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Setting Up OpenStack* and its Use Cases on Intel Architecture

 

OpenStack* is a collaboration between developers and cloud computing technologists to produce an open source platform for cloud computing. OpenStack* aims to provide a simple and scalable cloud computing paradigm for different sizes of both public and private clouds. All OpenStack* source code is available under the Apache 2.0 license. Reading the definition and mission of OpenStack*, I became interested in learning how to setup a simple cloud computing platform and how to master some of the common usages within Intel IT.  I will share these here.    Finally, I want to hear how you, the developers, are building applications for the cloud, and how OpenStack* helps or hinders your work.

My search began at www.devstack.org, most of my instructions here can be found on the site but will be specific to my platform setup:

This was my platform configuration:

 Figure 1 – System Configuration

From the www.devstack.org website, I used the “All-In-One: Dedicated Hardware” version for my installation.  DevStack* is a special version that developers can use to get familiar with starting/running OpenStack services.

There are some supported components that are configured with this installation, and the following links are for your reference.

1. For databases as packaged by the host OS:

MySQL – open source relational database
PostgreSQL - open source relational database

2. For Queues as packaged by the host OS:

RabbitMQ – Message-oriented middleware

3. For Web Server (Horizon) as packaged by the OS:

Apache – Open-source HTTP server

4. For OpenStack* Network as default to Nova Network and optionally use Neutron:

Nova Network: Flat DHCP
Neutron: a basic configuration approximating the original Flat DHCP mode using linux-bridge or Open vSwitch*

The default services configured by DevStack* are: Identity (Keystone), Object Storage (Swift), Image Storage (Glance), Block Storage (Cinder), Compute (Nova), Network (Nova), Dashboard (Horizon).

Before executing the “stack.sh” script in the Folsom release, you may need to update the line below to prevent failure during the setup. The script hangs at the line listed below when  it is trying to install python packages that are required by the Keystone module using PIP:

sudo PIP_DOWNLOAD_CACHE=/var/cache/pip HTTP_PROXY= HTTPS_PROXY= NO_PROXY= /usr/bin/pip install –use-mirrors -r python_keystoneclient.egg-info/requires.txt

Here is the message:

>Downloading/unpacking prettytable (from -r python_keystoneclient.egg-info/requires.txt (line 3)

It uses pip to install python packages listed in a requirements file at /opt/stack/python-keystoneclient/python_keystoneclient.egg-info/requires.txt.
If you try to install each package separately, like this, it will succeed:

>pip install prettytable

The cause for the failure is the –use-mirrors switch which is added in function pip install() in devstack/functions.
To prevent the script from hanging, change the phrase below:

$CMD_PIP install $PIP_MIRROR_OPT $@

Change to this phrase:

$CMD_PIP install $@$CMD_PIP install $@

Your cloud setup will be unique depending on the environment and your specific needs. But note that DevStack* is designed as a learning environment and it is not supported for production environment. I use this DevStack* setup as my experimental environment. Once I get familiar with the setup and the usage of the new environment, I will explore other areas of the cloud computing like big data and software defined network (SDN). Next are two OpenStack* use cases that Intel’s IT organization configured on its internal cloud. 

Case #1 – Rolling Upgrades of Core Services: 
To minimize the impact of new infrastructure and software version updates, Intel IT designed its cloud platform for rolling upgrades, which helps better manage the rapid changes in IT infrastructure and software requirements for employee devices. For example, a new release of OpenStack* comes out every six months, and we expect to integrate the next version within three months of its release. Rolling upgrades with no end-user downtime are a key feature of the continuous integration and evolution philosophy at the heart of the open cloud operating model. 
 
Figure 2 – Diagram of the Intel IT Cloud Platform Solution Stack showing open source and other components, and their associated refresh cycles.

Case #2 – For cloud resource management use case:
At the core of Intel IT automation and manageability solutions is the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) which keeps track of the Virtual Machines (VMs) that are deployed into the environment. This domain model records desired settings, configurations, relationships, and states. Back-end orchestration—the automated arrangement, coordination, and management of computer systems, middleware, and services—and automation solutions use this model to enforce states in the environment. For example, when an end user requests a new collection of VMs, the API records the request into the model and triggers automation to start provisioning. Once a VM is provisioned, the Actor reads the desired configuration and state information from the model, and enforces that on the VM. Intel IT’s current implementation of CMDB is based on an open source Web 2.0 application framework, and we expose it through a RESTful API, a web service implemented using HTTP. 
 
Figure 3 – To automate the management of cloud resources, Intel IT added a layer on top of OpenStack* that includes the configuration management database, Watcher, Decider, Actor, and Collector functions.

Setting up OpenStack* for your cloud will be unique depending on your environment and specific needs.  The use cases mentioned are mainly focused on IT development. We are interested in hearing about other uses for OpenStack*, especially from a developer’s perspective. If you develop applications (for various operating systems such as Linux* and Windows*), are you considering OpenStack* and what are your reasons for doing so?  What challenges do you see in your adoption of OpenStack*?

References:
Visit www.intel.com/it to find white papers on related topics:
 “ An Enterprise Private Cloud Architecture and Implementation Roadmap
 “ Best Practices for Building an Enterprise Public Cloud
 “ Extending Intel’s Enterprise Private Cloud with Platform as a Service
 “ Implementing On-Demand Services Inside the Intel IT Private Cloud

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

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Developers And Cloud Computing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

I attended the Cloud Expo in New York City at the Javits Center in June. The attendees were a mix of Web hosting companies, web developers, software developers, hardware developers, and operating system developers. The event sponsors included Intel®, IBM*, Citrix*, Rackspace*, Oracle*, Verizon Terremark*, Akamai*, and many more.  Everyone came to learn, share, and we agreed that the development cycle was quicker than expected for new software and products using the. Companies opened up their APIs to gain more developer mindshare, and used industry open standards.  In this blog, I will share some of what is being provided by Rackspace, IBM, and Intel to help cloud application developers.

Rackspace*
Developers have access to the API documentation and software Development Kit (SDKs) across all of Rackspace’s services at their developer site http://developer.rackspace.com/), Rackspace* believes that developers are the key contributors to their success. Thus, they want to provide developers with the tools and resources necessary to create new applications and services on top of their APIs.  Here is what available at http://docs.rackspace.com/:

FIGURE 1- A SNAPSHOT OF THE RACKSPACE DEVELOPER WEBSITE

IBM*
At the Cloud Expo, IBM introduced new APIs, which can be found at the IBM developer site (www.ibm.com/developerworks/).  The article “New APIs in IBM SmartCloud Enterprise 2.2: An overview of APIs…” focuses on the use of APIs and outlines sample use cases for the following features:

• User management
• Guest messaging
• Service offering management
• Service instance management
• Storage unit provisioning

The introduction of the new APIs focuses on arming developers with the tools and resources to build new products, applications, and services.

Intel®
Intel has several Software Development Kits that aimed at cloud computing developers.  Below, I will provide a brief descriptions and the website for the Intel Cloud Services, Intel Data Plane Development Kit (SDK), and Intel OpenAttestation SDK.  Beside the SDKs, I will share some quotes from white paper “Intel’s Vision of Open Cloud Computing” which summarizes additional resources for cloud computing developers. 

Intel has a Cloud Services Platform Beta where developers can download the Software Development Kit (SDK) for Identity Based and Cross-Platform Services.  
 
FIGURE 2 – A SNAPSHOT OF THE CLOUD SERVICES PLATFORM BETA FROM INTEL
Learn more at http://software.intel.com/cloudservicesplatform/

Open Attestation SDK – The OpenAttestation project provides a SDK to add cloud management tools that establish a host’s integrity information. 
 
FIGURE 3 – A SNAPSHOT OF THE OPENATTESTATION WEBSITE
Learn more at https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/OpenAttestation, https://github.com/OpenAttestation/OpenAttestation

Intel® DPDK: Data Plane Development Kit
The Intel DPDK is a set of libraries and drivers for fast packet processing on x86 platforms. Additional links provide more information.  
 
FIGURE 4 – A SNAPSHOT FOR THE INTEL® DATA PLANE DEVELOPMENT KIT
- Packet Processing on Intel® Architecture
- Intel® Data Plane Development Kit (Intel® DPDK): API Reference

Beyond the SDKs mentioned above, here are some quotes from the white paper “Intel’s Vision of Open Cloud Computing” that aiming to provide more resources to developers.

” Intel believes in standards-based open and interoperate-able solutions.  To achieve this, solutions (infrastructure of cloud computing and the related ecosystems) must easily interoperate across cloud environments based on industry standards.

To meet the challenges of enabling wider cloud adoption, Intel is active on many fronts:

1) Working with leading enterprises and service providers to understand their requirements,
2) Driving technology innovation to address inherent challenges with security, efficiency, and scalability,
3) Enabling optimized solutions across a broad ecosystem, and
4) Engaging with standards bodies to enable open standards focused on cloud deployments.

An example of working with leading cloud providers and enterprises is Intel’s role as the technical advisor to the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA).  Intel uses insight from its engagements with leading systems and solutions providers to develop reference architectures and best practices offered through the Intel® Cloud Builders program.  And for developers seeking to use public cloud infrastructure services, Intel® Cloud Finder makes it easier to select providers that meet a developer’s requirements.

Open Data Center Alliance

The ODCA is an independent organization of over 300 leading global IT managers who amplify their collective voice by documenting best-of-breed data center requirements for today and the future….
To learn more, visit www.opendatacenteralliance.org

Intel® Cloud Builders

The Intel Cloud Builders program brings together leading systems and software solutions vendors to provide best practices and practical guidance on how to deploy, maintain, and optimize a cloud infrastructure based on Intel® Architecture…
Learn more at www.intelcloudbuilders.com

Intel® Cloud Finder

To better equip IT developers worldwide with knowledge and answers they need to take full advantage of public cloud capabilities, Intel provides Intel Cloud Finder for match making with providers….”
Learn more at www.intelcloudfinder.com  and “Intel’s Vision of Open Cloud Computing

The Cloud Expo June’13 illustrated that cloud computing is growing rapidly, and a single company may not be fast enough to build the next killer applications. Intel and some sponsors have a vision of providing the developers the access to the APIs and resources necessary to build services, applications, and products that will map out the future computing.  With these capabilities, developers will have a wide variety of choice of resources to build on the platform where the return of investment (ROI) is high. 

References
Open Attestation SDK
https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/OpenAttestation,
https://github.com/OpenAttestation/OpenAttestation
Intel® DPDK: Data Plane Development Kit
http://software.intel.com/cloudservicesplatform/
Packet Processing on Intel® Architecture
http://software.intel.com/cloudservicesplatform/
Open Data Center Alliance
www.intelcloudfinder.com
Intel’s Vision of Open Cloud Computing

 

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