Saying Goodbye to OpenStack

Containers have won, throw up your hands and just admit it.

But let’s first consider that OpenStack had a good run. Six years… it’s been just a bit over six years since NASA’s Nebula Cloud “science project” morphed into the open source OpenStack and set its sights on world domination. And it came close – sort of. Today, it’s the primary tool used to enable private and hybrid cloud deployments. There are even some public Cloud offerings in countries where AWS use was an issue. It had promise…

O.K., the moment is over and it’s time to face it, Containers are the way forward. Everybody who is anybody is using them- Facebook, Google, Paypal,… If you are coding a cloud-native, microservices-based, serverless application, sipping your Blue Bottle coffee and munching that bespoke donut- you just don’t need a VM/Bare Metal-focused IaaS project anymore. Right?… Right? After all, VMs are now the new legacy technology and if your company hopes to stay competitive, you’d better jump on Container technology now – and that app better be written in Go.

Ok… Maybe I need to reign in my Container enthusiasm a bit- though they are pretty sweet, and I really should stop spreading rumors of OpenStack’s premature demise… Much like the label of “not production ready” that still dogs OpenStack, Containers still have some production-grade shortcomings that should give anyone pause before jumping on the “Container Only” bandwagon. Security, persistent storage, and networking issues are still serious, relevant concerns that should give one pause before rushing to rebuild an existing application for Container deployment or going for Containers only infrastructure solutions.

And about OpenStack – if you had the chance to attend last week’s Barcelona OpenStack Summit, you’ll realize that, despite the hype, OpenStack is still going strong and it certainly has a while before Containers truly take over. There are a growing number of companies- large and small- that have adopted and will continue to use OpenStack to provide the IaaS services they need for their Private and Hybrid Clouds. Bare metal and VMs remain robust, tested and standard compute options for Clouds and will remain so for quite some time to come. As we often emphasize – there is no one right answer for all users- it all depends on use case specifics. While Containers are blessed with the current title of “Cutting Edge Technology,” OpenStack has matured into a system that provides a secure and reliable technology platform. Which to you need?

Nevertheless, it is important to keep an eye on Container technology. A number of presentations at the OpenStack Summit wrestled with the still confusing and far from settled question of how OpenStack and Containers will or should interact. Any way you look at it, OpenStack will continue to be an important IaaS solution even as Container-based solutions evolve, both remain part of the future of the Cloud.

john_roundJohn Starmer,
Director of Education,
Kumulus Technologies