The partnership comprises of the Seamicro SM15000 server, the Ubuntu LTS 14.04 Linux distribution and Openstack, which includes a set of tools to build more flexible and reliable private clouds.
“The AMD and Canonical collaboration overcomes the complexity of deploying OpenStack technology and provides an out of the box experience making it possible to deploy a private cloud in hours compared to days,” AMD said.
“The joint solution automates complex configuration tasks, simplifies management, and provides a graphical user interface to dynamically deploy new services on demand.”
AMD said that a large amount of engineering resources have gone into the project to provide an integrated set of products that mitigate the complexity of an Openstack technology deployment.
“The SM15000 server, Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and Openstack is an amazing solution filling a need in the industry for an Openstack solution that can be deployed easily without spending a fortune on professional services or hiring teams of people,” the firm added.
The Seamicro SM15000 server, Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and Openstack combination is touted as one the most scalable configurations in the industry, due to its benchmark record for hyperscale cloud computing. The record of 168,000 virtual machines was achieved using Metal as a Service (MAAS) and Juju, both part of Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and Openstack. MAAS was used to deliver the bare metal servers, storage and networking, and Juju was used for deployment.
The solution is available today, the firms announced jointly, boasting it is “the most scalable, automated application for deploying Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and Openstack in hyperscale environments”.
Today AMD also announced another partnership, with RealVNC to bring remote access software to devices running AMD Firepro professional graphics cards.
The venture is said to “get an experience similar to using a local desktop” and will integrate the software with AMD’s Firepro line of professional graphics cards so users can “work at whole new levels of detail, speed, responsiveness and creativity, wherever they are in the world, whenever they need to”.
The collaboration also allows users to edit hi-resolution photos, edit and manipulate 4k videos or render large 3D and CAD files from a laptop and, eventually, even their tablets or smartphones.
Canonical has revealed more details about its upcoming offer to build and manage Openstack cloud computing systems for a fee of $15 per host server per day.
Now renamed Bootstack, the offering is still in private beta. When it is fully available, the service will see Canonical engineers building and managing complete Openstack infrastructure as a service (Iaas) private clouds for customers, to their specifications and using their choice of hardware.
Bootstack was first announced under the Your Cloud branding by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth during a keynote at the Openstack Summit in Atlanta in May. Not only has the name now changed, but Canonical is offering customers the option of having their private cloud hosted by IBM’s SoftLayer cloud division, as an alternative to having it built and operated inside their own data centre.
In a posting on the Ubuntu Insights blog, Canonical cloud marketing manager Sally Radwan explained that Bootstack (short for build, operate, and optionally transfer) will make it easier for a customer to get up and running with a cloud platform, and take over the operational management at some point in the future, if required.
“Canonical will manage the cloud for you for a fixed price, relieving you from the pain of recruiting and training Openstack staff. When your team is ready to take over your cloud operations, Canonical will transfer it to your care. It’s the best way to get up and running quickly on Openstack,” she said.
Bootstack can deliver a test cloud using as few as five host servers for proof-of-concept purposes, but it can also deliver an enterprise-scale production cloud, backed by 24/7 management and support, Canonical said.
The $15 per host server per day fee excludes the hardware or hosting costs, but does include service level agreements (SLAs) so that Canonical takes responsibility for the uptime and responsiveness of the customer’s cloud infrastructure.
Organizations interested in Canonical’s Bootstack offering can get in touch with the firm to find out more details via its website.
IBM has launched a version of Openstack that can be downloaded directly from its Marketplace like any other application.
IBM Cloudmanager with Openstack is based on IBM Cloudentry, and includes full access to Icehouse, the latest version of Openstack. As well as appearing in its own right, it can also be bought as part of a package along with the recently announced IBM Power Systems server range to form the extensively titled IBM Power Systems Solution Edition for Scale Out Cloud.
This is something of a watershed moment for the Openstack cloud platform. This is the first time that an interested developer can simply download the suite and start customising it without the need to involve vendors, middlemen or support, unless they choose to do so.
“IBM Cloud Manager with Openstack provides the openness and flexibility to increase a business’ ability to capitalise on opportunities by quickly delivering new cloud services” said Jane Munn, IBM VP and business line executive for Cloud.
“In addition, open community development facilitates vendor interoperability, allowing IBM clients and businesses partners to adapt their cloud assets in response to changing business needs.”
IBM has made a number of recent announcements in the cloud arena, including new commerce platform Experienceone and the big data management technique known as Elastic Data, which rearranges datasets to bring relevant information into faster storage in a given scenario, a technique pioneered for the Watson supercomputer.
Last week, fellow Openstack advocate Canonical announced that it has made available what chairman Mark Shuttleworth described as “Chuck Norris grade” Openstack.
Dell’s public cloud service was the firm’s offering that was meant to tempt customers that buy kit from the firm not to run off to Amazon. Now it seems that Dell doesn’t want to run its own cloud datacentre operations but resell services through its Cloud Partner Program.
Dell’s Cloud Partner Program presently has three providers signed up, with Joyent arguably being the biggest name so far. Dell also announced that it will resell services for Scalematrix and Zerolag, adding that its customers can use Dell as a cloud service broker rather than as a cloud provider.
Dell’s public cloud had been using Openstack, an open source suite of software that promotes software interoperability between cloud service providers. The firm’s decision to dump its public cloud service is not only a blow for Openstack, but an admission that the Texas based PC vendor does not want to compete with Amazon Web Services.
Dell Cloud VP Nnamdi Orakwue said, “The partner approach offers increased value to Dell’s customers, channel partners and shareholders, as part of our comprehensive cloud strategy to deliver market-leading, end-to-end cloud solutions.”
Orakwue spun Dell’s announcement as giving customers the choice they apparently want in cloud service providers, though given the almost ubiquitous availability of Amazon Web Services, one has to question whether customers really care about having a choice of cloud providers, no matter how important it might be for competition.
Dell said it will continue to provide private cloud services and claimed it is still committed to the Openstack project. The firm added that customers can buy services through its Cloud Partner Program immediately.
Rackspace is one of the leaders of the Openstack alliance, an open source cloud initiative that aims to break Amazon’s stranglehold on the industry by offering open application programmable interfaces (APIs). Until now Openstack has largely been all talk, but Rackspace has deployed a production Openstack cloud that the firm claims will help it sell Openstack to the enterprise.
Fabio Torlini, VP of cloud at Rackspace said the firm has been “going flat out to make the code production ready”. Torlini said Rackspace’s decision to deploy an Openstack based cloud could be a tipping point in deployment. “It’s going to be the catalyst for many other companies deploying Openstack,” said Torlini.
Rackspace has been the largest contributor to Openstack and the fact that it has the first major Openstack deployment support claims that Rackspace is getting the most out of Openstack.
However Torlini said, “For us, we’re able to be the first one to launch a large scale Openstack compute platform because, yes, we are one of the main providers of the original code and we are a founder of Openstack, so we have tried to develop Openstack as a neutral foundation and it is a foundation to provide a service to all its members. But we’re lucky enough to be one of the founder members, to be able to drive it, and get there [deployment] first.”
Torlini defended Rackspace’s role in the Openstack alliance, claiming the strong leadership shown by the firm is good for the community. Torlini said, “Openstack is beneficial to the product itself but that’s the whole point. The whole idea of many more providers going onto Openstack helping develop the Openstack cloud, helping advance the actual products and code is the whole point of Openstack. On the counter side of that argument is if it’s beneficial for us it is just as beneficial for any other member of Openstack because they have access to the same code and they are able to provide.”
Torlini admitted that Openstack and the community is an advantage for the firm but claimed it wasn’t possible for Rackspace to dominate. “You have companies in Openstack that are far larger than Rackspace enabled to put much more resources into Openstack as well, it’s impossible for us to dominate Openstack – it’s an independent foundation. Is it advantageous from a product perspective? I should damn well hope so,” said Torlini.
As for Amazon, which operates a proprietary cloud, Torlini suggested the firm might have to open up if it is to remain competitive. Torlini said, “I think they [Amazon] may need to force themselves to go in that direction. What I think they will struggle with is to offer is the complete level of service [...] in terms of supporting private clouds based on the same code set and public clouds based on the same codeset. There’s a big gap for them to close because they don’t come from a service background but I think they will have make their products more open.”
Rackspace’s Openstack cloud is a big seal of approval for the software to which the firm and many other large software vendors have contributed. Torlini is correct in that Rackspace’s move could well spur others to move away from Amazon in the search of interoperability with multiple cloud providers, however until Rackspace’s competitors start deploying Openstack based clouds, there won’t be a big difference to developers.
Security experts have warned that the cloud could suffer the same kind of collapses that plague the financial system. Bryan Ford at Yale University in New Haven says that the full risks of this migration have yet to be explored. Complex systems, such as the Cloud, can fail in many unexpected ways and outlines various simple scenarios in which a cloud could come unstuck.
He said that a cloud could experience a full meltdown that could threaten any business. Ford said that while individual systems on a cloud might play nice, if you have other application providers in the same cause problems for another. He came up with a scenario were two conflicting load balancing programs operate with the same refresh period and when these periods coincide, the control loops start sending the load back and forth between the virtual servers in a positive feedback loop.
He said that “This simplistic example might be unlikely to occur in exactly this form on real systems—or might be quickly detected and “?xed” during development and testing—but it suggests a general risk.” Ford said that similar problems happened during ?nancial industry crashes.
But he said that a more general risk arises when systems are complex because seemingly unrelated parts can become coupled in unexpected ways. Complexity theorists are beginning to recognise this problem and the consensus is that bizarre and unpredictable behavior often emerges in systems made up of “networks of networks”. Ford concludes with the following: “We should study [these unrecognized risks] before our socioeconomic fabric becomes inextricably dependent on a convenient but potentially unstable computing model.”
Few companies have moved to cloud computing — the delivery of computing as a service from remote centers — and of those that have, many are disappointed with the results, a survey published on Tuesday revealed.
Fewer than one in five organizations questioned have outsourced the hosting of their applications to cloud computing providers, with two-thirds in early discussions, in trials or not considering a move, said computer security firm Symantec.
Many firms are looking at cloud computing providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google or Rackspace to help them increase their scale without installing expensive hardware and software locally.
IT research firm Forrester has forecast that the global cloud computing market will grow from $41 billion this year to $241 billion in 2020.
While three out of four organizations have adopted or are currently adopting cloud services such as backup, storage and security, when it comes to the wholesale outsourcing of applications there is more talk than action, Symantec found.
Concerns about security and a lack of expertise among IT staff are the main factors holding companies back, according to the survey of 5,300 organizations carried out by Symantec, which makes the popular Norton anti-virus software.
“While computing changes constantly, most shifts are simple changes that don’t require organizations to change the core of how they work. Not so with cloud computing,” Symantec said. “It requires organizations to change how they approach IT.”
Symantec found that security was the number-one concern of organizations mulling a move to the cloud, with more than half of respondents worried about malware outbreaks, hackers stealing their data and insiders sharing sensitive information.
But the majority of respondents also said they expected that implementing cloud computing would eventually improve or at least not affect their security.