Red Hat Extends Hybrid Cloud Bet on OpenStack


By: Michael Vizard

Red Hat at the OpenStack Summit 2018 yesterday expanded its hybrid cloud computing initiative to include smaller instances of the OpenStack cloud management framework running on the network edge in addition to extending its existing alliance with Juniper Networks.

The number of nodes required to stand up Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 has been reduced from eight to four as part of an effort to make it more feasible to deploy OpenStack on, for example, an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway, says Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of OpenStack at Red Hat.

The goal is to make it simpler for service providers and enterprise IT organizations that have embraced OpenStack to move application workloads to the edge because accessing workloads across networks in support of IoT or 5G applications introduces too much latency, says Balakrishnan.

As part of that effort, Red Hat also announced it is introducing Fast Forward upgrades, which provides IT teams with more control over the rate at which updates to Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 are delivered.

Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 also extends work Red Hat has previously begun to containerize OpenStack services. With this release that task in now complete. The extension of the alliance with Juniper now makes it possible to integrate Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for deploying applications on Kubernetes clusters, with Juniper Contrail Enterprise Multicloud, a unified networking, security, orchestration, and monitoring platform.

Both Red Hat and Juniper are betting that workloads will be highly distributed, requiring both networking and storage services to be consistently made available at the edge. As part of that strategy, Red Hat is investing in a variety of open software software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization technologies that will be integrated with open-source cloud management tools. Those management tools will span not only OpenStack, but also Kubernetes clusters running containers and even bare-metal servers, says Balakrishnan.

Much of that effort is focus on OpenStack because service providers have already decided to standardize on that platform, says Balakrishnan.

“Nine out of ten service providers are already using OpenStack,” says Balakrishnan.

Competition across the number of providers contributing to OpenStack is already fierce. Each vendor wants to ultimately provide the OpenStack foundation on top of which network function virtualization (NFV) platforms are built. It’s too early to say which vendors will come out on top. But given the complexity of OpenStack to implement and maintain, it's clear most service providers will still need all the help they can get.