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Telekom reaffirms OpenStack strategy for Open Telekom Cloud

by Editorial team
Figure pushes pile of books next to laptop screen with signpost "Open Source.”
On the way to the cloud with OpenStack – the Deutsche OpenStack Tage in Berlin showed that there is a lot of interest in open cloud solutions. (Image: iStock/relif)

In this article you will read about

  • which topics were the focus of the fourth Deutsche OpenStack Tage conference in Berlin,
  • which questions and requirements companies have about OpenStack architectures and cloud migrations,
  • how the Open Telekom Cloud is positioned to offer companies a full-service package.

There’s still a strong demand for OpenStack – that was made clear to Deutsche Telekom's experts at the fourth Deutsche OpenStack Tage conference (DOST) during numerous discussions with visitors to the trade fair. Deutsche Telekom sponsored the industry gathering and presented its public cloud offering, the Open Telekom Cloud. More than 300 international IT professionals took part in the fourth edition of the DOST, which was held in Berlin this year.

Open interfaces that simplify infrastructure management were among the topics that prompted lively discussions, as were the various deployment methods for setting up and operating OpenStack. One dominant issue was container solutions such as Kubernetes, the installation and operation of which was also featured during the well-attended panel discussions. There was great interest in Starling X, the Edge computing and IoT cloud platform that is optimized for high-performance, low-latency applications and that was recently launched as a pilot project with support from the OpenStack Foundation.

Employees the key to OpenStack success

In his presentation, keynote speaker Andreas Pöschl from BMW described how OpenStack has become an important pillar of his company's computing infrastructure. However, it’s not just technical aspects that are decisive for the success and acceptance of an OpenStack architecture – it is the employees that are vital to the success, said Pöschl, who is Product Owner OpenStack at BMW.

It’s an experience that the OpenStack experts at Deutsche Telekom can confirm: "Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular find the Open Telekom Cloud very attractive," confirms Alexander Navratil, Chapter Lead Architect Open Telekom Cloud, "because they are primarily looking for security and manageable complexity.” In the Open Telekom Cloud, a team takes care of these issues. They have expertise that SMEs simply aren’t in a position to match. The offering includes technology, know-how and support – billing is based on actual use. In addition, the Open Telekom Cloud is comprehensively certified in terms of operation, IT security and data protection. It is distributed over several redundant data centers, so-called availability zones, which meet the reliability requirements of distributed platforms such as Kubernetes or Elasticsearch.  

Great interest in cloud migrations

During the many technical discussions with Telekom's cloud experts and OpenStack architects at the trade fair stand, it became clear that Telekom offers by far the most comprehensive full-service package compared with other cloud providers and operators of partial solutions from the cloud. While the company operates several thousand servers in the Open Telekom Cloud, maintenance-intensive private cloud installations often consist of only a few dozen devices. The ratio of operating expenses to managed resources is poor for small clouds. "Our agile squad teams with end-to-end responsibility, on the other hand, enable us to reliably manage over a quarter of a million vCPUs and many thousands of servers," says Navratil, describing the agile operating model: "This makes us one of the top providers in Europe for OpenStack clouds.” 

In particular, companies that still work with server virtualization such as VMware, but are not yet cloud-native-ready, wanted to find out as much as possible about an IaaS cloud that will enable container solutions such as Kubernetes in the future: "We continue to see great interest in infrastructure offerings in cloud migrations," says Christian Kotulek, product manager for the Open Telekom Cloud. "Companies attach great importance to qualified personnel and scalability."

Hybrid cloud offers alternative

According to Kotulek, many customers would like to start with a private cloud because they feel more comfortable with it. At the same time, however, they were reluctant to invest in running a cloud themselves. "The Open Telekom Cloud Hybrid Solution is a real alternative here: It feels exactly like a public cloud, but runs on separate servers on the customer's premises or in one of our high-security data centers.”

Alexander Navratil and Nils Magnus, Community Outreach Manager for the Open Telekom Cloud, used concrete Python code to demonstrate how the Open Telekom Cloud can be integrated into the OpenStack community and how workloads in the cloud can be automated in conjunction with the OpenStack Software Development Kit (SDK). 

2 male presenters on stage
Vladimir Hasko (right) and Kristian Kucerak showed how they write regression tests using the Robot Framework. (Image: Telekom)

Automating and testing the cloud

The scope of the cloud software also makes it necessary to check it continuously: “We use the Robot Framework for regression testing and supplement it with many of our own tests," says Vladimir Hasko, QA engineer for the Open Telekom Cloud, describing his work: His team has now developed more than 2,000 individual tests that guarantee the functions of the cloud even after interfaces and software have been updated. Last but not least, these regular tests contribute to the re-certification "POWERED BY OpenStack."

Getting to know the cloud in a playful way

In order to dispel any fears of contact with the technology that cloud users might have, Telekom had also brought along a game console based on a Raspberry Pis, which visitors could use to familiarize themselves with the interaction of IoT devices and Edge computing with the cloud. Buzzers were built into the console equipped with the minicomputer and its signals were transmitted to the cloud via an Internet connection. Whoever scored the most points in the "Whack-a-Cloud" game could win a Bluetooth device and a magenta rubber duck.

Woman with magenta duck trophy
Anyone who scored a lot of points in the "Whack-a-Cloud" game won a magenta-colored rubber duck. (Image: Telekom)

Community portal for Open Telekom Cloud goes online

"The Deutsche OpenStack Tage conference, as a German-language industry event, has shown that there is a growing interest in open cloud offerings in Germany," says Nils Magnus, summing up the event. Telekom will therefore be expanding its corresponding offerings and will shortly be activating a community portal that will allow users and customers to exchange ideas directly: "In this way, we will continue the spirit of DOST even after the end of the event and look forward to the new edition in 2020," says Nils Magnus. There is still an important international date ahead: The Open Infrastructure Summit will take place at the beginning of November 2019. Deutsche Telekom will also be taking part and will present its new community portal, among other things. The Open Telekom Cloud remains firmly on track with OpenStack.


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