… Is this the right solution for you?

By: Isaack Karanja, Sr. Solutions Architect, Ryan Day, Sr. Solution Architect and Chris Saso, SVP of Technology

In a previous blog post we discussed using mainstream software from companies like Cisco, HP, Microsoft, VMware and Red Hat to move from Virtualization to Orchestration. In this post we will talk about another major trend in providing private cloud solutions inside your firewall.

Here are a few thoughts from our solution architects about where OpenStack fits and how Dasher can help you to analyze the marketplace and determine what solutions might help you meet your business challenges now and into the future.

OpenStack’s original intended purpose was for use as an on premise alternative to AWS public cloud. It was intended to bring the speed, efficiency and agility that you receive with public clouds to your organization while eliminating concerns over data locality, security and the amount of vendor lock-in that you experience with existing public cloud offerings. We continue to see this being one of the major use cases with our clients. Over the last couple of years OpenStack has begun to be embraced by large Enterprises as well as Mid-Sized Businesses and is starting to be seen as a lower cost alternative to paid versions of hypervisors available in the marketplace. Companies that have adopted “DevOps” as a business practice are especially adept at taking advantage of OpenStack based solutions.

You can either go with “pure-play” open source OpenStack and rely on your IT staff and community support to maintain your private cloud or work with one of the many suppliers of pre-tested and supported distributions of OpenStack SW. This article mentions the major players in the space – most of which we are partnered with. For many of our clients that do not have large IT or DevOps teams we have found that they prefer to work with us and a specific OpenStack distribution provider. Dasher and our provider partners are offering solutions with:

  1. Paid phone and knowledge base support.
  2. Hosted OpenStack for you to test-run OpenStack and/or run your workload on.
  3. Services to help you with Design, PoC and Installation of your OpenStack Cloud.
  4. Managed Services for your on-premise cloud.
  5. Software only distributions that allow you to use your own hardware
  6. Appliance based solutions including both hardware and software.
  7. Distributions which allow you to leverage your existing VMware vSphere infrastructure.
  8. Resources to help you with migration from other hypervisors and public clouds.
  9. SW Upgrade processes that require planned downtime and those that do not require planned downtime.
  10. Knowledge Transfer, Education and Formal Training.
  11. A myriad of high level services such as helping devops team retrofit existing tools.

Things to consider
Since OpenStack at its core abstracts the infrastructure, one of the things that needs to be taken into consideration is the underlying infrastructure. When you consider an investment in OpenStack, selecting the best hardware that will be required to provide the compute, networking and storage resources is a critical factor in the overall decision making process. You may find yourself asking questions like, “Should I use the SAN storage I already own to support my OpenStack environment or should I use the built in storage features of OpenStack?” “What are the implications of that decision?” “Should I use the software defined networking features provided in the stack or new networking hardware, or even a third party software defined networking solution?”

Since this is an expanding and new marketplace, the next thing that might come to mind is whether the provider you decide to work with will continue to execute, whether their OpenStack distribution deviates from the core project, is there a cost to test or start a PoC and whether you can grow your PoC straight into production or will your company need to do a completely new install. These are just a few of the questions that you might want to consider. We have experience in these areas and can help you make the right choices.

The Ecosystem is evolving and today there are many options for our clients, from do-it-yourself to complete turnkey systems. We see OpenStack today in very much the same way we saw Red Hat Linux when it was version 3.0. OpenStack is new, has huge potential and is quickly on its way to providing real value to businesses. It is our goal to help our clients navigate the adoption of OpenStack and move quickly to a point where they are receiving true business value from their investment in OpenStack solutions.

Let us know if you have questions or want to see if an OpenStack solution is right for your organization. Contact us

Enterprise Tech
Network World