Building A Niche Cloud: A Pragmatic Approach

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source: https://innolectinc.com/how-smart-is-your-team/teamwork-ants-building-a-house/

Overview

Before getting started you might want to read about the birth of the niche cloud in the first part of this two part series.

We have all heard the saying, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Yes that is true, but we aren’t thankfully dogs. Learning to do something new of course, requires an open mind-set and a desire for change. Many organizations are getting left out of digital disruption these days because they keep falling back on old outdated ideas, behaviors and habits. Our minds are so full, so occupied and so tired we simply cannot grasp or don’t have the energy for anything new. We spend our time applying what is new to what we know, which is old.

In this article lets reset our minds and look at an approach to build a niche cloud from the ground up. Instead of pealing back the onion we will apply layer after layer until we have the onion itself. Of course I realize there is a lot more and this article is just scratching at the surface, nevertheless it is an approach, a basic rule-set and guideline for getting started.

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OpenStack 14 (Rocky) Lab Installation and Configuration Guide for Hetzner Root Servers

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Overview

In this article we will focus on installing and configuring OpenStack Rocky using RDO and the packstack installer. RDO is a community platform around Red Hat’s Enterprise OpenStack Distribution. It allows you to test the latest OpenStack capabilities on a stable platform such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or CentOS. This guide will take you through setting up Hetzner root server, preparing environment for OpenStack, installing the OpenStack Rocky release, adding a floating ip subnet through OVS, configuring networking, security groups, flavors, images and are other OpenStack related services. The outcome is a working OpenStack environment based on the Rocky release that you can use as a baseline for testing your applications using OpenStack capabilities. The installation will create an all-in-one deployment however you can use this guide to create a multi-node deployment as well.
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The Birth of the Niche Cloud?

1200px-Flightless_Dung_Beetle_Circellium_Bachuss,_Addo_Elephant_National_Park,_South_Africa

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_niche

Overview

In this article we will take a step back from my typical technical discussions and how-to guides to think about the path that lies ahead of us, in our industry. Today we have a very polarizing environment, similar in fact to the US political system.  On one side you have extremely customized on-premise environments that serve specific purpose or business niches but on the whole are hard, if not impossible to maintain and very costly. On the other side you have generic public cloud, infrastructure that always works (well almost, nothing is perfect), scales and is available at click of a button with predictable pricing structure but doesn’t fit specific purpose by default.

The industry has for many years recognized these worlds were growing further apart and defined the solution as hybrid cloud management to manage them or even bridge the worlds. But gluing two polarized worlds together was only ever destined to fail. Hybrid cloud, which often drags with it the management, is dead. I think more are interested in talking about multi-cloud and I see multi-cloud replacing what hybrid cloud once stood for. I see container platforms providing the glue, management platforms once promised.

The same battle purpose built vs generic repeats itself over and over in all facets of our lives. The truth is we need both. In this article we will explore a new thought or idea, called niche clouds which could provide a purpose built cloud of the future.

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OpenShift on OpenStack 1-2-3: Bringing IaaS and PaaS Together

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Overview

In this article we will explore why you should consider tackling IaaS and PaaS together. Many organizations gave up on OpenStack during it’s hype phase, but in my view it is time to reconsider the IaaS strategy. Two main factors are really pushing a re-emergence of interest in OpenStack and that is containers and cloud.

Containers require very flexible, software-defined infrastructure and are changing the application landscape fast. Remember when we had the discussions about pets vs cattle? The issue with OpenStack during it’s hype phase was that the workloads simply didn’t exist within most organizations, but now containers are changing that, from a platform perspective. Containers need to be orchestrated and the industry has settled in on Kubernetes for that purpose. In order to run Kubernetes you need quite a lot of flexibility at scale on the infrastructure level. You must be able to provide solid Software Defined Networking, Compute, Storage, Load Balancing, DNS, Authentication, Orchestration, basically everything and do so at a click of the button. Yeah we can all do that, right.

If we think about IT, there are two types of personas. Those that feel IT is generic, 80% is good enough and for them, it is a light switch: on or off. This persona has no reason whatsoever to deal with IaaS and should just go to the public cloud, if not already there. In other words, OpenStack makes no sense. The other persona feel IT adds compelling value to their business and going beyond 80% provides them with distinct business advantages. Anyone can go to public cloud but if you can turn IT into a competitive advantage then there may actually be a purpose for it. Unfortunately with the way many organizations go about IT today, it is not really viable, unless something dramatic happens. This brings me back to OpenStack. It is the only way an organization can provide the capabilities a public cloud offers while also matching price, performance and providing a competitive advantage. If we cannot achieve the flexibility of public cloud, the consumption model, the cost effectiveness and provide compelling business advantage then we ought to just give up right?

I also find it interesting that some organizations, even those that started in the public cloud are starting to see value in build-your-own. Dropbox for example, originally started using AWS and S3. Over last few years they built their own object storage solution, one that provided more value and saved 75 million over two years. They also did so with a fairly small team. I certainly am not advocating for doing everything yourself, I am just saying that we need to make a decision, does IT provide compelling business value? Can you do it for your business, better than the generic level playing field known as public cloud? If so, you really ought to be looking into OpenStack and using momentum behind containers to bring about real change.

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OpenStack 12 (Pike) Lab Installation and Configuration Guide with Hetzner Root Servers

rdo

Overview

In this article we will focus on installing and configuring OpenStack Pike using RDO and the packstack installer. RDO is a community platform around Red Hat’s Enterprise OpenStack Distribution. It allows you to test the latest OpenStack capabilities on a stable platform such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or CentOS. This guide will take you through setting up Hetzner root server, preparing environment for OpenStack, installing the OpenStack Pike release, adding a floating ip subnet through OVS, configuring networking, security groups, flavors, images and are other OpenStack related services. The outcome is a working OpenStack environment based on the Pike release that you can use as a baseline for testing your applications using OpenStack capabilities. The installation will create an all-in-one deployment however you can use this guide to create a multi-node deployment as well.
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OpenStack 11 (Ocata) Lab Installation and Configuration Guide

rdo

Overview

In this article we will focus on installing and configuring OpenStack Ocata using RDO and the packstack installer. RDO is a community platform around Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform. It allows you to test the latest OpenStack capabilities on a stable platform such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or CentOS. This guide will take you through installing the OpenStack Liberty release, configuring networking, security groups, flavors, images and are other OpenStack related services. The outcome is a working OpenStack environment based on the Ocata release that you can use as a baseline for testing your applications with OpenStack capabilities.

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CloudForms Installation and Configuration Guide for Red Hat Virtualization

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Overview

In this article we will deploy CloudForms 4.2 on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHV). We will also show how to configure CloudForms in order to properly manage a RHV cluster and it’s hosts as well as virtual machines.

Before you begin a RHV cluster is needed. If you haven’t set one up, here is a guide on how to build a basic two node RHV cluster.

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