OpenStack Train - what's in it for me?

OpenStack Train – what’s in it for me?

Mikael Nerde OpenStack Leave a Comment

March has been a month of upgrading for City Network, and it’s one of the bigger ones we have made, if not ever, at least in quite a while.  We are actually upgrading two versions of our OpenStack foundation; going from Rocky to Stein and on to Train.

Scale & Stability

As with the last couple of releases of OpenStack focus has been on scale and stability, which is really about improving option for operations.  The big theme for version Stein was on enabling Kubernetes and managing containers efficiently, while the Train update was leaning on taking Loadbalancing to the next level and scaling storage and backups in a better way.

This is great, but as OpenStack also adds a number of services or projects on top of its foundation, it is important to understand which ones actually makes a difference and what stands out outside of the core stability updates, functions and bug-fixes that comes with every update.

Core services

At City Network we focus our delivery from 3 core services on top of OpenStack:

  • Magnum – the Container Management service.
  • Manila – to manages file shares and provisioning.
  • Octavia – the market leading Load Balancing (at Scale) service.

In addition, there are a couple of key services we use to deliver both our encapsulated, secure, and regulated cloud offering as well as our public cloud:

  • Barbican – the next generation, secure, key manager service
  • Cinder – the block storage service.
    • New features will allow City Network and customers to build much more customised and elastic storage solution sand backup options.
  • Rancher, is a very modern and competent container management service.
    • Through a user-friendly graphical user-interface it simplifies the setup and overview of your container configuration and allows for a very fluid workflow that can be adopted very quickly throughout the IT organisation.

Magnum for containers

These services make up a chain where updates to one also benefits the other.  Adding them together allows us to create elastic and fluid solution with many options to tailor for each individual customer needs.  As we continue to focus on building modern infrastructure services for our customers, container design becomes more and more prevalent.  Magnum on OpenStack allows for a flexible foundation and large number of options to setup, configure and manage a modern, cloud-native approach, to design your cloud environment.  We believe that adopting a container approach to designing and managing a cloud foundation is highly efficient and scalable.

Manilla for distributed storage

In parallel with the evolution in AI and Machine Learning, we are becoming better at designing for and setting up storage at a much greater scale than before, and that will be even more important as company reliance on data as a core business strategy strengthens over time.  Manila on OpenStack enables this in a great way and provides many options for us to design a highly scalable and distributed  storage infrastructure that meets the demands of data-driven business and AI frameworks.

Octavia for load balancing

As one of the key features of Cloud Infrastructure is to scale in real time depending on the company needs, a strong and flexible load balancing technology is vital to operations and delivery of infrastructure.  Octavia on OpenStack works really well with the increased demands for large volumes of highly distributed storage and raw compute power.  Having elastic and scalable options for load balancing is a key criterion for this scenario. Octavia provides us cutting edge technology and customisability to build and manage for that.

Barbican for keys & certificates

Additionally, securing data, certificates and adhering to different regulations is imperative within the EU today.  That has been one of the major reasons why we created our unique Compliant Cloud service.  With the OpenStack Train updates comes a number of enhancements supporting us designing airtight solutions for customers under severe regulatory requirements.  For instance, Barbican on OpenStack allows us to in a very controlled fashion provision and manage regulated and secret data, such as different type of keys and certificates. At City Network we’ve built very strong compliance supporting mechanisms into our cloud architecture. Control and scalability are of paramount importance to us and will allow us to be even more fluid in our offering to this regard.

Cloud-first innovation

”OpenStack is obviously a very complex system, and bringing it up to a current version is also a quite a challenging undertaking.  We are confident that these improvements will pay off, for us and our customers, very quickly”, indicates City Network CEO Johan Christenson.

“To efficiently deliver and operate core infrastructure with a high level of features allows us to build a modern and resilient platform and enable cloud-first innovation with customers. ”