red Hat will contribute software acquired from ManageIQ, Inc., which currently serves as the basis for its Red Hat CloudForms open hybrid cloud management product. In addition to its software contributions, Red Hat will also provide integration and orchestration content for lab automation. This platform and content pairing help ease the building of development and testing clouds based on OpenStack.

Red Hat and NetApp -- will eliver an open hybrid cloud reference architecture based on OpenStack IceHouse to help organizations build agile, interoperable private and hybrid clouds that are easily managed, massively scalable, and highly reliable. This reference architecture will be designed to enable customers to more closely integrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.




Internap Launches an OpenStack-powered Public Cloud

Internap introduced its massively scalable, high-performance, next-generation AgileCLOUD that exposes native OpenStack API and delivers "out of the box" virtual and bare-metal hybridization.

The new Internap AgileCLOUD, which is one of the first public cloud services to be featured in new OpenStack Marketplace, aims to meet the demands of large-scale, performance-intensive application environments. Internap provides the added flexibility to hybridize AgileCLOUD with Internap colocation and hosting infrastructure, all of which can be monitored and managed through a single-pane-of-glass portal.

Internap said that by exposing the native OpenStack API, its AgileCLOUD enables customers to access the entire OpenStack ecosystem and avoid vendor lock-in. The goal is to allow customers to move workloads between AgileCLOUD and other cloud environments and leverage third-party management tools. Exposing the native API is one of the key criteria for inclusion in the OpenStack Foundation's new public cloud Marketplace, which is designed to help OpenStack "superusers" and those new to the platform better understand and make comparisons between OpenStack products and services.

Key features of Internap's AgileCLOUD:


  • Server performance tiers and custom configuration – For maximum flexibility, customers can choose from three configuration series, depending on their performance requirements. Options include two virtual instance series and a bare-metal series for applications that require the highest levels of performance consistency. Each series features configurable memory, CPU and SSD storage options.
  • All-SSD storage with guaranteed performance – Networked (persistent) storage is based on an SSD-imbued SAN, with each volume having a guaranteed number of IOPS. This prevents performance variations stemming from the "noisy neighbor" effect of multi-tenancy and guarantees Quality of Service (QoS). All-SSD local storage options are also available.
  • Cloud network optimization – AgileCLOUD is underpinned by Internap's Performance IP bandwidth to deliver consistently higher performance and lower latency to end users when compared to other clouds. Performance IP finds the fastest route across numerous carrier backbones worldwide with Internap's patented Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) technology, which analyzes network characteristics like jitter and packet loss and makes an average of 1,300 traffic optimizations per customer per hour.

"OpenStack offers a flexible platform that gives providers the ability to innovate and deliver cloud infrastructure that is free of vendor lock-in," said Internap's Christian Primeau, senior vice president and general manager, cloud and hosting. "Building AgileCLOUD on OpenStack allowed us to focus on integrating the features that are central to our value proposition, including infrastructure hybridization and delivering best performance to end users. The result is an advanced open cloud computing solution that allows customers to meet a full range of workload needs, from large-scale, distributed environments to real-time, data-intensive applications."

"OpenStack is a platform that allows service providers to create innovative, open cloud solutions to meet today's performance, scale and flexibility demands," said Mark Collier, COO at the OpenStack Foundation. "The new OpenStack Marketplace features a broad array of products and services in supporting the OpenStack ecosystem, including Internap's AgileCLOUD."

http://www.internap.com

AT&T's NetBond Links Customer VPNs Directly to Salesforce

AT&T customers will soon be able to link their Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) directly to Salesforce cloud services.

AT&T's NetBond capability will connect to Salesforce services directly from an AT&T MPLS VPN from any location on the private network. AT&T said its NetBond is designed to match the simplicity and elasticity of cloud computing services like Salesforce.

“The addition of choice in how users connect to Salesforce is game changing for enterprise customers who need high performing and reliable access to industry-leading cloud services,” said Andy Geisse, CEO, AT&T Business Solutions. “This is an important addition to our growing AT&T NetBond ecosystem and will further accelerate enterprise cloud adoption.”

AT&T highlighted the following advantages for NetBond:

  • Simple: Seamlessly works with existing AT&T VPN through APIs creating an automated experience; no additional equipment or access lines required to order or manage. 
  • Savings: Network elasticity that automatically flexes with the needs of the cloud service; companies can save as much as 60 percent on networking costs. 
  • Performance: Delivers as much as 50 percent lower latency and 3x availability when compared to the public Internet. 
  • Protection: Isolates traffic going directly to cloud platforms using the AT&T private global network, providing additional protections from risks such as DDoS attacks. 

Microsoft Advances Azure Cloud Capabilities

Microsoft confirmed that Azure ExpressRoute connections will be available with partners AT&T, BT, Equinix, Level 5, TeleCity, SingTel and Verizon. Azure ExpressRoute ensures private connections between Azure data centers and on-premise infrastructure or colocation facilities by using an MPLS VPN or other secure tunnel.

Azure Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection. This enables customers to securely connect multiple on-premises locations. With new VNET-to-VNET connectivity, multiple virtual networks can be directly and securely linked to one another for disaster prevention.  Another new capability is IP Reservation, which allows the customer to reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP addresses—ideal for applications that need static public IP addresses or when there is a need to swap reserved IP addresses to update applications.

Azure Traffic Manager, now generally available, supports both Azure & external endpoints, for building highly available applications across Azure and on-premises.

Also effective today, two new compute-intensive virtual machine instances — A8 and A9 — came online.  Microsoft said these instances bring faster processors and interconnectivity, more virtual cores, and larger memory.

Microsoft also introduced a preview of Azure Files, a new technology that simplifies how files can be shared in the cloud across applications and services.

Other networking highlights from Microsoft's TechEd North America event conference in Houston include the Azure Site Recovery preview for disaster recovery and the Azure Antimalware to protect VMs and services running Azure. Microsoft is planning further enhanced data-loss prevention and encryption technologies for Office 365 customers.

http://www.microsoft.com

IBM Unveils Software Defined Storage

IBM unveiled its new “Elastic Storage” technology which it claims offers "unprecedented performance, infinite scale, and is capable of reducing storage costs up to 90 percent by automatically moving data onto the most economical storage device."

The patented storage software is aimed the most data-intensive applications, such as seismic data processing, risk management and financial analysis, weather modeling, and scientific research. The software automatically manages data locally and globally, providing breakthrough speed in data access, easier administration and the ability to scale technology infrastructures quickly and more cost-effectively as data volumes expand. In addition, these advances can work with any company’s storage systems to provide automated and virtualized storage.

IBM said the architectural limits of its Elastic Storage stretch into the thousands of “yottabytes.” A yottabyte is one billion petabytes, or the equivalent of a data center the size of one million city blocks, which would fill the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. IBM Research has demonstrated that Elastic Storage can successfully scan 10 billion files on a single cluster in just 43 minutes. Elastic Storage builds on IBM’s global file system software.  It exploits server-side Flash for up to six times increase in performance than with standard SAS disks. Elastic Storage virtualizes the storage allowing multiple systems and applications to share common pools of storage.  It also automatically and intelligently moves data to the most strategic and economic storage system available.

Versions of the technology were used for the Jeopardy! television match between IBM's Watson and two former Jeopardy! champions. For the show, IBM’s Watson had access to 200 million pages of structured and unstructured data, including the full text of Wikipedia. By using Elastic Storage capabilities, around five terabytes of Watson’s “knowledge” (or 200 million pages of data) were loaded in only minutes into the computer’s memory.

IBM plans to make Elastic Storage software available as an IBM SoftLayer cloud service later this year.

“Digital information is growing at such a rapid rate and in such dramatic volumes that traditional storage systems used to house and manage it will eventually run out of runway,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “Our technology offers the advances in speed, scalability and cost savings that clients require to operate in a world where data is the basis of competitive advantage.”

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43865.wss

Southeast Asia-Japan Cable System Upgrades to 100G

Upgrades are underway to bring the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) submarine cable system up to 100G channel capacity. The upgrade to the 8,986 km system brings an increase of 6.5 Tbps of total capacity. TE SubCom (SubCom) is the contractor on the project.

The SJC cable system began service in June 2013 and is operated by a global consortium of telecommunications and technology companies, linking the seven countries or territories of Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines, including the option to connect with Thailand.

“An upgrade of this significance confirms the capacity growth Southeast Asia is experiencing,” said Qian Zhong, managing director, Asia Pacific Sales, TE SubCom. “Equipped with a 6.5 Tbps increase, the SJC upgrade will set a new benchmark in global data and information connectivity by transforming the way businesses and consumers in the region use bandwidth-intensive programs.”

“We completed the full system construction project in 2013 and are very excited to see it, and our relationship with the SJC consortium, continue to grow,” said John Mitchell, president, TE SubCom. “The Asia Pacific region continues to see a dramatic increase in demand for capacity. TE SubCom is committed to providing the essential bandwidth to enable the region to reliably and affordably interact and communicate with the rest of the world.”

http://www.SubCom.com

The SJC consortium is composed of Brunei International Gateway Sendirian Berhad (BIG), China Mobile International Ltd. (CMI), China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom), China Telecom Global Limited (CTG), Donghwa Telecom Co. Ltd (DHT) (a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom, Co., Ltd.), Globe Telecom, Inc., Google, KDDI Corporation, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin a subsidiary of PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Tbk), and TOT Public Co., Ltd. (TOT).

NEC was also a contractor for the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable.

Vitesse Extends its 10GE PHY Portfolio

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced the latest generation of its widely adopted 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) PHY portfolio, the VSC8489 physical layer transceiver family.

The new devices offer a low cost, flexible LAN/WAN solution with multiple interface options for KR backplane and SR/LR/ER/ZR/220MMF optical module applications. The VSC8489 family also has the industry’s smallest footprint in its feature class, consuming 22% less area than the competition. Target applications include enterprise data centers supporting cloud services.

Vitesse said its new VSC8489 family includes two products with VeriTime, the industry’s de facto highest accuracy IEEE 1588v2 timing synchronization technology, as well as one without VeriTime for cost-sensitive applications that are not timing-critical. The VSC8489 family allows customers to choose the right 10GE PHY for their needs now, with a seamless and pin-compatible upgrade path to advanced timing and security features if, or when, they are required in the future.

“Demand for greater bandwidth and more feature-rich solutions at the physical layer is evident everywhere, from the Enterprise to service providers, as 10G technologies become increasingly more cost effective,” said Richard Interrante, product marketing director at Vitesse. “The VSC8489 family gives OEMs an efficient way to upgrade networks transitioning to cloud and other virtualized environments.”

The VSC8489 family is in production now. Product details are online.

http://www.vitesse.com/products/product/VSC8489
http://www.vitesse.com/products/productLine/10GE-PHYs

UBS Picks Juniper for Next-Gen Data Center

The global financial services firm UBS has selected Juniper Networks to build a next generation enterprise data center network infrastructure.  Specifically, UBS plans to implement key components of Juniper Networks MetaFabric architecture, an open standards-based architecture with routing, switching, security, management and orchestration functionality. Juniper's networking architecture will serve as the building block to help virtualize multiple UBS data center environments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

http://www.juniper.net

DE-CIX Lands Akamai in its NYC Data Center

DE-CIX North America, the U.S. arm of the German Internet exchange operator, confirmed Akamai as the first customer turned up on its Internet exchange, DE-CIX New York. Service turn-up for Akamai occurred last week at DE-CIX’s Internet exchange at its 111 8th Ave. access site in New York City. Akamai’s connection to DE-CIX New York follows a long-term partnership; Akamai has also used DE-CIX’s services in Europe and the Middle East.

“Our company was founded in 1998 to solve the problem of the ‘World Wide Wait,’” says Steven J. Schecter, Senior Manager, Network Architecture  for Akamai. “Akamai’s Intelligent Platform is a leading cloud platform for delivering high-performing user experiences to any device, anywhere.  It reaches globally and delivers locally. Having this new Internet exchange in New York will enable us to connect with other peering partners across a resilient Ethernet platform. DE-CIX is helping us to make good on our customer promise to deliver Internet content intelligently.”

http://nyc.de-cix.net

See also