Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing weekly series on Leaders of the Open Cloud running in advance of CloudOpen, Aug. 28-31 in San Diego. SUSE’s Alan Clark will present at the conference on “Private Cloud Availability and Fault Tolerance, Setup or Failure?”
OpenStack, the open source cloud project, is gaining momentum in the industry as many organizations look for cloud solutions that offer long-term flexibility. The OpenStack Foundation’s membership roster, including Canonical, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Rackspace, Red Hat, and SUSE, also demonstrates the project’s long-term viability.
SUSE is working with fellow OpenStack members such as B1 Systems, Dell and Mirantis to make the platform simpler and easier to deploy for enterprise customers. Last October the company released a beta version of its OpenStack-based private cloud and plans to roll out the first release of its enterprise-ready, private cloud solution this summer, according to Alan Clark, director of industry initiatives, emerging standards and open source at SUSE and a member of The Linux Foundation’s board of directors.
The challenge of a private cloud lies in getting servers into a service-oriented state, which improves agility and responsiveness to business needs, Clark said. The open source cloud helps achieve a service-oriented approach because it delivers a flexible infrastructure, quick and easy deployment, service management and complete life cycle management, he said.
As OpenStack contributors, “we’re working with partners — many are open source projects — to build this together,” Clark said. “It’s a collaboration of ideas as well as code. It accelerates bringing a solution to market that works across all the different partners.”
What makes SUSE unique, Clark says, is the company’s ability to use its existing data center infrastructure, which already incorporates a wide variety of vendors and technologies. Take virtualization, for example.
“We’re not just built on KVM or Xen. We work with all the virtualization technologies,” Clark said. “We are working with several partners including VMware and Microsoft to ensure all the industry leading virtualization technologies work with SUSE Linux Enterprise, making it extremely flexible for enterprises to deploy the hypervisor of their choice.”
And, of course, SUSE’s OpenStack-powered cloud will be built on SUSE Linux Enterprise products and will integrate with tools such as SUSE Studio. For its existing Cloud Provider Program, this integration means pay-as-you-go use of SUSE enterprise Linux servers and fast, one-click deployment using SUSE Studio.
One-click deployment could take a while to roll out on the open source cloud platform. That’s because many open source cloud projects in the market today were originally developed for hosting companies that only need to deploy once in a preset environment, Clark said. The enterprise model is more complicated with thousands of different companies trying to set up their own private and hybrid clouds.
“Right now it’s not easy to deploy cloud; there are a lot of steps involved. SUSE Cloud will help solve this,” Clark said.
SUSE is tackling still another challenge of enterprise cloud deployment: how to make it easier for developers. The switch to a less stable public or hybrid cloud poses a unique challenge for developers used to a very high level of reliability and availability from an internal data center.
“One component fails and it causes a chain reaction,” Clark said. “You have to decouple your processes, break your app apart into different service components and design for large scale deployment.”
In his talk at CloudOpen next week in San Diego, Clark will address what developers can do to remain viable in the cloud, such as building in tolerance for infrastructure failure or protecting against horizontal failures.
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