Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

OpenStack: the Open Source Cloud That Vendors Love and Users Are Ignoring

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the not-enough-sexy-buzzwords dept.

Open Source 99

Brandon Butler writes: "OpenStack has no shortage of corporate backers. Rackspace, Red Hat, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco and many others have hopped on board. But many wonder, after four years, shouldn't there be more end users by this point? 'OpenStack backers say this progression is completely normal. Repeating an analogy many have made, Paul Cormier, president of products and technology for Red Hat, says OpenStack’s development is just like the process of building up Linux. This time the transition to a cloud-based architecture is an even bigger technological transformation than replacing proprietary operating systems with Linux. "It’s where Linux was in the beginning," he says about OpenStack's current status. "Linux was around for a while before it really got adopted in the enterprise. OpenStack is going through the same process right now."'"

cancel ×

99 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

You're talking about the cloud here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47049913)

The only people with the business case to use cloud infrastructure are the corporate backers themselves. SMB have no reason to chase clouds and mid-level B2B computing crap gets outsourced anyway.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050259)

The only people with the business case to use cloud infrastructure are the corporate backers themselves. SMB have no reason to chase clouds and mid-level B2B computing crap gets outsourced anyway.

Yeah, because your typical SMB out there really want to use time and resources on managing their own IT systems, administrating their own servers and perform regular updates and security patching. It's not like they really want to focus on something else.. I know it is popular to make fun of the cloud hype on Slashdot, but IT as a managed services has real value especially for SMB (not at least compared to a very typical SMB scenario of the IT role being filled part time by the guy in the firm that knows most about computers and stuff)

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

drakaan (688386) | about 3 months ago | (#47050421)

That's sort of like saying that everyone should be riding the bus because it's too resource-intensive to maintain a scooter or to have it serviced.

If all the software that those SMBs need to run worked in a cloud environment with no issues, then it would make sense.

Most of those small businesses, especially not-for-profits, can't spend as much on reliable bandwidth and network infrastructure as they'd need to in order to leverage a cloud solution and not face maddening slowdowns in ordinary workflows.

If you're resource-strapped and still running XP because you'd go broke upgrading PCs, OSes, and third-party software, then "the cloud" is not a panacaea, or even necessarily a good idea vs. a few hours a month of paying someone to do some basic maintenance.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050911)

That's sort of like saying that everyone should be riding the bus because it's too resource-intensive to maintain a scooter or to have it serviced.

It is?? I guess that makes as much sense to me as most car analogies on Slashdot, eg. not helping at all to clarify anything about the IT solution being discussed, but that might just be me.

If all the software that those SMBs need to run worked in a cloud environment with no issues, then it would make sense.

Most of those small businesses, especially not-for-profits, can't spend as much on reliable bandwidth and network infrastructure as they'd need to in order to leverage a cloud solution and not face maddening slowdowns in ordinary workflows.

If you're resource-strapped and still running XP because you'd go broke upgrading PCs, OSes, and third-party software, then "the cloud" is not a panacaea, or even necessarily a good idea vs. a few hours a month of paying someone to do some basic maintenance.

Well, this becomes a fairly basic cost/resource/need comparison between the two scenarios - reduce time, resources and costs spent on managing your own IT vs. bandwidth and service need. I absolutely agree that the answer probably isn't the same for all, but I do believe a lot of SMB businesses will find great value in managed services vs running their own IT. We did (I'm the 100 person SMB example in post below).

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47051023)

As a IT manager of a 1000 user mid tier business, The only thing we could do in the cloud was Email and office docs.
Neither os which tied into our document management solution that was a business requirement, so using cloud apps was not appropriate for them, nor for the other 200 or so productivity apps we use.

putting the Servers in the cloud as virts is possible. but 2 times the cost of physicals, and I still have to manage them there anyway:-).

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 3 months ago | (#47058233)

It's more like, everyone should performance tune their engine's timings themselves, instead of paying a professional to do it. Datacenters are not cheap to design correctly. With "the cloud", you pay for characteristics, instead of concerning yourself on how it's implemented. This isn't perfect, but it works "good enough" and quite a bit better than what many can do on their own.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47050555)

You still have to admin your servers, even if they're in the cloud. Just not deal with hardware issues.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050795)

You still have to admin your servers, even if they're in the cloud. Just not deal with hardware issues.

No, you rent the complete solution as a service -- Office365, Salesforce, etc. I work in a 100 person 1.5 IT guy company that have moved almost all our IT (rest soon to go) to rented services like these, and the business is quite happy about this vs. the hassle of running our own IT.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47050895)

For some businesses, yes. If they can rely on turn key solutions.

Many businesses can't.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 3 months ago | (#47054583)

We should take of our IT glasses.

Of course IT shops need direct access to their IT. But most shops are anything from ice cream parlors to carpenters. The prototypical SMB. They don't need their IT as we do. They need it like we need electricity or running water. Pretty much standard, but reliable.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054365)

s/cloud/other people's computers/.

Does it still make sense to have your business critical things like mails there?
Yes, iff you use encryption and do it right.

Do you use encryption? Are you doing it right?

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 3 months ago | (#47057873)

How's that any different from outsourcing your hardware and software support without using the cloud? Its not.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47059147)

How's that any different from outsourcing your hardware and software support without using the cloud? Its not.

If you are talking about on-site outsourced support, yes it is. Not having to buy and host the hardware and software and manage the support provider is different, you just don't want to deal with that as a business focused on other things. Having 24/7 on-call support with short SLA is really expensive for on-site solutions, but part of the package with "cloud". If you are talking about outsourcing it to a managed data center and hosted solutions provider, that is the cloud.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 months ago | (#47054373)

I was under the impression that the main use for OpenCloud and similar was medium-sized businesses: those who need more than one server, but not a complete datacenter. It's easy to set up a small number of machines running the same hypervisor and use OpenCloud to roll out virtual servers for each department that needs them. If you want to move some of them off-site, then you can use the same infrastructure to migrate them to another of your offices or to someone else's datacenter.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 3 months ago | (#47055579)

I know it is popular to make fun of the cloud hype on Slashdot, but IT as a managed services has real value

Managed IT services are perfectly fine. Calling it "the cloud" is buying into a buzzword that exists for no reason but to generate hype over a business model that has been around for decades.

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47056729)

I know it is popular to make fun of the cloud hype on Slashdot, but IT as a managed services has real value

Managed IT services are perfectly fine. Calling it "the cloud" is buying into a buzzword that exists for no reason but to generate hype over a business model that has been around for decades.

Yes,but I don't get why the Slashdot community gets so worked about this nitpick that it often derails discussions on the topic. It's a word that has taken hold, everyone knows what is being referred to, let's stop beating a dead horse get over it and discuss the content.

More virtualisation than cloud (5, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#47050291)

OpenStack is more about virtualisation than anything else. Its potential usefulness for "cloud" service providers is one example, but it's probably of more interest to large organisations looking to consolidate their own in-house IT services. As with many "open" technologies, the realities aren't quite as simple as the article here suggests, though.

It's certainly true that proprietary high-end networking gear and virtualisation software can be expensive. In that respect, alternatives like OpenStack are potentially disruptive.

On the other hand, ask anyone who's actually had to administer an OpenStack system how they feel about it, and the response might be a string of curse words that would make your mother blush. This is a technology (or more accurately, a loosely connected family of technologies) still very much in its infancy, and sometimes it shows.

Also, just because big name brands are keen to be associated with the shiny new buzzword, don't mistake that for sincere support. OpenStack poses a direct threat to the established business model of some of those networking giants, and just like everyone else, the executives at those businesses are wondering where the industry is going next and how to look like you're playing nicely while really still trying to optimise your own financial position.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (4, Informative)

blackpaw (240313) | about 3 months ago | (#47052309)

On the other hand, ask anyone who's actually had to administer an OpenStack system how they feel about it, and the response might be a string of curse words that would make your mother blush. This is a technology (or more accurately, a loosely connected family of technologies) still very much in its infancy, and sometimes it shows.

+100

SMB here - We virtualised all our 6 servers and multiple test pc's onto a couple of grunty boxes. We looked at the cloud, but our net is to slow and unreliable (thanks Malcom Turnball for screwing the NBN).

Looked at OpenStack - a freaking nightmare to put together. Huge chain of dependencies and general flakyness. vSphere was too expensive if you wanted clustering, vmotion, replication etc. We eventually settled on proxmox - debian based using KVM, trivially easy to install and get running. Nice admin interface and basic backup facilities.

8 months on no real regrets, so sometimes regret not going with HyperV 2012.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47059167)

try oVirt, a bit more work then proxmox but scales a lot better:

http://www.ovirt.org/

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 3 months ago | (#47062987)

I give it another play around sometime soon, but it would have to other a lot more to persuade me to migrate now :) And our scaling needs are not large - might go up to 4(!) nodes next year.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (2)

Znork (31774) | about 3 months ago | (#47053967)

If you're using OpenStack for general virtualisation I'd say you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The OpenStack feature set shines when you actually need things like on-demand scaling, completely API driven infrastructure, instantiation of servers with lifetimes of minutes to hours, etc. To be used in the way it's designed for it pretty much requires applications written to function that way.

If you're just virtualizing traditional workloads you're better off with using RHEV or VmWare or some other ordinary virtualization platform and automating it with added orchestration.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47056161)

OpenStack is more about virtualisation than anything else. Its potential usefulness for "cloud" service providers is one example, but it's probably of more interest to large organisations looking to consolidate their own in-house IT services.

I'm not sure that's true. From what I've read (but admittedly I haven't tried to implement OpenStack), it doesn't seem to offer any great virtualization capabilities compared with other hypervisors. It seems that the benefit of OpenStack comes from it being an easy way to deploy virtualization, storage, and compute nodes as a platform for development.

If I want to set up a single server with a hypervisor, would I set up OpenStack? If I had 5 servers that I wanted to set up as hypervisors, would OpenStack make it easier to manage those systems? My impression is that, no, it wouldn't. My impression, which could be wrong, is that it only makes sense if I were creating a large-scale scalable app, designed specifically for this kind of distributed computing among a bunch of nodes, that would make it desireable to be able to provision and deploy additional nodes quickly and easily, And when I say, "quickly and easily", I mean that a good developer would find it relatively quick and easy, though for mere mortals it might be a huge pain.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 months ago | (#47061661)

Some of what you say is certainly fair, but I don't think the useful/not useful cases for OpenStack are quite as black and white as you seem to be implying.

For a single physical box that's going to pretend to be a handful of not-often-changing virtual boxes, sure, something like OpenStack is way overspecified (and overcomplicated).

However, scaling up a bit, you moved into the territory where you have a few powerful machines and multiple large-scale storage devices, and you probably want them to run lots of services and get more frequent requests to provision a new facility. Most of all, you really, really don't want a single point of failure, because if any of your big boxes goes down it takes out half a department until everything is fixed. At that point, there is a lot of potential upside to building all your IT facilities on logical/virtual infrastructure that is in turn built on top of physical hardware but without your users ever seeing it.

Right now, with these technologies for private clouds or whatever buzzword we're using this week still in their infancy, there are a lot of growing pains. Virtualisation for processors and storage is complicated enough on its own, before you add SDN on top, and then the more specialised services and all the infrastructure to tie it all together like identity and image management. User interfaces for sysadmins tend to be pretty bad even in fields that are already well established with relatively obvious requirements, which this isn't.

So for today, I don't know who would find a good cost/benefit for moving to OpenStack. But of course, not so many years ago, people used to say that about obscure new technologies like Linux and web applications, too.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47065411)

Well if you're saying that virtualization is useful for IT departments, then yes, I'd certainly agree. If you said distributed/redundant virtualization would be useful for IT departments, I'd agree there too. For example, I would love to be able to do the following quickly, easily, and with FOSS: Set up multiple provide datacenters in different locations, each with a couple of computers that can serve as hosts and some form of mass storage, and link them all together as some kind of cluster for virtualization such that any one (or even a few) of those locations could be permanently destroyed without notice, and (a) no data would be lost; and (b) any virtual machines that had been running on the destroyed nodes could simple be turned on somewhere else, without significant downtime.

And that's the kind of dream scenario that has me paying attention to OpenStack. I'm not ignoring it. However, what I'm reading about OpenStack gives me the impression that it's not being built and designed for people like me, who would like to be able to do that kind of thing. I'm left with the impression that it's more aimed at allowing web developers, who might otherwise write their scalable web app to run on AWS, to instead run it on their own hardware.

If I'm wrong, please let me know, because I'd love some high-tech free distributed virtualized computing. I'd be willing to put in some work to learn a bunch of stuff if I needed to in order to make it work. It's just that the things I read are all telling me "OpenStack is great for Hadoop!" Well I'm not doing that kind of thing. I'm running Active Directory and Exchange servers, and it seems like OpenStack currently doesn't offer me anything that can't be done more easily with vCenter.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47062679)

While that's a nice way to say it, I must say (not quite as nicely) that it is the most egregious example of coreware that I have ever had the misfortune to waste time reading the documentation for.

OpenStack is as similar to Linux as a pug is to a timber wolf.

These companies put out OpenStack to try to coax feckless experimenters into help with bug hunting. The pieces that make OpenStack viable as a platform (and differentiate these companies from one another) are *not* available to mere mortals--at all in source form and in any form only with hefty licensing fees.

Re:More virtualisation than cloud (1)

Brandon Butler (2829853) | about 3 months ago | (#47066045)

OpenStack is more about managing virtual servers compared to being about virtualization. OpenStack needs a hypervisor, there is no function for that in the code. Just clarifying here that OpenStack is a package of components that are built to manage virtualized servers. OpenStack doens't actually do the virtualization. Still need KVM, Hyper-V or (gasp) ESX

Re:You're talking about the cloud here (1)

Brandon Butler (2829853) | about 3 months ago | (#47065985)

meh, yes and no. there could be use cases for SMBs (more medium than small probbly), especially around app dev. if you have devs using AWS and paying for it on expense reports with taxi receipts (I've heard this happening), then a CIO could make a case for building up some internal cloud infrastructure to give users fast access to resources. I don't like the buzzwords, but DevOps could help usher in cloud adoption for regular enterprises.

Of course vendors love it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47049925)

Cloud computing companies fuck their customers with excessive charges orders of magnitude higher than normal data-center co-location costs.

The reason why people are ignoring it is because they recognize the ass fucking. Simple really.

Re:Of course vendors love it (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47050085)

>Cloud computing companies fuck their customers with excessive charges orders of magnitude higher than normal data-center co-location costs.

The scaleability they offer is a big advantage over just having a server at a co-lo. It's not worth the money for any project I've worked on, but if you have a web-business that has the potential to become very popular, putting it in a couple of different vendor's clouds can make a lot of sense so that you can very quickly scale up to handle the traffic.

A cloudy day is a bad day (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 3 months ago | (#47053745)

The scaleability they offer is a big advantage

The data insecurity and NSA pre-packaging they offer is a big advantage but not for you

FTFY

Re:Of course vendors love it (4, Informative)

cmorriss (471077) | about 3 months ago | (#47050113)

This has nothing to do with cloud computing service providers. OpenStack is more about companies using the software for private clouds in which case they would be running it in their own data center.

In this case, customers are still not picking it up even though they could have cloud computing without the service providers dicking them over.

I think the software will have to prove itself over time in addition to companies figuring out how it fits into their data centers. Red Hat throwing it's support weight behind it will definitely help.

Re:Of course vendors love it (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 3 months ago | (#47055609)

There is no such thing as a "private cloud", as the term "cloud" specifically refers to services managed by an external party, on that external party's servers. If they're your own IT staff and hardware, well then it's just your own data center.

Re:Of course vendors love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47051599)

agreed - needs to be 1/4 the price to compete with colo.

There is *some* progress with a container/useage based model - modified VMs that scale up and down with demand

What is the use case? (2)

Orestesx (629343) | about 3 months ago | (#47049957)

If I want to host my own, I get VMware in my own datacenter. If I want to host in the cloud, I buy storage+compute from AWS. I see no reason to deploy OpenStack at a small to medium sized business. Am I just looking to get myself fired for insisting on a solution that is not VMware?

Re:What is the use case? (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#47050103)

If I want to host my own, I get VMware in my own datacenter. If I want to host in the cloud, I buy storage+compute from AWS.

And you get the usual proprietary issues from both. The promise of OpenStack is that you develop in house, then push it out to whatever commodity provider(s) meet your needs at the time, x number of times in y number of locations.

It's not entirely unlike how you can assume that most any popular PHP package will run on whatever hosting provider you choose, but at the machine level instead of the app level. All the usual caveats about standards apply.

Re:What is the use case? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050367)

The promise of OpenStack is that you develop in house, then push it out to whatever commodity provider(s) meet your needs at the time, x number of times in y number of locations.

So if I'm running KVM on CentOS, OpenStack would be an easier path to migrate my existing VMs to other cloud providers? Not sure I need it, but that could be interesting in some situations.

Re:What is the use case? (3, Informative)

bobaferret (513897) | about 3 months ago | (#47051165)

yes, this is what OpenStack does/is supposed to do. You can migrate your virtual machines, and the storage and networking infrastructure from your local datacenter, to a remote datacenter, to AWS, or Rackspace or any other openstack compliant hosting provider. In the grand sceme of this things it's really quite impressive and awesome. In reality it's still a mess, but getting better all of the time.

Re:What is the use case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47052215)

Openstack is bullshit.

If I want to go the open source route, why would I want to have a full Ubuntu or Redhat install layered on with a huge pile of memory eating, security fail filled, Python code which is all just crappy wrappers around the actual tools like Xen or kvm?

No, I want my hypervisors to be minimal, have absolutely nothing running on them except the VM management tool. What I use now is an under 4MB busybox initramfs with dropbear and kvm. That's it.

The problem with Openstack is it is a big pile of bloated bullshit that still doesn't do anything. Compare it to their commercial competition. ESXi is a minimal Linux image that runs nothing but VMware, my homebrew cluster, which is a minimal Linux image that runs nothing but KVM and dropbear, or Openstack which requires the whole kitchen sink and a big pile of custom addons.

No thanks.

Re:What is the use case? (1)

DeSigna (522207) | about 3 months ago | (#47052701)

And you get the usual proprietary issues from both.

I'm not entirely sure what you're angling at VMware with that, but for AWS it makes more sense.

The promise of OpenStack is that you develop in house, then push it out to whatever commodity provider(s) meet your needs at the time [...snip...] [compatible] at the machine level instead of the app level.

I was under the impression that OpenStack is a management and deployment framework - it will work on top of whatever supported hypervisors are in use (KVM, Xen, VMware, etc). One would assume you won't be exposed to the majority of OpenStack's APIs and direct management systems if you're using a third-party cloud provider.

Unless you're planning your own cloud system or are looking at a deployment on the scale where you would be closely looking at running up some of your own hardware with an IaaS partner for rapid scaling, I don't see any direct benefits to users. Especially for SMEs and non-IT-centric businesses, which are the primary targets for the "outsource everything to the cloud, it's worry free!" propaganda.

Re:What is the use case? (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 3 months ago | (#47050451)

The thing is that it's not OpenStack *or* VMWare, it's OpenStack *and* any hypervisor you like, including VMWare if you want. It's (as far as I understand, mind) an "Application Layer" above the hypervisors.

You can have OpenStack running with VMWare, XenServer, KVM, or possibly other hypervisors, if you like. Here for example is how you could setup OpenStack to use VMWare vCenter [openstack.org] . But at the moment I also have absolutely no Idea what I could user it for. My "classic" virtual machines do everything I need them to do. Let's see what the next decade or so has in store. ;-)

Re: What is the use case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47051137)

When you have racks of storage machine, racks of computation machines, and computation,storage, and networking needs are to be defined later by the user, it makes sense. Ie: providing cloud storage, compute, and networking for many users.

Think of it as a way to setup infrastructure that presents a private virt-manager like interface to the end user.

Re:What is the use case? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 3 months ago | (#47050513)

If I want to host my own, I get VMware in my own datacenter.

If I want to host in the cloud, I buy storage+compute from AWS.

I see no reason to deploy OpenStack at a small to medium sized business. Am I just looking to get myself fired for insisting on a solution that is not VMware?

Openstack is not a VM manager. It's a cloud management system. If you want your cloud units to run in VMWare containers, OpenStack supports that. It also supports Xen, VirtualBox, several other VM hosts and Containers.

The advantage of a cloud is that you can toss stuff around without having to dedicate specific machines to them. This allows easier recovery from hardware failures as well as the ability to add nodes and capacity on-demand without having to sit down with paper and pencil and allocate physical resources.

If your site has 5 boxes or less, a cloud isn't really much use. But as you get more physical machines, the flexibility you get from having an automated system to allocate resources over them becomes more attractive. I've worked in a shop where a major server had its own box, even though its normal workload was only 15% and we were blowing circuit breakers because of all the hardware we were running mostly idle.

Re:What is the use case? (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 3 months ago | (#47050897)

If I want to host my own, I get VMware in my own datacenter. If I want to host in the cloud, I buy storage+compute from AWS. I see no reason to deploy OpenStack at a small to medium sized business. Am I just looking to get myself fired for insisting on a solution that is not VMware?

And I would agree with you. OpenStak has the PROMISE of being a good thing for your average user, but it is FAR from being a turn-key solution. Getting OpenStack to actually do what you want it to is not something most smaller operators have time to figure out but requires someone who knows a lot about the specific VM product you want to use and the tools needed to make adjustments to your created machines.

But that really isn't a problem with OpenStack points to the purpose of OpenStack. This tool is designed to help you Create, run, edit, and move virtual machines in mass quantities. If you are not creating hundreds of nearly identical VM's, don't bother with OpenStack.

I almost had to groan at marketing lingo today. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47049995)

Thank you cloud to butt.

Linux Was Free (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050001)

In the beginning, Linux was free. I remember using it in college and learning about it and getting excited. If these big corporate players want traction against AWS and the like, they should be giving out free hosting to college students so they can tinker with it too.

Re:Linux Was Free (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 3 months ago | (#47050971)

Linux IS still free... HOWEVER..

Hardware costs money, IP addresses cost money, buildings cost money, billing customers costs money, bandwidth costs money, employees cost money and electrical power costs money. Personally, I think having somebody do all this for me for the little some charge is a great deal.

So, if you don't want to make payments to somebody for your hosting, you are free to buy the hardware, an IP address and bandwidth and pay the power company and do it yourself. Good Luck.

Re:Linux Was Free (1)

Lorens (597774) | about 3 months ago | (#47053787)

In the beginning, Linux was free. I remember using it in college and learning about it and getting excited. If these big corporate players want traction against AWS and the like, they should be giving out free hosting to college students so they can tinker with it too.

And so they are. Look at Red Hat's Openshift.

it boggles the mind... (2, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 3 months ago | (#47050039)

...that right now, in the midst of the NSA security nightmare and all the angst and FUD it's causing, that people are wondering why individuals are not deciding to throw their often-sensitive data into the cloud.

how could anyone think their data will be or stay safe, given the various threats that we hear about on almost a daily basis?

timing is everything (besides location of course...and sex appeal...and everything else) in life, and right now is not the time for cloud computing.

Re:it boggles the mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050249)

All FUD aside, i really think it's again a question of data-center propaganda... :

'don't be usin yer own servers or even think about creatin yer own cloud, fellar. Looky here you rent some ceepeehuyie some meemory and most important (and influential, be you won't be hearing that from us...) bandwith.... soon (in like 1000 years) there'll be no more old dedicated servers, just a cloud..... '

so don't be cloudin my judgement you money hungry @-holes......
sincerely
'a server hugger' ( still better than a d#CkH3ad money hungry propaganda spreading 'cloud F-er' )

Re:it boggles the mind... (1)

psydeshow (154300) | about 3 months ago | (#47076439)

...that right now, in the midst of the NSA security nightmare and all the angst and FUD it's causing, that people are wondering why individuals are not deciding to throw their often-sensitive data into the cloud.

how could anyone think their data will be or stay safe, given the various threats that we hear about on almost a daily basis?

timing is everything (besides location of course...and sex appeal...and everything else) in life, and right now is not the time for cloud computing.

And you think, based on the revelations you've read, that your often-sensitive data is safer in a closet in your office? It's still accessible over the internet, and your CEO still logs in from any old airport wi-fi or coffee shop using his malware-riddled DELL.

I don't worry about Amazon, China, or the NSA sifting through my databases at night, because given the state of the State I don't think we can do much to stop them. I DO worry about power failures, water pipe bursts, exploding UPS batteries, dust, and clumsy janitors causing me to have to roll out of bed at 3am to go take care of an incident. If EC2 goes down, I send an email that says "EC2 is down, Amazon is working on it." and go back to bed.

At least with Amazon, you know you're being hacked by pros.

Ignoring all the other problems with "clouds"... (3, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 3 months ago | (#47050153)

...until upstream bandwidth in the USA catches up with the rest of the world, self-hosted "clouds" like this are just not happening. Sure, you can colocate a server, but that's expensive for a SMB and you can spend that same money on a bigger Internet pipe instead, but with such cheap turn-key on-demand scaling services like EC2, why set up your own?

Re:Ignoring all the other problems with "clouds".. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 months ago | (#47050239)

Hell, lets even ignore all that. What would I, as an end user, use OpenStack for? I'm sincerely asking: what is the use case for an end user directly using OpenStack?

Re:Ignoring all the other problems with "clouds".. (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 3 months ago | (#47050559)

Hell, lets even ignore all that. What would I, as an end user, use OpenStack for? I'm sincerely asking: what is the use case for an end user directly using OpenStack?

That, I think is the answer to TFA's question. You shouldn't. That's for the DevOps people to worry about.

As an end user, you shouldn't have to care what the data center underpinnings are. And for personal systems, the standardized images of cloud systems aren't much use. Although if you're running a call center or some other group where lots of people are running essentially identical systems, they're a better candidate for commodity virtual hosting.

The problem is DevStack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050199)

The problem with OpenStack is that the only part of it that is actually open and free is DevStack, which is fine for tinkering but isn't suitable for actual deployment. Of course, for an actual deployment solution, you have to pay these vendors $$$$ at which point you might as well just pay Amazon $$$$ and get better service.

Re:The problem is DevStack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47051861)

There are multiple problems with OpenStack.

1. Large chunks of it are "just" API's with no implementation behind them. I recently had someone say we should use OpenStack because it had Cinder and we needed block storage. I had to point out that doesn't really help unless they want to pay for a Cinder backend, or develop their own.

2. It's horrifically complicated. I used to work for HP Cloud Services: HP's public cloud. I was there when Biri decided to use OpenStack. I saw the huge pain even they went through trying to deploy it and make it work. After that there is no way I could recommend OpenStack to a company with less than 100 spare developers to actually deploy and nurse it.

3. DevStack is seductive but broken most of the time. Even if it does work, you don't actually get a cloud, just single machine running bits of OpenStack. Worse, people are then suckered into thinking they can somehow "scale" DevStack into a working Cloud. Again, I've had to point out that difference between DevStack and OpenStack in a production environment is huge. The control plane for Nova alone is just shy of 10 physical servers per. cluster to run it all on, before you even have a single hypervisor to run any instances on.

tl;dr: OpenStack is a Vendor Only platform that no-one but the largest companies should even entertain.

Re:The problem is DevStack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47053867)

there are MANY free cinder backends, probably one that supports whatever current block storage you have.

the default cinder backend is LVM -- every unix box has that. works ok.

all in all, you have little experience and a bad attitude. good luck with all that and keep giving out your free advice.

Re:The problem is DevStack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054421)

there are MANY free cinder backends, probably one that supports whatever current block storage you have.

LVM is just the reference implementation. Ever benchmarked it? Awful. We'll also stop and consider that at the point you're using Cinder with, say, LVM, all you've done is effectively build yourself a limited NAS that's limited to working with Nova. What this guy thought he got was some sort of free SAN.

you have little experience and a bad attitude...keep giving out your free advice.

Says Mr. Angry. Irony abounds. The crowd goes wild.

Re:The problem is DevStack (1)

Pallas Athena (2855215) | about 3 months ago | (#47054655)

They use the 'linux' analogy - but that analogy doesn't hold. When linux was in its infancy, there were many people running linux on their own box. And slowly it got better, and got ready for (first) development, and later even for production sites. Compare that to OpenStack. Yes, of course you can run it on 2-3 dev boxes, but it really isn't usefull for anyone except really big companies. And those companies don't care too much about the price of VMWare or similar - they care about the cost of administrators and about reliability. And that means, no one is really interested in OpenStack until it gets on the same level of 'ease of administration' and reliability as the market leaders. And keeping developing for years something that very few, if any, people really use may prove a difficult proposition.

Re:The problem is DevStack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47053859)

you don't have to pay anybody anything at all.

but it's like this: you can go to Home Depot and buy a lathe and some lumber, but you aren't going to go home and make fine furniture.

openstack is like the tools and materials -- you still need someone who has the experience and skill to use the tools

Lot more than you think... (5, Insightful)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 3 months ago | (#47050207)

There's many more OpenStack users and operators than you think. OpenStack is good for small cloud vendors, people that want to run a private, in-house cloud. It's good for Universities that want to teach Cloud computing, or enthusiests that want to try setting up their own private cloud for toying with.

OpenStack holds a summit every 6 months. This last one (just last week) had over 3500 people in attendence - developers from those sponsoring it, operators, and user; and they were talking about how phenominal the growth has been - the first from what I heard had like 500 people.

So while you may want to use AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Compute for a non-managed, public cloud; if you want to do something in-house, you have fewer choices. VMware certainly has their offering; but it also comes at a high price (yes, I've looked at it in the past). I'm not sure where the various hypervisor support is, but I do know they use KVM and have the ability to use others (Rackspace uses Xen, others use VMware or Windows HyperV if I am not mistaken; at the very least there's discussion on it).

Now, I wouldn't expect high growth for OpenStack. Why? It's a big budget item to run in-house, and most are probably not going to market they use it. If people are not devoting a lot of money up-front to run it, they may be testing and slowly rolling it out as resources allow. And yes, you can run it from the SMB level to the Enterprise level.

Disclaimer: I work for Rackspace; I've got a few servers that I may try to install OpenStack on to play with myself as well.

One issue I've seen... (1)

Junta (36770) | about 3 months ago | (#47050827)

Is what the summary aludes to: 95% of the people I see who are 'in' Openstack are not users, but people assigned by vendor 'X' to make sure that vendor 'X' is not rendered irrelevant. A large chunk of the resource behind openstack verges on technical marketing rather than development.

I see this as more worrisome than the Linux case. Linux adoption was also developer heavy with few users, but developers with genuine passion were on it. Here we have an ecosystem of vendors that is fearful of 'the next linux' and putting armies of developers on it to push agendas around as much if not more than push actual technical capabilities. There are some passionate 'true believers', but by volume you mostly have developers doing it as 'just another job'. Linux has certainly coped with that, but only after a very long period of baking in an architecture before the vendors got motivated. Openstack got slammed with vendors on day 0 and thus the whole architecture is afflicted with some pretty gnarly stuff and I'm not seeing a lot of signs that those will be addressed.

Thus far when I see openstack implementation start in earnest by a site, it evolves within a year to either being given up or being Openstack in name only as they just replace most of it with home-grown tooling that works.

It's a big budget item to run in-house

And this is one of the issues with it. It doesn't quite manage to make things significantly easier than rolling your own stuff. It bears actually a resemblance to many vendor driven industry standards in this way: uselessly open ended so everyone's agenda could be accommodated.

Lot more than you think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050833)

| Disclaimer: I work for Rackspace;

That's quite a disclaimer! By all accounts, Rackspace will be acquired soon (like well before the end of the year). It's going to be purchased for its customer base --not it's NASAnine technology. Check financial press (search CNBC, etc.) for specifics.

As far as AWS, Azure and Google --they all have lock-in APIs and, with the exception of Google, their future is not certain. "Cloud costs are coming down" --is BS. What these semi-literate "enthusiasts" posing as bloggers should be writing is that "Cloud prices are coming down". If anything, the "cost" of the cloud is going up --it's a function of land and utilities, yo. As far as going into your boardroom and saying "we're going to be moving our servers to Google", good luck with thatæ

VMware has vCloud-providers (and it's own vCloud service too), but who knows who the Hell those people are running those services. In at least one case, I found a jackass who bought a datacenter after the dot-com bust and has sort of adlib'ed his way. As much as vCloud is a convenience for VMware users, it enables jackasses like that guy to dig a very deep hole for himself and his customers.

Re:Lot more than you think... (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 3 months ago | (#47071611)

As far as AWS, Azure and Google --they all have lock-in APIs and, with the exception of Google, their future is not certain.

And non of those are OpenStack.

Re:Lot more than you think... (1)

dkf (304284) | about 3 months ago | (#47051889)

It's good for Universities that want to teach Cloud computing

No, it isn't. A bunch of incompetently integrated systems that require lots of effort to put into a state suitable for students and to keep in that state? Speaking as someone who has actually written a course on cloud computing, no thanks. The students can get free time on one of the big providers instead and learn everything they need, and those providers actually try really hard to make things work. (The free allocations tend to be fairly small, but they're enough for learning basic principles.)

I've also seen what tends to happen when someone tries to operate a cloud without sufficient spend on QoS or integration: paying for AWS or Azure is an easy decision by comparison. (Losing access for a week because someone pushed a wrong configuration to a router and then went on holiday? Of course nobody else on the cloud operations side could fix it either. Aaargh...)

Analogy Schmanalogy (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 3 months ago | (#47050219)

Linux got adopted in the enterprise because it already had an existence elsewhere, bourne
out of frustration of failing proprietary software, lock in, closed cultures, fuck-over-ism, etc.
(MS are you listening?) The techies injected their own culture, knowledge and the need
for Linux into the corporations organically (no doubt this amounted to a revolution).

Cloud computing on the other hand is the answer to a non-exsitent problem. It's a coporate
hype. Adopters are those that've got their heads not in the cloud, but up there where the
sun don't shine.

Re:Analogy Schmanalogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050789)

lol bourne

Why call it "OpenStack"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050229)

Something about associating the word "Open" with a cloud service makes me uneasy.

docker, et all (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050241)

It's not gaining traction because there's another huge movement going on at the same time, developing into a useful deployment product far faster then OpenStack.

It's also much more approachable for individuals and small teams.

Docker/LXC is moving fast and is quite amazing. It's no-frills VM's with consistent/predictable templates with absolutely minimal overhead.

Why run OpenStack to virtualize hardware into sections, and then run many heavyweight OS VM's on slices of hardware, when all you really wanted to do was isolate your web app or database process with its own CPU, Memory and Filesystem.

Docker is a far better technical solution for application deployment covering concerns and most use cases for networking, cpu, memory and disk isolaton.

Re:docker, et all (1)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47050595)

Absolutely! But there are cases where IaaS is useful. Combining IaaS with docker by way of something like OpenShift (RedHat's PaaS) is very powerful. I think that is the direction that everything will go. OpenStack will be there, but a bit more hidden. People will use higher level API to handle deployment of their apps. OpenStack is just the API to build those higher level services. That means that something like OpenStack is still needed. That also means that hardware that works with OpenStack is very useful. It helps standardize the idea of automatically building out entire infrastructures.

Re:docker, et all (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 months ago | (#47051087)

Docker will be part of the solution. But more is needed, because Docker will keep being small. Not to many features, just do what it needs to do.

Do you want autoscaling for example, Docker alone isn't enough. You'll need some kind of orchestration.

OpenStack does have a project called Heat which does this.

I wonder how long it will take until Docker can be run in proper multi-tenant environment by mere mortals.

Dan Walsh from RedHat added SELinux to Docker, that could be a a way.

OpenStack is still not as easy to install as it should be, OpenStack needs a built-in installer. TripleO is what a number of companies, like HP, RedHat and now Rackspace are helping to build into and on top of OpenStack components right now. TripleO isn't just an installer, it handles automated upgrades too.

Funny fact is: TripleO uses images, Docker does too.

Re:docker, et all (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 months ago | (#47051893)

I should probably mention, the Heat Orchestrator can run without the rest of OpenStack.

Re: docker, et all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47053651)

Fleet

Re:docker, et all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47052625)

Yes Docker is awesome, but that is not really relevant to discussing OpenStack. It's a common mistake, but OpenStack is not a hypervisor nor is about virtualization. OpenStack is a (set of) management framework(s) for compute, storage, and networking. The compute component of OpenStack can manage Docker, LXC, KVM, Xen, HyperV, ESXi, and bare metal.

enjoying openstack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050271)

I'm enjoying openstack for the ability to develop / demo free node/mongo stuff for freeeee. That said I'd most likely bite the bullet and go AWS if cash flowed.

Eh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 months ago | (#47050393)

I thought UNIX/LINUX were a hardcore part of enterprise groups pretty much from the start.

Not necessarily ignoring... (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47050431)

I'm not sure what they mean by "end users". I've been keeping an eye on OpenStack, and it seems to be useful for developing cloud applications, but I might be missing the point a little. So are we calling developers of large-scale applications "end users"?

I don't think people are ignoring it, but as far as I know, OpenStack doesn't really service your standard network IT market yet, and it's not really something that will service "end users" as I think of them. It seems to be something to provide scalability for development, but if you're a developer working on a large application, it's often smarter to go with a vendor rather than trying to build your own infrastructure. That means that they go with AWS or Rackspace or something.

So my question is, who do you expect to be implementing OpenStack other than cloud providers (e.g. Rackspace) and a relatively small number of companies looking to build their own cloud infrastructure?

As an IT guy (not a developer), the whole thing is still pretty unclear. What would I use OpenStack for? If I wanted to test it out, what would I need to get started? How would I set it up? What, then could I do with it? Most of the appeal of "the cloud" at this point is the potential to divest myself of responsibility for its maintenance. The only people that I can imagine making use of OpenStack are large companies with large public, business critical web applications, and even then only those who, for whatever reason, don't want to use AWS or Rackspace or some other vendor, and have the resources to build and maintain a bunch of cloud infrastructure. Yes, there are businesses that fit that description, but it's not a large percentage of businesses.

And I'm not sure I'd call them "end users".

Re:Not necessarily ignoring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47051163)

For one you can script your deployment against OpenStack and use it internally but also with a variety of providers. As opposed to having, say, Vagrant for your dev deplyoment, VMWare or LXC on your server and then a script that wraps your VM image for AWS or Google.

Re:Not necessarily ignoring... (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47055385)

Sure, but you're still talking about development. Like I said, I'm not a developer, just an IT guy. What am I going to use it for?

Most companies don't run on web development. Even when they have a considerable network, the network is providing authentication/directory services (e.g. Active Directory), DNS, DHCP, file services, and maybe a few relatively small server-side apps (e.g. Quickbooks). How does OpenStack help me with any of that? Can I deploy or manage those services better or easier than setting up some instances of Windows virtual machines on a normal hypervisor?

If so, please let me know how. I'm interested.

Re:Not necessarily ignoring... (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 3 months ago | (#47052307)

Slashdot if you read one post in this thread, please let it be this parent.

Re:Not necessarily ignoring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47052743)

If you're comfortable with Red Hat-flavored Linux CLI, you can start with Red Hat's RDO packstack tool: "yum install openstack-packstack && packstack --allinone" My company has been running a two-node system since last summer.

Another alternative (that we've used to deploy a new 18-node system, but it's not in use yet) is Mirantis Fuel. It comes as an automated CentOS kickstart/puppet that sets up a provisioning server with a web UI. PXE boot the rest of the hosts and use the web UI to assign roles to the hosts and configure storage and network interfaces; then the hosts are again PXE booted into an automated kickstart or preseed installation for the base OS and puppet to configure the OpenStack services.

I've also used devstack.

Cloud is an API... less useful for traditional IT (2)

thule (9041) | about 3 months ago | (#47050527)

To really make use of the cloud, don't put traditional apps on it. It is not designed to run things like MS Exchange.

If you work in a software development shop, especially a web app, then cloud is awesome. Think of cloud as an API. That is where the real power is!

We have a continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline. The entire deployment is described in software using Amazon's API. We abstract our infrastructure as code so we can replace it with Openstack if we need to. Amazon's API far ahead of anything else out there, so right now we don't really need to switch. This system is extremely powerful. We can bring up entire testing environments the the execution of a script. In system configuration is driven with Chef, but even some of those scripts use the Amazon API to help discover information about the environment.

VMWare provides some of the features, but nothing like Amazon offers. VMWare is also designed for a traditional IT cycle where you can about running a VM for more than a year. Cloud thinking makes more using of disposable nodes. A machine may not last a month because it is replaced with an entirely new image.

So, IF you write software correctly, having an in-house cloud API is extremely useful. Having a cloud API that a standard is also very useful. Start small with a public provider (Rackspace), then bring in-house as the business grows (RedHat Openstack). When the business needs somethings more elastic, that same API can be used with third party providers to supply the computing when it is demanded (Rackspace).

Cloud API's are new. Give it time.

Rolling it out as we speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050649)

Ive been looking to overhaul our IT department past weeks and upgrading all our "physical" and loose KVM machines into a nice solution. I have looked around on all the possible options, besides openstack and apache cloudstack there is not many real open source options that are ready for enterprise use.

The openstack setup is very complicated if you want to make a redundant, load-balanced setup that will give you real 99.99% uptime as required for any enterprise. I'm up for the challenge but I guess the documentation could be much better and adaptability will grow

Those that mention NSA first read what openstack is before calling it "cloud" (as in public cloud).

Re:Rolling it out as we speak (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 3 months ago | (#47052373)

Try proxmox (http://proxmox.com/)

debian based system - trivial to install, uses KVM and Containers, nice web based admin system. Supports clusters and High Availability out of the box.

Re:Rolling it out as we speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47061353)

Try oVirt:

http://www.ovirt.org

Re:Rolling it out as we speak (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 3 months ago | (#47062981)

I did, easier than openstack to put together, but still very fiddly and at the time I tried it, required a min of three nodes.

API bad (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | about 3 months ago | (#47050675)

I used them for years,finally gave it up.

The API was not good enough, and for my use, cheaper VPS providers were cheaper.

It should be called VendorStack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050715)

Having played with OpenStack for a couple of weeks, the overriding impression I got from it is that it is made by vendors, for vendors.

You can download and do most stuff advertised, but it takes a LOT of learning and work, UNLESS you pay a vendor for their bolt-on to make the management of it easier. What a surprise, most of these vendors are the developers. It's therefore in their best interests to make it difficult to setup.

What tipped me away from it was that once you have it setup, it is also going to require a significant amount of maintenance to keep it going (adding new VMs, maintaining users, etc). For a medium size setup (perhaps 16 physical hosts), you are looking at a full time job for one person. Once you start seeing that, VMWare looks a lot more attractive and has a lot more features on top of that, not to mention is tried and tested, rather than what feels like a beta platform.

I'm not usually in favour of commercial, but OpenStack needs a lot more polish before it is useful for real production work, without the cost of vendor lock-in.

The problem is the hype and the limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47050857)

"The Cloud" has been hyped out about as far as you can go. For most corporate enterprise environments the stock configuration of a "shake and bake" standardized instance does not cut the mustard. That breaks the whole cloud model when it comes to enterprise workloads. For people who try to force it to work they end up getting lost in a sea of hundreds if not thousands of configurations that were used only a few times. Factor in the effort to create those configurations and the effort to navigate through them and it's just easier to not use the system at all. These systems are great when you have a standardized environment. Not many companies have ever been able to accomplish that even with years of trying.

The other thing that really smart people fail to notice is the hardware. Once your "private cloud" starts to grow you start to reach the limits of the capabilities of the hardware. With nobody playing traffic cop to identify important applications once you run out of gas your locked into adding more hardware that you really did not need to buy in the first place.

Cloud technology works well for "disposable" companies that will get sold off in a few years or other not so critical work loads but for big corporations it's not a useful model. Some of these big companies are still using "big iron" because it works for their purposes. Companies don't really care about what the latest craze is. They have business goals and look at the profit and loss. For many companies the cloud fad will come and go without them even getting involved..

The vendors of course love the cloud craze because it's a concept driven by hand wavy developers as a way of saving costs and of course everyone wants to save costs right?. You have to admit it's a brilliant idea if it actually worked in the real world. Once you start looking at the model with a critical corporate enterprise viewpoint there are too many huge shortcomings for it to actually work well.

The only way to make "The Cloud" work is to get buy in from everyone and standardization. With all of the crazy certification and security stuff going on there's a huge financial reason why many vendors don't want standardization. They want a reason to sell you a support contract and often throw oddball technical stuff into the software to make it so you really need that support. These vendors will not let "The Cloud" eat their lunch.

Re:The problem is the hype and the limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47051653)

You are a cloud denier.

I'd love to use it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47052441)

I work for a research group doing work on agricultural simulators. I'm more of an applied mathematician rather than an IT guy, but I have a strong IT background. So when we received a bunch of old BladeCenters IT was tossing out we took them for use in our small cluster. We have Condor on them and they're fine, but I was thinking we could do more with them and I thought OpenStack would be the way to go. After reading the insanely long setup instructions (where the pre-install docs are almost longer than the actual install notes) I attempted to follow them to install... something... I don't know; I'm not a Linux admin so maybe it's just me, but there were so many modules and dependencies that I wasn't really sure what I needed. In the end I gave up, it was taking up far too much of my time for what amounted was really an interesting but not critical experiment.

I know part of this, maybe even a large part, is due to my inexperience, but I found the install process extremely complex. Is it supposed to be like this? Are Linux admins the only ones who are supposed to install OpenStack? Maybe if the bar was lowered a bit they might find more people willing to use it.

Just masturbation (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 3 months ago | (#47052605)

This whole cloud thing will blow over. As someone already noted, if you replace "cloud" with "other people's servers" it sounds a lot less appealing and a lot less manageable.
Do you want to outsource your outsourced infrastructure to a bunch of head-wobblers?

Re:Just masturbation (1)

styrotech (136124) | about 3 months ago | (#47053327)

This whole cloud thing will blow over. As someone already noted, if you replace "cloud" with "other people's servers" it sounds a lot less appealing and a lot less manageable.

Isn't the point of deploying OpenStack yourself that "cloud" != "other people's servers"?

Anyone TRIED to set up OpenStack? (2)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 3 months ago | (#47052727)

Well I have, and even with RedHat's documentation and distribution, it's nothing short of a nightmare.

It took me a good part of a day to subscribe to RedHat's evaluation distribution, and configure maybe 2 out of the 7 or so daemons that are needed to get it to all hang together.... and this was starting from scratch with no idea how the open stack architecture hangs together. In fact, I'm still a bit fuzzy on the details.

Compare that with a vmware ESXi install. Within an hour or so, you're running linux in a VM.

For a contractor going into an organization trying to sell this, it's very very hard. Skilled people in Open stack are few. I can't easily set something up in Open Stack and then walk away, or the customer is in a lurch for support. The technology needs to be well supported and well understood with a community of techs.

At the moment, while I love open source and everything you can do with it, a typical organization would rather go with vmware due to it's ease of use and the number of techs that can manipulate it. Yes it costs a fortune, but it's worth paying because it's easier to support, and these enterprises have money for this.

Openstack is going to go great guns where in-house techs can deploy it for customers, and spend all the time in the world to learn it's ins and outs....but for everyone else it's too much hassle.
The comparisons with earlier version of Linux are apt. Just as enterprises don't want to roll their own Linux kernel, much less do enterprises want to hand configure their own cloud.

There will be a market for preconfigured & value-added open stack environments however. It's just too early to call yet.

Re:Anyone TRIED to set up OpenStack? (1)

whois (27479) | about 3 months ago | (#47054017)

I agree somewhat. I was turned off by the silly naming of their daemons.

Nova, Swift, Cinder, Neutron, Horizon, Keystone, Glance, Ceilometer, Heat, Trove.

It's like they're trying to be old sysadmins and naming their boxes after their favorite pokemon until they run out of names and start using Star Trek episode names midway through. No context in the names so you can't figure out what anything does without a reference.

That said, I've looked at it several times because of the things it might do for me that ESXi doesn't (without costing a fortune). I wish it were less flakey. I've worked with people who managed Openstack in large clusters and had plenty of difficulties. It's a work in progress though. I imagine in a couple more years it will be rock solid.

If anybody wants to know why I don't use OpenStack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47053715)

I do not use OpenStack because of their password requirements. I forget the details, but I remember trying something like 3-4 passwords, and each failing because of a different constraint.

Nopers. You can't give end users that hard of a time making accounts and expect us to stay (regardless of whether the password benefits are safer or not).

Try OpenNebula for end-users (2)

L-One-L-One (173461) | about 3 months ago | (#47054165)

My experience as an end-user in a research project:

I've tried to install OpenStack on a small group of 4 machines (a controller, a network manager and two compute node). It was a real mess to install. The documentation contains omissions and mistakes. You need to write your own shell scripts to get the work done (and redone). Understanding what went wrong from the cryptic python debug messages is like banging your head against a wall. The only way I finally was able to test things was to scale back to a "one-node" system (everything on the same machine) and use DevStack. That works great but it's really far from a "cloud". You need to be HP or RackSpace to get this working well I guess.

Contrast that with OpenNebula. This platform is much less hyped about but it works much better. Even when you hit a bump on the road, you can actually understand the logs, and even debug stuff yourself. I got a 4 node system working with all storage on iSCSI and I can add more compute nodes seamlessly.

Re:Try OpenNebula for end-users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47054223)

mod up.

Only just become usuable (1)

msevior (145103) | about 3 months ago | (#47054487)

The thing about OpenStack is that it has been under really heavy development for the past two years. Two years ago the product was buggy as hell. But they've made a series of 6-monthly releases since then. Each one of which offered substantial improvements. Its now pretty good and stable. There is really a incredible support for it. I heard of numbers of around 2000 developers so each release really is substantially better than the previous.

Now that it is basically stable, it will likely get real traction with users and there are big private deployments already. The Australian NeCTAR project will roll-out 30,000 cores by the end of 2014. CERN is looking at a huge deployment of over 100,000 CPUs.

http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com]

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>