A few weeks ago, we attended the OpenStack Summit where we had a wonderful time connecting with customers, partners and several new faces. With the excitement of the event still lingering, we thought this was a great time to highlight how OpenStack and Cumulus Linux offer a unique, seamless solution for building a private cloud. But first, here are a few highlights from the conference.

OpenStack Summit 2017, Boston

  • Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director at OpenStack Foundation, opened the show talking about the substantial growth of OpenStack over the past several years and how they are just one part of the vibrant open infrastructure community. A large focus of the conference was how organizations are moving towards private cloud environments as they realize it’s a better long-term solution.
  • Throughout the conference, containers and Kubernetes were the hottest topics. Many sessions throughout the four days focused on these technologies and how organizations are looking to use them as an abstraction layer to make infrastructure less visible or locked-in.
  • Edward Snowden was one of the most favorited speakers. Presenting from Russia, Snowden focused on how IT professionals are in position to influence how cloud infrastructure is built, influence the future of the internet (and therefore the future of, ya know, the entire world).
  • “Women of OpenStack” was a big focus this year with several discussions within sessions and a “Women of OpenStack” luncheon.

OpenStack and Cumulus Linux work seamlessly together to offer a fully web-scale cloud environment that is efficient, agile and scalable. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll highlight some key aspects of our solution with OpenStack and link you to some in-depth resources on how you can use OpenStack and Cumulus Linux to build a better network.

Reduction in complexity drives OpenStack adoption with Cumulus

Organizations of all sizes are increasingly dependent upon their applications and are evaluating ways to optimize application performance. Most are looking at adopting web-scale IT principles by moving to a cloud environment that would allow data center operators to better support these applications and address business needs.

Why OpenStack?

The OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform has been steadily gaining traction within the enterprise IT environments as it offers a rich variety of components that can be combined to build a tailored cloud solution. In fact, 29% of OpenStack users are interested in using OpenStack for SDN or bare metal technologies and 58% of customers are in information technology (source).

Given that OpenStack is IaaS software, the platform controls pools of compute, networking and storage resource from a variety of vendors.

Why Cumulus Linux?

Cumulus Networks offers network switching based on the open Linux network operating model to OpenStack operators. Because Cumulus Linux is a networking-focused Linux distribution, it runs on network switching hardware from a multitude of IT providers such as Dell, Quanta, Supermicro, HP, Mellanox, and Penguin Computing.

Cumulus Linux offers a completely open architecture that supports easy portability of most third party applications natively. By adopting Linux principles for networking, customers have achieved operational efficiency and reduced their time to production by as much as 95%, while reducing their TCO by up to 60%. Due to these benefits we have doubled the number of customers adopting OpenStack with Cumulus Linux.

Automation and consistency are critical characteristics of web scale IT, which is why Cumulus Linux was designed with automation top of mind. To make the process even easier, Cumulus’ Network Command Line Utility (NCLU) allows network operators and system administrators to harness the power of Linux networking and quickly automate using the NCLU module native in Ansible 2.3.

OpenStack and Cumulus Linux

Customers deploying OpenStack and Cumulus Linux have multiple setup options depending on the needs:

  • Cumulus ML2 Plugin – Makes it easy to manage the network inside OpenStack without having to create VLANs/VXLANs manually before VM provisioning.
  • Pre-provisioned L2 VLAN networks
  • MLAG leaf-spine for pure L2 architectures
  • IP underlay fabrics for VXLAN/SDN deployments,
  • VXLAN gateways (VTEPs) for Bare Metal endpoints and
  • External SDN Gateways (replacing more expensive solutions like Juniper MX)

Integration between overlay and underlay is critical when customers are looking to scale their OpenStack environment with previously used overlays from traditional networking vendors (Cisco: ACI, Juniper: Contrail, etc).

Taking the next step

One of the biggest benefits of building a private cloud environment with OpenStack and Cumulus Linux is that both technologies offer complete flexibility. You can build a network that meets your business’ unique needs and quirks. To see how the paired solution can work for you, we’ve put together several documents that can help you get up and running.

Head to our OpenStack solution page where you will find deployment guides, demos, tech videos and more — everything you need to get up and running with OpenStack and Cumulus Linux.