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Issues With Interoperability in OpenStack & How DefCore is Addressing Them

Interoperability is built into the founding conception of OpenStack. But as the platform has gained popularity, it’s also become ever more of a challenge.

“There’s a lot of different ways to consume OpenStack and it’s increasingly important that we figure out ways to make things interoperable across all those different methods of consumption,” notes VMware’s Mark Voelker in a presentation to the most recent OpenStack Summit titled: “ (view the slide set here).

 

Voelker, a VMware OpenStack architect and co-chair of the OpenStack Foundation’s DefCore Committee, shares the stage with OpenStack Foundation interoperability engineer Chris Hoge. Together they offer an overview of the integration challenges OpenStack faces today, and point to the work DefCore is doing to help deliver on the OpenStack vision. For anyone working, or planning to work, with VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO), the talk is a great backgrounder on what’s being done to ensure that VIO integrates as well with non-VMware OpenStack technologies as it does with VMware’s own.

Hoge begins by outlining DefCore’s origins as a working group founded to fulfill the OpenStack Foundation mandate for a “faithful implementation test suite to ensure compatibility and interoperability for products.” DefCore has since issued five guidelines that products can now be certified as following, allowing them to carry the logo.

After explaining what it takes to meet the DefCore guidelines, Hoge reviews issues that remain unresolved. “The good news about OpenStack is that it’s incredibly flexible. There are any number of ways you can configure your OpenStack Cloud. You have your choice of hypervisors, storage drivers, network drivers – it’s a really powerful platform,” he observes. But that very richness and flexibility also makes it harder to ensure that two instances of OpenStack will work well together, he explains.

 

Among areas with issues are image operations, networking, policy and configuration discovery, API iteration, provability, and project documentation, reports Voelker. Discoverability and how to map capabilities to APIs are also a major concern, as is lack of awareness about DefCore’s guidelines. “There’s still some confusion about what kind of things people should be taking into account when they are making technical choices,” Hoge adds.

The OpenStack Foundation is therefore working to raise the profile of interoperability as requirement and awareness of the meaning behind the “OpenStack Powered” logo. DefCore itself is interacting closely with developers and vendors in the community to address the integration challenges they’ve identified and enforce a measurable standard on new OpenStack contributions.

 

“Awareness is half the battle,” notes Voelker, before he and Hoge outline the conversations DefCore is currently leading, outcomes they’ve already achieved, and what DefCore is doing next – watch for a report on top interoperability issues soon, more work on testing, and a discussion on new guidelines for NFV-ready clouds.

 

If you are interested in how VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) conforms with DefCore standards, you can more find information and experts to contact on our product homepage. You can also check out our Hands-on Lab, or try VIO for yourself and download and install VMware Integrated OpenStack direct.

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