Oracle Voice 01/02/2014
By: John Foley
Oracle ORCL -0.27% is now a corporate sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation, a show of support that has been welcomed by many across the technology industry. Oracle’s backing will hasten the development of interoperable, hybrid clouds, which are a growing opportunity—but also a technical challenge—for many CIOs.
Oracle signaled it was moving in this direction in September 2013 when it introduced a roadmap for Nimbula Director—Oracle’s recently acquired software for delivering infrastructure as a service (IaaS)—that includes the integration of OpenStack APIs into Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, a high-performance cloud appliance. See the formal announcement for details on this important new development.
With that as a first step, Oracle made an even bigger commitment to OpenStack in December 2013 with a two-part announcement. First, Oracle became a sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation, a community devoted to the advancement of OpenStack.
And second, Oracle unveiled plans to deliver OpenStack capabilities in a wide range of Oracle products, including Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, Oracle ZS3 Series and Pillar Axiom storage systems, and StorageTek tape systems, and to achieve OpenStack compatibility in Oracle Compute Cloud and Oracle Storage Cloud.
OpenStack is a collection of open source software components that together comprise a cloud operating system. The project was launched in 2010, and the OpenStack Foundation formed in 2012. As a tech journalist, I covered the nascent beginnings of the cloud OS at NASA before it was even called OpenStack.
Oracle’s involvement is important because Oracle is one of the few tech companies that provide complete solutions of hardware and software for creating private clouds as well as a full range of public cloud services.
In welcoming Oracle to the fold, Mark Collier, OpenStack Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “We look forward to innovative contributions from [Oracle’s] many domain experts, as we continue to pursue the vision of a common cloud management platform.”
So, while it’s a big deal that Oracle has thrown its weight behind OpenStack, the real breakthrough for customers is that OpenStack will be woven into Oracle’s widely used enterprise systems, software, and public cloud services.
“Our integration of OpenStack will give customers greater simplicity and flexibility to use OpenStack to manage Oracle technology-based clouds, taking full advantage of the stability, efficiency, performance, scalability, and security of Oracle products,” said Rex Wang, Oracle Vice President of Product Marketing.
Here are some of the ways Oracle’s commitment to OpenStack will come to fruition:
- The integration of Oracle Solaris—a leading version of the UNIX operating system—with OpenStack means customers will be able to use Oracle Solaris for a wider range of cloud deployments and in combination with other OpenStack-compatible clouds. Similarly, IT teams will be able to integrate Oracle Solaris Zones and Oracle VM environments with other OpenStack platforms.
- Compatibility between Oracle Compute Cloud and OpenStack Nova should enable easier management of virtualized compute services across clouds. Oracle Compute Cloud, currently in preview mode, lets users launch VM instances on demand that are configured to their needs.
- Oracle plans to establish compatibility between the Oracle Storage Cloud and OpenStack Swift for object storage services in the cloud. Oracle will also integrate OpenStack into its storage product line, so customers will be able to access Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, Pillar Axiom systems, and StorageTek tape solutions via the OpenStack APIs.
Such developments are vital as businesses move up the cloud adoption curve from using a few cloud services to many. In the process, they begin to recognize a need for enterprise-class cloud solutions that are built with integration and interoperability in mind.
“We understand our customers need to have common management interfaces, rather than being locked into proprietary ones,” said Markus Flierl, Vice President of Software Development for Oracle Solaris. “OpenStack allows them to do that, both for more traditional general-purpose IaaS environments, as well as our Oracle engineered systems.”
Through all of this integration and API support, Oracle brings enterprise scale and robustness to OpenStack environments. Organizations will be able to run more business apps in OpenStack clouds, and they will be able to choose from a wider range of hardware for OpenStack clouds, including Oracle’s SPARC and engineered systems.
In short, Oracle’s backing of OpenStack brings increased choice, flexibility, interoperability, and enterprise readiness to public and private clouds.