VANCOUVER: OpenStack contributors have disclosed projects underway that will enable container-based application deployments to operate at large scale and even across cloud environments, while OpenStack has officially unveiled the Community App Catalogue, a tool to enable users to share scripts and other code.
The second day of the OpenStack Summit saw contributors to the project showing off some of the technologies under development, and managing containerised application deployments was a major focus.
"There's lots of interest around containers, but not many people are currently running them in production," said Mark Collier, chief operating officer for the OpenStack Foundation.
Containers have garnered such interest because they provide a way to package and deploy workloads quickly and easily, typically on cloud-based infrastructures.
Collier explained that OpenStack is working to integrate support for containers in the same way that it supports multiple hypervisors, giving users choice rather than forcing them to use a specific technology.
"Whether you want containers on bare metal or inside virtual machines [VMs], or just VMs, all these methods will be available under a common set of APIs," he said.
"There will be workloads that call for differing technologies, but users want the ability to put it all under one set of APIs."
Adrian Otto, principal architect for Rackspace, showed off a new OpenStack project called Magnum that is being developed to enable cloud operators to offer containers as a service on OpenStack-based infrastructure.
This will not compete with existing standards like Docker or Kubernetes, but integrates with them to orchestrate container deployments.
Magnum is based around the concept of a Bay to hold one or more containers. This is similar to the Pods in Kubernetes, but a Bay can hold one or more Pods as well as containers.
Today, Magnum is using Swarm and Kubernetes for clustering, but is expected to support others, Otto said.
"If you're already an OpenStack user and want to get started with Kubernetes, it uses the existing Heat module and Horizon dashboard you already have, and you can have Kubernetes Bays alongside Docker bays. Magnum is designed in an abstract way to support whatever container environment you want," he added.
Kubernetes started as a Google project, and the firm's cloud solutions architect, Sandeep Parikh, showed how Google is enabling orchestration across clouds (see picture).
He demonstrated a distributed application running on the Google Container Engine platform and on the Rackspace public cloud.
"This is Kubernetes operating across clouds, with load balancing between the two. We have the same code in both places, but running on very different underlying infrastructure," Parikh said.
Also announced during the second day keynote was a beta of the OpenStack Community App Catalogue, a project designed to help OpenStack users share solutions with others.
These can comprise Glance images for launching new VMs, Heat templates for creating new stacks, or Murano app packages for installing complete applications.
Collier explained that, while there are currently only a few applications and solutions available on the App Catalog, this is just the beginning.
"Knowing this community, there will probably be hundreds of apps added over the next few days," he said.
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