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5 Ways to Get OpenStack Out of Labs and Into Wider Production (Part 1)

Chris Gaun

By Chris Gaun3.12.15

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NOTE: THIS IS PART ONE OF A TWO-PART SERIES. FOR PART TWO, CLICK HERE.

During the past several years, private Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions have started moving from IT innovation technology labs into expanding roles within enterprise IT. In this vein, many large organizations are currently advancing their OpenStack solutions. In one salient example of its growth, Walmart Labs is “now running in excess of 100,000 cores of OpenStack.” However, ambitious IT projects are demanding. To ensure successful outcomes, IT professionals need to align the right benefits with the right technology.

While most Fortune 500 are implementing private or hybrid clouds, according to a recent Gartner survey, 95% of respondents who had a private cloud in place said there was something missing. The vast majority of the setbacks had nothing to do with private cloud technology, however.

NOTE: A full half of respondents thought that the largest problem was “Doing Too Little” or “Failure to Change the Operational Model”

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Here are two of the five ways to sharpen strategies, avoid hindrances, and win with OpenStack by broadening the benefits and technology fit through incorporating Enterprise PaaS:

1. Appeal to Developers

Most Developers Do Not Have Infrastructure Expertise and Want a Runtime Environment

Most developers do not have the knowledge to build the underlining infrastructure for their applications and most enterprise organizations want to keep that control in the hand of operations. Division of labor is not legacy red tape. It is an essential element that ensures a business has experts, and not rookies, handling its most important systems. Division of labor is what keeps large, highly complex organizations functioning correctly.

A self-service IaaS private cloud does not mean abandoning database administrators, enterprise architects, server administers, etc. because a developer has easy access to programmatic infrastructure. Operations should still own the infrastructure, even in the cases in which developers need access to bake in on-demand infrastructure for some new cloud applications.

The challenge is building a solution wherein developers are getting the freedom they want but central IT operations is maintaining the control they need.

2. Cover Both Java and .NET

Gartner: Over 80% of Enterprise Development is Java and .NET

The vast majority of ongoing and new development within enterprise organizations is Java and .NET. While in many larger organizations .NET represents a smaller piece of IT, it is nonetheless a sizeable share that should not be ignored. OpenStack can support these workloads, but has been focused almost exclusively on Linux (Java). Furthermore, OpenStack needs to be pragmatic and work with existing IT investments in operating systems; Red Hat Enterprise Linux owns 80% of that market.

Having a single cloud covering all internal infrastructure fulfills the original promise of decreasing tooling and complexity, thereby amplifying efficiency. OpenStack goes beyond rudimentary virtual machine automation, bringing a true cloud environment to internal IT. .NET needs to be part of that story.

With Apprenda

Apprenda addresses both of the above challenges. Apprenda provides a single pane of glass for Linux and Windows administrators and Java and .NET developers. For Java, Apprenda supports a number of application servers, including market leaders such as Tomcat and JBoss. Apprenda is committed to growing its application server support to ensure that existing infrastructure can run using a single PaaS.

For developer productivity, Apprenda abstracts infrastructure from developers, providing a Java and .NET runtime environment to allow them to focus on coding. Operations can use an OpenStack instant and programmable infrastructure model to feed the Apprenda grid.

For Part 2, Click Here

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Chris Gaun
Chris Gaun

Chris Gaun is a director at Apprenda. He formerly worked as an analyst at Gartner covering public IaaS. Before that, he was a physicist that did computational modeling in quantum chemistry. He lives in Brooklyn with his dog Panda. You can follow him on Twitter at @Chris_Gaun.

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