IBM leads major milestone in cloud-to-cloud interoperability at OpenStack Summit, Barcelona

IBM today announced the results of the Interop Challenge, a cloud industry initiative aimed at demonstrating how OpenStack delivers on the promise of interoperability among vendors across on-premise, public and hybrid cloud deployments. The challenge was issued to OpenStack Foundation peers by Don Rippert, general manager for IBM Cloud Strategy, Business Development and Technology, at the OpenStack Summit in Austin in April 2016, and called for fellow cloud vendors to show proof of interoperability by the end of October. 

To date, 18 major OpenStack vendors, including IBM, AT&T, Canonical, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, DreamHost, Fujitsu, Huawei, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Intel, Linaro, Mirantis, OpenStack Innovation Center (OSIC), OVH, Rackspace, Red Hat, Suse and VMware, have come together to work through the challenge and achieve enterprise interoperability, deploying and successfully running OpenStack deployments across multiple clouds. Many of participants demonstrated this interoperability on stage at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona today.

Since OpenStack was created in 2010, customers have been attracted to the innovation of the open source platform, as thousands of developers globally work together to develop the strongest, most robust and most secure cloud platform possible. Global community members and corporate industry leaders are committed to investing in the platform, contributing to its projects, improving the source code and improving the OpenStack deployment process and ongoing operational experience. It is ever evolving and ever improving. Customers are able to source different interrelated components of their cloud solutions from different vendors of their choice to create the combined environment that best meets their needs, but until now, the potential of OpenStack was limited by the lack of proof of interoperability among various OpenStack environments.

Through improved OpenStack cloud interoperability, customers are protected from vendor lock-in and able to easily uproot workloads and move them to new cloud providers if they choose. In addition, they benefit from the seamless interoperation among their chosen vendors, enabling them to better leverage hybrid OpenStack cloud environments and use whatever combination of cloud services best meets their requirements.

“What customers want from open source projects is innovation, integration and interoperability,” said Mr. Rippert. “Nobody has doubted the innovation and integration capabilities within the OpenStack projects, however some doubted whether the vendors supporting OpenStack would work together to achieve interoperability. Today with this significant milestone, we are proving to the world that cross-vendor OpenStack interoperability is a reality. When it comes to OpenStack, our hope is that this demonstration of working interoperability will reduce customer fears of vendor lock-in. We at IBM look forward to continued work with the community and fellow OpenStack vendors to continually improve interoperability to meet the goals of our customer base.”

The Interop Challenge uses deployment and execution of an enterprise workload with automated deployment tools, demonstrating the capabilities of OpenStack as a cloud infrastructure that supports enterprise applications.

This is not the first effort at interoperability within the OpenStack community, but it is the first to focus on workload portability. The Interop Challenge is therefore complementary to the ongoing work of the DefCore Committee and RefStack project, which focus on defining must-pass API tests and designated sections of code that must be present in OpenStack Powered (TM) products. Together, the two efforts help move the community toward a more interoperable future.

As part of the group’s success in working through and achieving portability between on-premise, public and hybrid OpenStack deployments, the 18 participants have also created automated tools for deployment of applications across a variety of OpenStack environments. They have additionally generated collateral on best practices, providing an interoperability roadmap for other OpenStack members in the future. Leveraging the collateral and best practices resulting from this challenge, the OpenStack Interop members will continue to collaborate across the community to drive further interoperability improvements for OpenStack going forward.

Comments from Interop Challenge Participants

“As a founding member of OpenStack, Canonical has been instrumental in helping to define OpenStack interoperability and builds over 3,500 clouds a month in its OpenStack Interoperability Lab. Portability of workloads between cloud platforms is vital if organisations are to realise the benefits of agile, elastic infrastructure so we are fully committed to making this a reality in OpenStack and beyond.”
– Mark Baker, Head of OpenStack Product Management, Canonical

“As companies move to the hybrid cloud model, portability becomes crucial to avoid re-designing and breaking workloads. On-premises and public OpenStack-based clouds need to expose interfaces that enable consistent application deployments. This year’s Interop Challenge made great strides in this movement. We are pleased with the achievements and to be part of this great community collaboration with cloud providers.
– Lew Tucker, VP and CTO, Cloud Computing, Cisco Systems

Deutsche Telekom:
“Today’s Cloud users do expect open standards, ongoing innovation, independence and freedom of choice of their platform, and OpenStack stands for these principles. We also need to prove the abilities to move cloud workloads. That’s why Deutsche Telekom is highly committed to the Interop challenge. It’s not only about proof, but also about a substantial demand of our customers in the cloud era.”
– Thomas Aschenbrenner, Director, Open Telecom Cloud, DT

“DreamHost helped lay the cornerstone of the OpenStack Foundation because we believe that every user of a cloud should have the freedom of movement for workloads without hassle when crossing the border. We’re stoked to demonstrate that DreamHost Cloud is part of the wider OpenStack union, where applications can be deployed on the best clouds for the job without substantial modifications.”
– Jonathan LaCour, Vice-President, Cloud, DreamHost

Hewlett Packard Enterprise:
“Transforming to a multi-cloud, hybrid infrastructure demands an enterprise-grade, open source cloud platform. HPE has been involved in OpenStack from its earliest days and has helped make it mainstream. We’re invested heavily in OpenStack because we know enterprises need economical, open source IaaS solutions. Having successfully completed OpenStack Interop testing for HPE Helion OpenStack, we are committed to interoperability so that customers can use the right mix of cloud solutions that meet their unique requirements.”
– Mark Interrante, Senior Vice President, R&D, HPE Cloud

“Huawei, a cloud technology and service provider, offers both public cloud and private cloud solutions to enterprise customers. Our customers need a hybrid IT environment, where they can have access to both private clouds and public clouds with workloads running and moving across seamlessly. OpenStack’s ‘Interoperability’ vision makes that possible. Huawei is fully committed to helping OpenStack transform the Interoperability vision into reality. We are excited to be part of the Interoperability Challenge, which marks an important milestone toward the Interoperability vision.”
– Ren Zhipeng, President, IT Cloud Computing Product Line, Huawei

“Successfully completing the Interop challenge with our Enterprise Reference Platform running across multiple ARMv8 SoCs clearly demonstrates the strength of Linaro’s collaborative engineering model. We are excited that ARM is now a fully integrated and tested architecture for OpenStack Clouds.”
– George Grey, CEO, Linaro

“One major benefit of OpenStack is the promise of avoiding vendor lock-in. Verifying that workloads run correctly across multiple OpenStack clouds is a valuable next step toward assuring interoperability between vendors, and Mirantis is happy to contribute.”
– Craig Peters, Director, Product Management

OpenStack Innovation Center:
“The OpenStack Innovation Center (OSIC), a joint investment by Rackspace and Intel, aims to accelerate the enterprise adoption of OpenStack through continuous enhancements that support increasingly robust and diverse workloads. OSIC’s participation in the Interoperability Challenge is one of many ways that we are delivering on this shared commitment, helping to advance the platform’s enterprise capabilities, interoperability, and ease of deployment. Such investments help ensure OpenStack’s long-term vitality among enterprises around the world.”
―David Brown, Alliance Manager, OpenStack Innovation Cente

“OVH Public Cloud continues to grow fast and since the beginning, we had to make some changes quickly to answer our customer needs and our environment. Our customers are asking for more and more interoperability which is a “must to have” and we putted it as a priority since months.”
– Damien Rannou, Public Cloud Tech Lead at OVH

“Since founding OpenStack with NASA in 2010, Rackspace has continued to focus on advancing the community. Our involvement and support of the OpenStack Interop Challenge is another step towards furthering this open-source platform that has become the de facto standard for enterprise private clouds.” – Bryan Thompson, GM, Rackspace OpenStack Private Cloud

Red Hat:
“Red Hat has long been committed to our vision of an open hybrid cloud and the promise of interoperability across traditional, private cloud and public cloud environments. The OpenStack Interop Challenge is an important example of how this vision can become a reality for customers, and demonstrates how an open source ecosystem can work together.”
–Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, Platforms Business Unit, Red Hat

Red Hat is a trademark or registered trademark of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries.

“Customers are looking for assurance that applications written on one OpenStack cloud will work on another. Demonstrating that solutions from multiple vendors can support the same workload will give customers confidence that OpenStack delivers on the promise of avoiding vendor lock-in.”
– Pete Chadwick, Director of Product Management, SUSE

“VMware has always emphasized two core values of OpenStack. First: open cloud services and open APIs. Second: vendor neutrality of the framework. By consistently maintaining VMware Integrated OpenStack as an OpenStack Powered™ product, we have delivered on the API promise to customers while greatly simplifying some of the biggest challenges of OpenStack. Further, by successfully participating in the interoperability challenge as well as continuing our work with the DefCore Committee, we confirm our commitment to preserve the vendor neutrality of OpenStack.”
– Purnima Padmanabhan, vice president, product management, Cloud Management Business Unit, VMware

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