OpenStack Innovation Center Racks Up Big Accomplishments

By David Brown, Intel and Kenny Johnston, Rackspace

OpenStack is the world’s leading open source cloud operating  system. It’s been adopted by many of the world’s most prominent cloud service  providers and a growing list of global enterprises. Now the task at hand for  the OpenStack community is to address barriers to the widespread adoption of  OpenStack in the broad realm of enterprise environments and ensure the platform  is ready for the workloads of tomorrow.

In a word, that is the mission of the OpenStack Innovation  Center (OSIC). Launched in 2015 by Intel and Rackspace, the center is bringing  together teams of engineers to accelerate the evolution of the OpenStack  platform. Key areas of focus include improving manageability, reliability and  resilience, scalability, high availability, security and compliance, and  simplicity. The objective is to make OpenStack easy to install and deploy, with  all of the features of an enterprise-class computing platform.

To drive toward those goals, the center has launched an  OpenStack developer training program, assembled one of the world’s largest  joint engineering teams focused on upstream contributions to OpenStack, and  deployed the world’s largest OpenStack developer cloud.

While the training program is helping grow the OpenStack community,  the joint engineering team is following an open roadmap that is guiding their  development of new features in the OpenStack platform. This work is focused on  key platform challenges. To date, the team’s accomplishments include a long  list of enhancements to the building blocks for enterprise-ready OpenStack  environments, including Keystone, Tempest, Neutron, Swift, Ceilometer, Cinder,  Horizon, Nova, and Rally. This work includes rolling upgrades through support  for versioned objects and online schema migration; improvements in live migration  to counter service failures; scalability improvements through work on network  topology and IP capacity awareness; and early work to support multi-factor  authentication through one-time password support in Keystone. In addition, the  team is focused on testing each service within OpenStack to determine its  breaking point, including telemetry, instance provisioning of Nova APIs,  Autoscale in Heat, and Software Defined Networking in relation to third-party  plug-ins.

Meanwhile, Intel and Rackspace have launched a developer  cloud hosted by OSIC to empower the OpenStack community, ultimately comprised  of 2,000 nodes. To date, the first 1,000-node cluster has been brought online  and is being fully utilized to power work by OSIC participants, including such prominent  organizations as Cambridge University, IBM, Red Hat, Mirantis, and PLUMgrid.  Most of the current test cases focus on networking, storage, and provisioning  methods. The second cluster will be brought online and available to the  community in June of this year.

Since its launch, the OSIC is already delivering on the  things it set out to do. It is increasing the number of developers contributing  to upstream OpenStack code, enabling the broader ecosystem, and advancing the  scalability, manageability, and reliability of OpenStack by adding new features  and functionality and eliminating bugs.

All of this work makes OpenStack a more viable platform for  deployment in enterprise environments across a wide range of industries. In  delivering these gains, the work done by the OSIC is helping to bring the Intel®  Cloud for All vision to life — specifically, to unleash tens of thousands  of new clouds.

If you have an OpenStack test case that could benefit from  the resources of a world-class developer cloud, visit to request access.