OpenStack is the best solution for public clouds – this was the conclusion drawn after OpenStack Day on 21 March by all the experts involved. As a highlight of the Open Source Forum at the CeBIT 2017, Deutsche Telekom gave numerous specialist presentations all about the open cloud operating system.
“When we launched OpenStack a few years ago, it was all still very complicated and it took a long time for companies to see added value for themselves” – Heidi Bretz, Director Business Development, OpenStack Foundation
With this retrospective view, Heidi Bretz, Director Business Development for the OpenStack Foundation, opened OpenStack Day on the CeBIT Tuesday. “But since then, we have all invested a great deal of work and technical resources in the project. And successfully, because now companies can enjoy the benefits after just one day, for instance by having more control and reducing their costs.”
With this, the tone was set for this theme day sponsored by Deutsche Telekom: Which advantages does OpenStack offer? How can it best be deployed? How has OpenStack developed from its beginnings up to today? Questions like these were discussed and answered in detail in eight expert presentations and a panel discussion.
“What I liked in particular was the immense technical depth of the talks,” commented visitor Christoph Tieben, IT service provider. “And of course, I was really looking forward to the discussion.” Marvin Hass, DevOps Engineer at CLOUD & HEAT Technologies GmbH, also thought: “The presentations were very interesting. As we use OpenStack ourselves, it is of course always fascinating to find out how other companies deal with the technology.”
Watch the video of the OpenStack Day:
OpenStack: The open operating system for the cloud
But what actually is OpenStack? Essentially, it is an operating system for clouds, which manages large quantities of computing, storage and network resources. With the aid of a dashboard, not only do administrators receive full control over these services, users are also encouraged to assemble their solution individually.
“Companies are acquiring more and more knowledge about the cloud,” says Heidi Bretz. “Therefore, an adaptable solution is important for them – and is ultimately the deciding factor.”
OpenStack’s biggest USP: as an open source software, it is an open standard for both public and private clouds which is continuously enhanced by an international community of developers and cloud specialists. Because the modules and APIs are therefore traceable and transparent at all times, no provider is able to take full control of the open source framework. This effectively prevents a vendor lock-in.
In addition, OpenStack gives its users the freedom to adapt their cloud to their individual needs and company objectives, instead of building this up using a single proprietary solution. The aim is to provide all parties involved with a series of common standards, to promote the spread of OpenStack clouds, support providers of OpenStack technology, and ultimately produce the best cloud software possible.
OpenStack as the basis of the Open Telekom Cloud
And the community is well on its way to achieving this, experts believe. Kurt Garloff, Architect Open Telekom Cloud at T-Systems, is certain:
“OpenStack is the technical vehicle for operating a public cloud successfully.”
For this reason, the open source software also forms the basis for Deutsche Telekom’s public cloud product – the Open Telekom Cloud. “Users are not bound to one provider, so they can rely on excellent future viability and a high level of investment protection. In addition to this, they have the chance to make an impact themselves,” Garloff explains on OpenStack Day.
The fact that the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) of the Open Telekom Cloud is supplied by German computer centres and thus meets the very highest data protection standards is a further advantage, adds Sebastian Wenner, also Architect Open Telekom Cloud at T-Systems.
Core themes: Security, development, performance
Security aspects were an issue addressed many times during the eight expert presentations on OpenStack Day. Another hot topic: performance and development. In this context, Sebastian Wenner described the last update of the Open Telekom Cloud, Mitaka: “We have implemented a multitude of new features to improve the core services and network activities, and also to ensure more stability and easier usability.”
The Open Telekom Cloud is thus getting ever closer to the OpenStack standards. Just how important performance is for a public cloud, and how OpenStack helps to improve this, was explained by his colleague Alexander Stellwag. “Essentially, it’s all about: How quickly can my system process data,” he said in his presentation, commenting on the fundamental customer need.
He also said the solution should be quick, highly available, simple and low cost. In cloud computing, it is not the performance of the individual components that is relevant, but the performance of the whole. The focus is therefore moving away from the hardware or system performance and towards a higher level: the service layer. This is where OpenStack can score points, thanks to its individual.
Experts from industry and science
Besides the cloud experts from T-Systems, external specialists were also on the stage on OpenStack Day. Professor Diederich Wermser from Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences spoke about the possibilities for greater network automation and for offering customers Plug ‘n’ Play solutions – via Network as a Service (NaaS).
“Open standards are currently a huge topic, and OpenStack is of growing relevance because of its large community. “But we have to find out what questions people have about this and what they are thinking about. That’s why I have been very much looking forward to the discussions here today.” – Diederich Wermser
Cao Yuzhong from Deutsche Telekom partner Huawei explained in his talk: “The large and fast-growing ecosystem surrounding OpenStack and its open architecture are the reasons why Huawei chose it as the basis for its public cloud.” Thanks to the collaboration with T-Systems and the Open Telekom Cloud based on the Huawei FusionCloud, the company can now serve the German market as well. “This presentation was particularly fascinating to me,” commented Frank Hoffmann, IT specialist at a medium-sized company.
“To find out up close as an audience member how large companies like Deutsche Telekom and Huawei build up and develop their clouds is very interesting, and also the reason why I didn’t want to miss the event today.” – Frank Hoffmann
The six participants of the panel discussion also described their various experiences with OpenStack. In the last programme item on OpenStack Day, T-Systems Cloud Architect Kurt Garloff, Carsten Duch (SUSE), Martin Loschwitz (iNNOVO Cloud), Wolfgang Ries (Fujitsu), Sascha Smets (Huawei) and Sven-Ove Wähling (Netzlink), with host Udo Seidel (Linux Magazine), discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the technology and the direction it is likely to develop in.
“You can really expand your horizons here. As a cloud provider, we have focused on private clouds before now, but public clouds are becoming increasingly interesting”. – Juri Brodyansky, Nexington GmbH
The day not only brought a clear added value for distinguished cloud experts; young, potential cloud specialists also demonstrated their interest. School student Tobias Wirth described his impressions: “At first glance, OpenStack always seems so complicated, but the way the technology was explained here really makes me want to take a closer look at the community now.”
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