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How Red Hat brings OpenStack into the enterprise

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OpenStack adoption is growing and maturing

OpenStack® is the leading open source cloud infrastructure platform and has a bright future as organizations adopt edge computing and other techniques for building fast, low-latency networks. A large, active community contributes to OpenStack’s array of interrelated projects. OpenStack offers tools for pooling compute, storage, and networking resources across your datacenter and delivering self-service access to users. These technologies have matured in recent years, and 67% of organizations using OpenStack are now doing so in production environments.1

image container Figure 1. OpenStack features a modular architecture based on a variety of interoperable services for compute, networking, storage, management, orchestration, and more.

As a foundation for scalable, flexible cloud environments, OpenStack is often combined with other open source technologies like cloud management, automation, and container tools.

  • Cloud management platforms (CMPs). OpenStack includes basic management capabilities, but a comprehensive CMP can provide advanced functionality to unify virtualized and private cloud infrastructure under a single interface.
  • Automation platforms. Manual OpenStack environment configuration can be time-consuming and error-prone. Automation platforms can streamline setup, as well as ongoing maintenance operations, to reduce the time, effort, and risk associated with configuration management.
  • Container frameworks.Containers can simplify application deployment and portability. OpenStack includes application programming interfaces (APIs) for native container operations. In fact, 70% of organizations using OpenStack are interested in containers.1

To take advantage of this innovation, organizations can choose to deploy OpenStack directly by implementing, testing, patching, and supporting community releases themselves. However, choosing a commercially available OpenStack offering can simplify deployment and provide additional benefits. As a result, many organizations select an experienced vendor like Red Hat to reduce risk, streamline installation, and access support.

Red Hat combines community leadership, open source expertise, and production-grade tools and support to bring OpenStack to the enterprise. Red Hat OpenStack Platform is commercially hardened and co-engineered with Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, the world’s leading enterprise Linux operating system. It also incorporates community-powered innovation with enterprise scale and confidence — empowering businesses to deliver new, differentiated applications and services on a flexible, scalable, and proven OpenStack public or private cloud.

Red Hat’s open development approach

As an open organization, Red Hat values transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration, and community. Our development model begins in the open source community, with thousands of contributors, and results in finished products that are tested, integrated, and supported. Proven over many years through products like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Middleware, this approach maximizes innovation while providing production-grade stability, support, and features for businesses.

image container Figure 2. Red Hat has extensive experience bringing open source projects to the enterprise.

Upstream community collaboration

The process starts in the OpenStack community with upstream code contributions and functional advocacy for our customers. The community includes more than 102,000 individual members and 687 contributing companies from 199 countries.3 This collaboration generates faster development and innovation.

Red Hat is the top corporate contributor to the upstream OpenStack community. In fact, we have delivered 25.1% of commits for the Stein release and 15.8% of commits across all OpenStack releases.4 By engaging upstream, we can advocate for our customers and partners to influence the technology choices that matter most to them. This approach also allows us to gain and maintain OpenStack expertise and deliver fast, knowledgeable product support and services. Finally, we contribute all of our code developments to the upstream project first, then build that upstream code into the core of our products, ensuring that each one is truly open source.


image container Figure 3. Red Hat’s contribution to OpenStack Stein release core projects as a percentage of total commits, retrieved on June 26, 2019 from stackalytics.com.


Production testing and enterprise hardening

An extensive patching, bug-fixing, testing, and certification process ensures broad compatibility and performance with upstream community releases. We intensively test and harden the community code within our products, so you can be confident your Red Hat-based infrastructure is reliable and stable.

We also sponsor RDO, a community project focused on developing enterprise features and functionality for OpenStack running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, CentOS, and other derived Linux distributions. Though RDO is facilitated by Red Hat, the RDO OpenStack distribution is supported by the RDO community.

Red Hat sees the value in community-driven projects and created RDO to focus OpenStack development around enterprise deployments on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unlike the OpenStack community releases, RDO ensures that its OpenStack releases install and run on Red Hat platforms. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or its derivatives, at the base of RDO releases, we can provide a more focused development approach to further the development of features and functionality for Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers.

image container Figure 4. Red Hat follows a proven process for bringing OpenStack to the enterprise.

Certified ecosystems

Red Hat’s partner ecosystem is a key differentiator. Our customers can customize their datacenters with certified third-party hardware, software, and technologies, knowing that they’ll work reliably with Red Hat products. Our partner ecosystem is one of the largest available, giving you the flexibility and choice you need. Our Red Hat OpenStack Platform ecosystem includes:

  • Thousands of certified hardware systems from leading vendors.
  • More than 900 certified solutions from more than 140 companies.
  • Hundreds of partner-led proofs of concepts using Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Integrated technologies

The real potential of OpenStack comes from the ability to connect infrastructure resources, applications, and other technologies into a single environment. Red Hat’s integrated portfolio of enterprise-grade products allows you to build a flexible hybrid datacenter environment that you can easily adapt as needs change. You can customize your Red Hat OpenStack Platform environment with:

image container Figure 5. Red Hat OpenStack Platform integrates with other Red Hat products to deliver complete, modular, hybrid datacenter environments.

Reference architectures and solution documentation make it easier to construct and operate a cloud environment that supports your business. Because Red Hat products are open source and modular, you can deploy only the ones you need today and adapt over time.

Award-winning support and production life cycles

Red Hat is in the unique position to maintain development and support for both OpenStack technology component and that underlying Linux operating system on which  OpenStack depends. Every Red Hat subscription includes award-winning global support as well as access to technical experts and resources to help you successfully build, deploy, and manage your enterprise solutions.

We also provide stable branch releases of Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux that are supported for an enterprise production life cycle beyond the six-month release cycle of the OpenStack community. Customers can choose to standardize for up to five years on certain releases or update every six months to one year. The fast-forward upgrade feature in Red Hat OpenStack Platform director simplifies the process of in-place upgrading between long-life releases.

Learn more

Bringing open source technologies to the enterprise is a process that involves community contributions, production hardening, integration and certification with other products and partners, and superior support. As an open source leader, Red Hat combines all of these into Red Hat OpenStack Platform, giving you an ideal cloud foundation to support your business.

Learn more about Red Hat OpenStack Platform at redhat.com/openstack.

OpenStack Foundation, “2018 OpenStack User Survey Report,” 2018. openstack.org/user-survey/2018-user-survey-report.

IDC White Paper, sponsored by Red Hat, “Red Hat is Helping Organizations Optimize Private Cloud Service Delivery,” May 2019. Document #US45045819.

Information from openstack.org as of August 6, 2019.

Stackalytics.com, retrieved on June 26, 2019.