Monday, October 26, 2015

OpenStack Are Now Being Put Into Docker Containers By Oracle

If you thought that OpenStack and Docker containers were competitive technologies then you thought wrong. In fact, the exact opposite is true as Oracle is now offering the very best proof yet in using Docker images as a mechanism to install an OpenStack cloud.

Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2 (that's a mouthful) is now available and gives users an interesting new way to benefit from Docker and OpenStack simultaneously. This new release is based on the OpenStack Kilo milestone that came out on October 15th. Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering at Oracle Wim Coekaerts has said that Oracle's goal is to provide a single release per year of OpenStack. "At this time, we see a release per year as a good mix between being current and being stable. Our first release was based on Icehouse, we skipped Juno, and picked up Kilo. We plan to skip Liberty and pick up a release after Liberty," Coekaerts stated.

He also stated that OpenStack releases are development releases similar to how the distributions from Linux acquire a specific upstream kernel and stabilize it. He went on to say that Oracle treats OpenStack in the same way by picking up a version of OpenStack, testing it, developing it, packaging it, and hardening it before releasing a new version of Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux.

Coekaerts noted, "If we did this with every version it would not be effective for customers since they would always be upgrading, and stability is important to our customers. Liberty is brand new. At Oracle, we spend a lot of time testing, packaging, fixing, and developing in-depth integration; this is needed to help ensure our products are shipped enterprise ready."

When the first release of Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux came out, the platform was packaged as individual RPM packages for each and every component, similar to how vendors package OpenStack. Coekaerts stated that in that particular model, an administrator for a cloud would be required to install an operating system and then install and configure every rpm. "Now, with Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2, we provide an entire preconfigured/installed image with all the Oracle Linux bits needed (and not more, or less) and all the OpenStack components needed (not more or less), that simplifies things for customers," Coekaerts added.

Coekaerts also provided an example of the package list that is to be installed on top of Oracle Linux as part of an OpenStack installation. You can find that here. Coekaerts added, "All of that is now contained in a nice Docker image for each module, and updates are based on Docker image updates. The nice thing is that each service is broken up in a separate Docker container."

The advantages to having OpenStack packaged as a Docker image include things like improved visibility. Coekaerts went on to say that pre-Docker, there would have been hundreds of python daemons installed and running with no breakdown, meaning that an administrator would have to do ps auxww and witness a labyrinth of processes in order to discover what is running and what is not.

"With Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2, each component is a separate Docker instance and a simple Docker ps will show all the different-named OpenStack services running - it's much cleaner," according to Coekaerts.

Considering the fact that Docker instances are simply filesystem checkouts on a filesystem, a system administrator has the ability go into the subdirectory for the Docker instance and view everything that is installed, according to Coekaerts. System administrators also have the ability to use the Docker tools to see which versions, what the changelog is, and other things about whatever is running. "By running Docker instances for services, it makes it simpler and easier to manage a complex product like OpenStack, compared to running many processes," Coekaerts stated. "It also gives a better overview of what is running and what is not."

Content originally published here
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