Wednesday Sep 09, 2015

Managing Nova's image cache

If you've deployed an OpenStack environment for a while, over time you'll notice that your image cache continues to grow as the images installed into VMs are transferred from Glance over to each of the Nova compute nodes. Dave Miner, who's been lead on setting up an internal OpenStack cloud for our Oracle Solaris engineering organization, has covered some remediation steps in his blog:

Configuring and Managing OpenStack Nova's Image Cache

In essence his solution is to provide a periodic SMF service to routinely clean up the images from the cache. Check it out!

Sunday Jul 19, 2015

Flat networks and fixed IPs with OpenStack Juno

Girish blogged previously on the work that we've been doing to support new features with the Solaris integrations into the Neutron OpenStack networking project. One of these features provides a flat network topology, allowing administrators to be able to plumb VMs created through an OpenStack environment directly into an existing network infrastructure. This essentially gives administrators a choice between a more secure, dynamic network using either VLAN or VXLAN and a pool of floating IP addresses, or an untagged static or 'flat' network with a set of allocated fixed IP addresses.

Scott Dickson has blogged about flat networks, along with the steps required to set up a flat network with OpenStack, using our driver integration into Neutron based on Elastic Virtual Switch. Check it out!

Sunday Jul 12, 2015

Upgrading the Solaris engineering OpenStack Cloud

Internally we've set up an OpenStack cloud environment for the developers of Solaris as a self-service Infrastructure as a Service solution. We've been running a similar service for years called LRT, or Lab Reservation Tool, that allows developers to book time on systems in our lab. Dave Miner has blogged previously about this work to set up the OpenStack cloud, initially based on Havana:

While the OpenStack team were off building the tools to make an upgrade painless, Dave was patiently waiting (and filing bugs) before he could upgrade the cloud to Juno. With the tooling in place, he had the green light. Check out Dave's experiences with his latest post: Upgrading Solaris Engineering's OpenStack Cloud.

As a reminder, OpenStack Juno is now in Oracle Solaris 11.2 SRU 10.5 onwards and also in the Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta release we pushed out last week with some great new OpenStack features that we've added to our drivers.

Monday Feb 02, 2015

New OpenStack Hands on Labs

We've just published 2 new Hands on Labs that we ran during last year's Oracle OpenWorld. The labs were originally running on a SPARC T5-4 system with an attached Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. During the lab, we walked participants through how to set up an OpenStack environment on Oracle Solaris, and then showed them how to create a golden image environment of the Oracle Database to be used to rapidly clone new VMs in the cloud. We've customized the lab so that it can be run in Oracle VM VirtualBox so check out the following labs:


Tuesday Nov 18, 2014

Oracle Technology Network Virtual Tech Event

The guys over at the Oracle Technology Network are hosting a new set of virtual events that are FREE to attend:

During the event there will be different tracks on the Database, Middleware, Java and Systems. For the Systems track we've got some great content lined up from Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux and Oracle VM.

The first two sessions of the day in the Systems track are about setting up OpenStack on Oracle Solaris. We'll walk you through how to take a standard Oracle Solaris 11.2 installation, install and configure the OpenStack packages and get a simple single-node instance up and running. After this we'll deploy our first instance in OpenStack and show you how to create an application golden image. We'll also walk you through some of the additional enhancements we've made to be able to provide read-only VM environments through OpenStack.

There's a little bit of preparation work required for the labs. In our case we'll be using Oracle Solaris 11.2 installed in a VirtualBox environment. If you're interested in joining us for the events, check out the required preparation (there will be different preparation required for some of the other sessions so check out the registration page).

Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Solaris Multi-Node Docs

For most evaluations, running OpenStack on a single node is ideal. It gives you a chance to understand the different cloud services that make up OpenStack, understand how they are configured, and how to troubleshoot errors that you may come across. We've provided an OpenStack Unified Archive to help make that much easier to do - simply modify your Automated Installer manifests to point at this archive, or use the archive to create an Oracle Solaris Kernel Zone.

At some point in time, you'll want to expand this into a multi-node architecture - spreading the load of those cloud services across multiple physical systems. As part of our regular Oracle Solaris 11.2 product documentation set, we've published an Installing and Configuring OpenStack in Oracle Solaris 11.2 document to help you with that. This walks you through a typical small three-node reference architecture that includes a controller node, a network node, and a compute node (conveniently representing the architecture that's also published in the OpenStack upstream documentation).

From this initial three-node setup, it's relatively easy to add more compute nodes, or even split out the cloud storage capabilities into a separate node. This is the first revision of this document, so please give us feedback for how we can improve it!

-- Glynn Foster

Tuesday Sep 02, 2014

Building an OpenStack Cloud for Solaris Engineering

Dave Miner has started to blog his experiences in deploying OpenStack internally for the Oracle Solaris engineering organization. Here's a blurb from the first post of the blog series:

In the Solaris engineering organization we've long had dedicated lab systems dispersed among our various sites and a home-grown reservation tool for developers to reserve those systems; various teams also have private systems for specific testing purposes. But as a developer, it can still be difficult to find systems you need, especially since most Solaris changes require testing on both SPARC and x86 systems before they can be integrated. We've added virtual resources over the years as well in the form of LDOMs and zones (both traditional non-global zones and the new kernel zones). Fundamentally, though, these were all still deployed in the same model: our overworked lab administrators set up pre-configured resources and we then reserve them. Sounds like pretty much every traditional IT shop, right? Which means that there's a lot of opportunity for efficiencies from greater use of virtualization and the self-service style of cloud computing. As we were well into development of OpenStack on Solaris, I was recruited to figure out how we could deploy it to both provide more (and more efficient) development and test resources for the organization as well as a test environment for Solaris OpenStack.

You can read the rest of the blog series here (will update this post with new links as they are published):

Thursday Jul 31, 2014

OpenStack 101 - How to get started on Oracle Solaris 11

As Eric has already mentioned with Oracle Solaris 11.2 we've included a complete, enterprise-ready distribution of OpenStack based on the "Havana" release of the upstream project. We've talked to many customers who have expressed an interest in OpenStack generally, but also being able to have Oracle Solaris participate in a heterogeneous mix of technologies that you'd typically see in a data center environment. We're absolutely thrilled to be providing this functionality to our customers as part of the core Oracle Solaris platform and support offering, so they can set up agile, self-service private clouds with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or develop Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions on top of this infrastructure.

If you haven't really had much experience with OpenStack, you'll almost certainly be confused by the myriad of different project names for some of the core components of an OpenStack cloud. Here's a handy table:

Component Description
Nova OpenStack Nova provides a cloud computing fabric controller that supports a wide variety of virtualization technologies. In addition to its native API, it includes compatibility with the commonly encountered Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) APIs.
Neutron OpenStack Neutron provides an API to dynamically request and configure virtual networks. These networks connect "interfaces" from other OpenStack services (for example, VNICs from Nova VMs). The Neutron API supports extensions to provide advanced network capabilities, for example, quality of service (QoS), access control lists (ACLs) and network monitoring.
Cinder OpenStack Cinder provides an infrastructure for managing block storage volumes in OpenStack. It allows block devices to be exposed and connected to compute instances for expanded storage, better performance, and integration with enterprise storage platforms.
Swift OpenStack Swift provides object storage services for projects and users in the cloud.
Glance OpenStack Glance provides services for discovering, registering, and retrieving virtual machine images. Glance has a RESTful API that allows querying of VM image metadata as well as retrieval of the actual image. VM images made available through Glance can be stored in a variety of locations from simple file systems to object-storage systems such as OpenStack Swift.
Keystone OpenStack Keystone is the OpenStack identity service used for authentication between the OpenStack services.
Horizon OpenStack Horizon is the canonical implementation of OpenStack's dashboard, which provides a web-based user interface to OpenStack services including Nova, Neutron, Cinder, Swift, Keystone and Glance.

So how do you get started? Due to the distributed architecture of OpenStack and being able to run different services across multiple nodes, OpenStack isn't the easiest thing in the world to configure and get running. We've made that easier for you to be able to set up a single-node pre-configured instance to evaluate initially with an OpenStack Unified Archive and an excellent getting started guide. Once you've got up to speed on a single-node set up, you can use your experience to deploy OpenStack on a multi-node setup. We've also got a bunch of other resource available:

We're just starting our journey of providing OpenStack on Oracle Solaris with this initial integration and we expect to deliver more value over time. Ready to start your journey with OpenStack in your data center?

-- Glynn Foster


Oracle OpenStack is cloud management software that provides customers an enterprise-grade solution to deploy and manage their entire IT environment. Customers can rapidly deploy Oracle and third-party applications across shared compute, network, and storage resources with ease, with end-to-end enterprise-class support. For more information, see here.


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