From new users to product launches, updates and case studies, the first Open Infra Summit covered a lot of ground. Here’s a news roundup.


DENVER — A generous dusting of snow only added more excitement to the first Open Infrastructure Summit. The sessions, workshops and lightning talks were enriched by the participation of people from over 50 countries using and contributing to over 30 open -source projects.

If you didn’t attend—or if you did and want a replay—Superuser collected the announcements, user stories and Forum discussions you may have missed.

You can also catch videos for the keynotes at the OSF website. Recordings for Summit sessions will be available soon.

Jump to roadmap & technical decisions
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Jump to news from the OpenStack ecosystem
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Let’s start with the OpenStack Foundation announcements:

Kata Containers and Zuul were the first pilot projects confirmed as top-level open infrastructure projects by the OSF Board of Directors. The first pilot project was announced in December 2017 and the confirmation requirements were approved by the board earlier this year.

The OSF launched the OpenStack Ironic Bare Metal Program highlighting the commercial ecosystem for Ironic, at-scale deployments of Ironic, and evolution of OpenStack beyond virtual machines. Coinciding with the program launch, Superuser published two case studies—CERN and Platform9— highlighting the broad use of Ironic. Stay tuned to Superuser as we roll out more.

The Airship community released version 1.0. It’s already in production at AT&T and SKT. The first release delivers a wide range of enhancements to security, resiliency, continuous integration and documentation, as well as upgrades to the platform, deployment and tooling features.

Collaboration without boundaries

The next OpenStack release, Train, is scheduled to arrive in October 2019. At the Forum, the entire OpenStack community (users and developers) gathered to brainstorm the requirements for the next release, feedback on the past version and strategic discussions.

In Denver, the community discussed everything from cross-project best practices for integration with Linux distributions to edge computing use cases and TripleO architecture; check out the full list of Etherpads here.

The Project Teams Gathering (PTG) is an event organized by the OpenStack Foundation for engaged community members involved in teams working on one of the projects supported by the OSF (workgroups, development teams, special interest groups…). OpenStack projects from Barbican to Vitrage, SIGs from edge to security and pilot projects like Airship and StarlingX participated. Check out all the Etherpads here.

At the PTG, James Page proposed to end the Upgrades Special Interest group (SIG). Page asserts that upgrades in OpenStack are no longer a “special interest” but now an integral part of the philosophy of projects within the OpenStack ecosystem. “Although there are probably still some rough edges, we don’t think we need a SIG to drive this area forward any longer.”

During Monday keynotes, 11 outstanding contributors were recognized with the Open Infrastructure Community Contributor Awards with quirky categories like the Bonsai Caretaker Award. There was also special surprise award for Lauren Sell, former VP of OSF Marketing, for all her years of community building.

The NIST Public Working Group on Federated Cloud (PWGFC) has been working for close to two years to develop an approach to advancing the Federated Community Cloud, with a framework to support seamless implementations of disparate community cloud environments. The Open Research Cloud Alliance (ORCA) has been actively developing consensus across the scientific community stakeholders aimed at identifying and working collectively to mitigate and resolve those impediments, whether driven by technology choice, regulatory obligations or historical practices that interfere with the ability of globally dispersed researchers to effectively gain access to research data and resources.

In Denver, the groups discussed possible federation deployment and governance models that embody the key concepts and design principles being developed in the NIST/IEEE Joint working group and ORCA. They want to encourage developers, users and cloud operators to provide use cases and feedback as they move forward in these efforts.

The Kata Containers and Firecracker teams provided an update in Monday’s keynote to highlight progress around community collaboration and project integration. They also discussed rust-vmm, a cross-project collaborative initiative to develop container-specific hypervisors.

This just in from the Open Infrastructure ecosystem:

Mirantis announced a web-based SaaS application that enables users to quickly deploy a compact cloud and experience the flexibility and agility of Infrastructure-as-Code. Available next month, Model Designer for Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP) helps infrastructure operators build customized, curated, exclusively open source configurations for on-premise cloud environments.

Red Hat added three new Red Hat OpenStack Platform customers—Algar Telecom (a leader for internet services in Brazil), the University of Adelaide (an Australian public university), and Vodafone Ziggo (a leading Dutch communications provider).

Red Hat Virtualization 4.3, the latest version of Red Hat’s Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered virtualization platform, will be generally available in  May 2019. Built on the enterprise foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization 4.3 is designed to deliver greater security, easier interoperability and improved integration across enterprise IT environments.

Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom, adopted Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies to support modern digital public health services in the UK.

SoftIron announced the release of their newest Ceph-optimized storage appliance, HyperDrive Density+. SoftIron’s HyperDrive platform is a portfolio of dedicated Ceph appliances and management software, purpose-built for software-defined storage (SDS). SoftIron also published a HyperDrive case study highlighting how the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute unlocks cost savings and scalability.

Trillio landed the latest release of TrilioVault 3.2. The release extends TrilioVault’s cloud-native backup and recovery capabilities to companies using advanced, modern architectures for clouds and virtualized infrastructure.

VEXXHOST, who also took home this edition of the Superuser Awards, announced the latest update to their cloud computing offering, introducing Kubernetes Enablement. This offering enables businesses with existing OpenStack private clouds to integrate and consume Kubernetes as a fully managed solution.

Now, a word from open infrastructure users in production

Adobe Advertising Cloud shared the fast-track journey they took to reach seven data centers in as many months. The session also covered the seven challenging scenarios with StatefulSets, GitOps, autoscaling for machine learning and auto-remediation. From developing with spot instances in dev to multi-cloud in production, they explained how their cloud platform team dealt with an interesting set of challenges, including preventing the derailing of their Kubernetes journey.

Arm showed the progress made in running Kata Containers on aarch64 with two demos: One running Kata Containers with Docker on aarch64 and one running Kata Containers with Kubernetes and CRI-O on aarch64.

In addition to a keynote discussing how AT&T’s deployment of 5G is powered by an Airship-based containerized OpenStack cloud, AT&T also discussed their experience using bare metal Kubernetes clusters to run containerized workloads including OpenStack itself. Alan Meadows and Pete Birley covered topics from challenges when upgrading Kubernetes to unexpected fallouts that can occur when running complex workloads while maintaining these mission critical environments powering their 5G infrastructure.

Amy Wheelus, vice president of network cloud at AT&T, also provided an update on their 5G rollout plan in a blog post. “While we may not be implementing DevOps in the purest sense of the word, Airship, collaboration and the new organizational structure between development and operations were EFFORTS to delivering into production a new network cloud platform and a new 5G Packet Core in record-setting time. These teams met the challenge, and AT&T launched the world’s first standards-based mobile 5G network in December of 2018. Today, our 5G network is live in parts of 19 cities, and our goal is to have nationwide coverage using sub-6 spectrum by early 2020.”

Edge computing is a typical use case for multi-tenant deployments, where edge nodes can scale to large numbers of sites, distributed in distinct locations. In this session, Intel and Baidu used Kata Containers to implement FaaS and deploy the service on the edge side, explaining why enhanced isolation is necessary, what gaps need to be filled in this use case and how the Baidu edge team met the requirements for the real deployment.

Blizzard Entertainment, a leading developer and publisher of entertainment software, has been using OpenStack as a private cloud to host its game services since 2012. They shared how their OpenStack autoscaling implementation to support their best-selling team-based shooter Overwatch, focusing on the unique challenges of running video games in the cloud and presents the advantages of utilizing autoscaling.

Major upgrades can be daunting, even within a release cycle or two behind the latest. Box discussed how they keep their OpenStack cloud up to date, covering the steps its team took to plan, test and perform upgrades spanning four releases (Mitaka to Queens) during single maintenance windows.

CERN presented two sessions at the Summit, one covering the latest developments in its cloud, focusing on the latest container use cases in high energy physics and recent scale tests to prepare for the upgrades of the Large Hadron Collider and the experiments. The second session discussed steps they are taking to meet the computational needs that will increase dramatically with the next run of the LHC and how they are prioritizing ways to make more resources available to their private cloud clients.

China Mobile featured in two sessions, sharing how their 5G system platform is based on OpenStack’s NFV system architecture and CI/CD as an enabler to building next generation networks.

Among the difficulties arising from a large public cloud deployment, sizing the compute host and designing message queuing and databases can be most challenging. OVH shared how its team designed their databases clusters, how they optimized configuration to handle the increase of requests, how they monitor databases performances, and how they handle intervention on databases without impacting clients.

Reliance Industries Ltd. gave an overview and offered a demo of its Monasca architecture that counts over 700 compute nodes hosted and over 25,000 VMs in production. They are also working with the community to develop a road map for upcoming releases based on user experience.

Verizon Media relies on open source to run one of the largest open infrastructure environments in the world—over 4 million cores. More importantly, they are also deeply involved in the open source community that’s there to support it. In his keynote, James Penick, architecture director, discussed their open infrastructure strategy and the layers of open source technologies they use to power their business, which includes both OpenStack and Kubernetes.

What’s next

That’s a strong finish for the Denver Summit, but we’re already thinking about our next run.

We’re taking the next Open Infrastructure Summit across the pond to Shanghai, China the week of November 4.