The New Open Source, Fast Path to the Private Cloud

4 minute read
The New Open Source, Fast Path to the Private Cloud

When it comes to public versus private clouds, the IT world has spoken: private cloud adoption rates have grown to almost double those of public clouds.

According to the RightScale State of the Cloud Survey, 31 percent of enterprises run more than 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) in the private cloud, compared with 17 percent of enterprises that run the same number of VMs in the public cloud.

The private cloud offers a number of benefits, such as greater control over your applications and data. When you have dedicated servers in a dedicated data center, you’ll reduce your security and compliance risks. Meanwhile, you’ll still gain the speed and agility of the cloud. It’s the best of both worlds.

Why Enterprises Are Choosing Open Source

One huge benefit of the private cloud is that it lets you take advantage of open source technology. The RightScale survey found that 19 percent of enterprises with private clouds run OpenStack. This is a 6 percent increase in OpenStack adoption from last year.

Open source provides enterprises with the following benefits:

  • Transparent code. Open source developers believe that collaboration drives innovation. They make their code transparent, so you can see exactly what you are getting. You can change anything that you don’t like.  

  • Lower costs. Since open source is free, you won’t have any licensing costs.

    Some people think that because open source is free it must be of a lesser quality than proprietary software, but this often isn’t the case. Just think of all the times that commercial software went buggy on you.

    A Coverity study found that open source and proprietary software contain a similar number of bugs. The defect density in open source software is slightly lower than the defect density in proprietary code — 0.59 for open source compared with 0.72 for proprietary software. 

  • Faster innovation. Commercial software is often built by a handful of developers who are overworked and under tight deadlines.

    A piece of open source software could be built by thousands of developers who are so passionate about what they do that they code for fun. In fact, OpenStack currently has 5,910 code developers. This spirit of community and collaboration can equal faster innovation. 

  • Influence over the code. You can influence open source code simply by contributing to the project. Major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Cisco regularly contribute to OpenStack code. 

3 Common Problems that Can Wreck Your OpenStack Private Cloud Implementation

Along with benefits, however, open source also comes with some challenges:

1. Complexity. Open source platforms often require a higher level of skill to configure and deploy. For example, you need to customize open source software run on your hardware.

It can take you weeks to customize hundreds of open source templates to ensure the software functions correctly. This leads to slow deployments.

2. Lack of support. With open source, you may not know whom to call for support. This can become frustrating and cause delays. If your open source deployment turns into a giant science project, you may never finish your implementation. 

3. Too many options. You’ll need to sift through dozens of open source distributions and thousands of configurations. This can easily become overwhelming and potentially motivate you to give up on the project. 

The Easy Way to Deploy OpenStack

If open source is a priority but you also need speed, you can now get the best of both worlds.

Cisco has joined forces with Red Hat to offer an integrated hardware and software platform for OpenStack. Cisco’s UCS Integrated Infrastructure with Red Hat OpenStack (UCS) gives you an on-ramp to the cloud, so you can deploy OpenStack faster and with fewer risks.

Since the UCS platform is already built, you don’t need to download the general distribution from Red Hat and then customize hundreds of templates. Cisco has already taken care of the customizations.

This reduces your complexities and gets you to the cloud faster — similar to buying a car versus building one yourself.

Other benefits of the integrated platform for OpenStack include:

  • Support for your private cloud hardware and software, so you don’t need to manage multiple vendors

  • No commercial licensing costs like you would traditionally pay

  • High performance and availability

  • The ability to quickly scale to meet business demands

  • Both Cisco and Red Hat have created and validated the design and implementation

Simplify Your OpenStack Deployments

An integrated hardware and software platform for OpenStack simplifies your private cloud deployments — while reducing your risks and increasing your chances for success.

If you work with a partner to implement OpenStack and UCS, you can get a private cloud environment up and running in weeks – not months. They can also help you customize your environment to meet your needs.

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