OpenStack and Cumulus Linux: Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together

OpenStack is a very popular open source technology stack used to build private and public cloud computing platforms. It powers clouds for thousands of companies like Yahoo!, Dreamhost, Rackspace, eBay, and many more.

Why drives its popularity? Being open source, it puts cloud builders in charge of their own destiny, whether they choose to work with a partner, or deploy it themselves. Because it is Linux based, it is highly amenable to automation, whether you’re building out your network or are running it in production. At build time, it’s great for provisioning, installing and configuring the physical resources. In production, it’s just as effective, since provisioning tenants, users, VMs, virtual networks and storage is done via self-service Web interfaces or automatable APIs. Finally, it’s always been designed to run well on commodity servers, avoiding reliance on proprietary vendor features.

Cumulus Linux fits naturally into an OpenStack cloud, because it shares a similar design and philosophy. Built on open source, Cumulus Linux is Linux, allowing common management, monitoring and configuration on both servers and switches. The same automation and provisioning tools that you commonly use for OpenStack servers you can also use unmodified on Cumulus Linux switches, giving a single pane of glass for automation and monitoring. And Cumulus Linux runs on a wide variety of hardware from 5 different hardware manufacturers, so you can utilize the same multi-vendor, commodity approach to procure your network that you do for your server hardware.

The Cumulus Linux OpenStack Validated Solution Guide will show you how to build OpenStack clouds ranging from a simple, single rack proof of concept to a full, scalable data center cloud environment. Installing and configuring both the network and the servers is fully automated; once the servers and switches are racked and cabled, simply insert a USB drive with the Cumulus Linux installer image into one of the switches, and power on the cluster. The switches will install Cumulus Linux using ONIE, then configure themselves using zero touch provisioning (ZTP). The switches then PXE install Linux onto the servers, and use Puppet to install and configure the various OpenStack components, such as Nova, Nova-net, Glance, Cinder, Keystone and Horizon. In mere minutes after powering on the cluster, you’ll be starting VMs on your new OpenStack cloud!

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