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OpenStack gains momentum as vendors give Grizzly a bear hug

Ted Samson | April 16, 2013
HP, NetApp, and an array of cloud startups roll out new cloud offerings built around OpenStack Grizzly

Enterprise companies and startups alike continue to throw their support behind the open source cloud platform OpenStack, evidenced by the slew of announcements coming out of this week's OpenStack Grizzly Summit in Portland, Ore. Among companies touting their latest OpenStack endeavors today are CloudBase, CloudByte, CloudScaling, Hewlett-Packard, Midokura, NetApp, and Piston Cloud Computing.

OpenStack officially launched on July 18, 2010, and has enjoyed soaring popularity at larger enterprise vendors seeking quick entry to the cloud computing market, including HP, Dell, IBM, and Oracle. Small companies, meanwhile, have tapped OpenStack as a way to get products and services to market using an existing code base. The latest version of OpenStack, dubbed Grizzly, arrived earlier this month, adding support for EMC VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, increased scalability, and new block storage options.

HP, which has contributed heavily to OpenStack, announced plans to integrated OpenStack technology with the latest release of HP CloudSystem 7.2. CloudSystem now uses OpenStacks "bursting" capabilities and Red Hat KVM resource pools, enabling enterprises to tap external resources directly from HP CloudSystem on a pay-as-you-scale basis. What's more, HP is offering the new HP CloudSystem Bursting Activation Services, aimed at helping customers and service providers install and configure cloud-bursting capabilities more quickly.

Additionally, HP announced an expanded public cloud portfolio, adding the new HP Cloud Messaging service. The service, currently available as a private beta, is designed to enable developers to build more fault-tolerant applications and to reduce downtime by duplicating messages on multiple servers. Cloud Messaging uses the OpenStack Marconi API standard to serve as an intermediary for trading information between applications by offering language and framework independence without, HP says, the need for system installation or configuration.

Finally, HP announced that its Converged Storage portfolio -- including the company's 3Par StoreServ Storage and StoreVirtual Storage -- now supports OpenStack technology across both iSCSI and FibreChannel protocols.

Separately, startup Midokura announced the general availability of MidoNet, which is designed to virtualize the network stack for cloud platforms, including OpenStack. According to the company, MidoNet is a distributed, decentralized, multilayer software-defined virtual network solution designed for IaaS (infrastructure as a service). Midokura claims it transforms the physical network "from an operational backbone to highly available capacity pool. ... Virtual networks can be created programmatically by the thousands to accommodate workloads. And by decoupling network management from network hardware, MidoNet enables improved self-service capability."

Among MidoNet's key features are fully virtualized Layer 2 through 4 networking, virtual Level 2 distributed-level isolation, virtual Level 2 distributed switching; virtual Level 3 distributed routing, distributed load-balancing and firewall services, BGP (Border Gateway Control) routing, stateful and stateless NAT, floating IPs, access control lists, a RESTful API, a Web-based management control panel, networking-services monitoring, and live-migration capabilities.


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