Dynamic Container Scaling

With average daytime temperatures of 63F, and precipitation of only 2.4 inches in December, Austin is a pretty good assignment in the winter, especially if you like a variety of Southwest American music. So if you are fortunate enough to be attending the KubeCon + CloudNative* conference in Austin (Dec. 6-8), here’s something you’ll want to check out: an exploratory demonstration of the SUSE CaaS Platform* running on Intel RSD architecture to deliver dynamic container scaling.

Intel® RSD and Containers

Containers and other forms of virtualization provide better use of hardware and more flexible workload management than the old “one-application-one-server” paradigm. Even so, racks of fixed-configuration servers are still a barrier to achieving full utilization in the face of rapidly changing workloads. Intel® Rack Scale Design (Intel® RSD) architecture breaks through this barrier by enabling modular hardware building blocks that can be managed as resource pools and dynamically composed to meet workload-specific requirements on demand.

Intel RSD works with cloud platforms to support bare metal, virtual machine and containerized deployments. Its open, RESTful APIs expose Intel RSD capabilities to higher level software such as a container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes.

One useful capability enabled by Intel RSD is dynamic container scaling. That is, an orchestration platform can determine a workload’s resource needs, either from an application template or direct measurements, and use the APIs available in Intel RSD compatible hardware to configure an appropriate server node on demand. The orchestrator can request the mix of CPU, DRAM, accelerators, hot storage, and hard disk cold storage needed to optimize the hardware platform for the application. As workloads change, the orchestrator can reconfigure systems to adapt on the fly. The result is a dynamic data center environment that maximizes equipment utilization while ensuring optimum service levels.

See Dynamic Scaling Demo at KubeCon

To demonstrate how Intel RSD can work with container environments like SUSE CaaS Platform*, Intel and SUSE created a prototype running on Intel RSD reference hardware, which will be shown at KubeCon. The demo shows how the SUSE CaaS Platform could utilize Intel RSD POD Manager (PODM) APIs to compose an optimized node incorporating fast non-volatile storage (NVMe drives connected over PCIe) for a container workload. The demo also shows how NVMe resources can be easily returned to resource pools, ready for a new use elsewhere. If you are interested in learning more about this demo and dynamic container scaling with Intel RSD, click on this link.

Composing a node to add NVMe drives to a containerized workload

ISVs that supply solutions for commercial and native cloud environments are recognizing the benefits of the Intel RSD architecture and are exploring the best ways to integrate with this open, multi-vendor architecture. Intel RSD compatible products are available now from major vendors including Dell EMC*, Ericsson*, HPE*, Huawei*, Inspur*, QCT*, Radisys*, Supermicro*, Wiwynn* and others. If this sparks your interest, take a minute and reach out to your equipment and software providers to best understand how to start coming up to speed on this new data center architecture, and be sure to visit https://www.intel.com/intelrsd.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter to learn more, find me @UlgenFigen (https://twitter.com/UlgenFigen).

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
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Figen Ulgen

About Figen Ulgen

Figen Ülgen, Ph.D., is General Manager of the Rack Scale Design Group within the Datacenter Group at Intel Corporation. Ülgen oversees solutions roadmap, solutions enablement as well as operations, support and ecosystem and partnership strategy for Rack Scale Design. Ülgen joined Intel in 2014, where she led as General Manager for HPC Software and Cloud developing and promoting HPC Platform Software technologies for the HPC ecosystem. She founded the award-winning OpenHPC Community under Linux Foundation with a group of ecosystem partners to democratize HPC. During her time with the HPC Software and Cloud, the team shipped Intel® HPC Orchestrator, a fully supported production quality software product in less than 18 months—concept to General Availability. Prior to that, she was a Senior Director with Microsoft for over a decade in various leadership roles in Data Science, Azure Public Cloud, and HPC teams. Her 20-year industry experience includes technology innovation, competitive strategy, software product planning and management, as well as driving change across large organizations. Before Microsoft, Ülgen worked at McKinsey & Co., Motorola and at Justsystem Corporation in Japan. With a passion for serving underprivileged youth and women in the technology field, Ülgen sits on the Saturday Academy Board of Directors and is regularly invited to speak on behalf of women in technology. Ülgen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Expert Systems under a Fulbright Scholarship and a Ph.D. in Machine Learning under the Japanese Government Ministry of Education Scholarship. Ülgen holds two U.S. patents.