April 24, 2013

Contrail on OpenStack Summit

WORDS BY   Aleš Černivec

POSTED IN   openstack


In the first technical meeting in the early beginnings of the Contrail project we had a discussion about which IaaS framework we should initially support, and came to a conclusion to first support OpenNebula, and after the first working implementation with the chosen IaaS provider we should start seeking ways on how to support alternative IaaS open source implementations. After attending Randy Bias' session talking about the "state of the Stack" on the OpenStack Summit 2013 in Portland (Oregon, USA) I was quite amazed about the big support OpenStack gained in the last couple of years - we know it was getting bigger but we had no idea it was that big, as the slide from the presentation below points out what incredible community size it gained comparing to other open source IaaS implementations. Mainly due to the support of big companies such as RedHat, Suse, HP, Canonical, Cisco, IBM, etc.

[Source][rbias]

[Source][rbias]

And why did we choose to attend the OpenStack Summit? Two months ago we submitted a proposal for the talk titled “Contrail Project: Federation and its Security aspects” on the summit in the track of OpenStack related open source projects. We thought this was a good way to disseminate our project’s results to other communities and seek for potential to collaborate with the communities. As a result, we got accepted and were invited to give a talk about the Contrail project on the Summit.

Aleš speaking at the Summit about Contrail project.

Aleš speaking at the Summit about Contrail project.

The focus of the talk was the explanation of the project’s idea, that it is a tightly integrated open source  software stack including a comprehensive set of system, runtime and high level services providing standardized interfaces for supporting cooperation and resource sharing over Cloud federations. We pointed out that the main contribution of the Contrail project is an integrated approach to virtualization, offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service, services for IaaS Cloud Federation, and Platform-as-a-Service (ConPaaS). Besides the explanation of the Contrail project itself and some technical details about the project, we also performed a live demo of the deployment of an application through a Contrail’s web portal (with minor video-related technical problems during the presentation). Luka Zakrajšek from Koofr also presented the idea of Koofr and how it could help with its hybrid cloud storage API as a provider of image-storage provider. Live demonstration of Koofr went flawlessly :) After the talk there was some interest expressed from the audience of around fifty people attending the talk, mainly regarding the support for advanced SLA terms (question was which SLA terms do we actually currently support) in the deployment of applications through the Contrail portal. We also got some critical thinking about the Contrail portal itself - that it needs some more work to express the whole potential of supporting multiple IaaS providers “beneath the cover”. However, we got encouraged by interested people also to work on supporting OpenStack by which we could get more recognition and traction in the big OpenStack community which is growing in large scale.

Luka Zakrajšek (Koofr) and Gregor Pipan also attended the Summit

Luka Zakrajšek (Koofr) and Gregor Pipan also attended the Summit

After the first day’s presentation we attended other interested talks in the next three days, mainly about building highly available deployments of OpenStack and IaaS in general, and how to use automation tools such as Puppet and Chef in cloud deployments with OpenStack as elaborated by companies such as eNovance and Mirantis. Since big-data is now what a lot of people started to equate with cloud computing (also pointed-out on some talks) big-data related frameworks were presented, such as Savanna - elastic Hadoop Controller running on OpenStack and other interested OpenStack subprojects. The whole OpenStack Ecosystem is growing to become (if not already) mainstream in the Cloud Computing (if not in the whole Cloud Computing area at least in the Open Source Cloud Computing area).

The whole event attended more than 2600 attendees and the climate in the Portland Convention Center was amazing and inspiring. Additionally, we hope to attend the Summit again with new news from the Contrail project, possibly uptaking the OpenStack as one of the supported underlying IaaS Open Source providers showing the deployment and seamless migration between clouds using the Contrail platform.