Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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Red Hat Seeks To Ease OpenStack Deployments 

Two updates to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5.0 include an improved installer and greater availability capabilities that are aimed at developers and IT administrators seeking greater reliability as they scale RHEL OpenStack deployments.

The updates rolled out this week follow the release last month of the RHEL OpenStack Platform 5 and are intended to ease OpenStack deployments by streamlining some installation steps while adding active high-availability capabilities that maximize "uptime," Red Hat said.

The RHEL installer is a wizard-style graphical user interface that is touted as eliminating the need for deep command-line deployment expertise. Red Hat said the new installer is built on Foreman, an open source management tool designed to allow administrators to automate repetitive tasks and quickly deploy applications.

Along with easing installation of OpenStack, the Foreman tool can provision bare metal as well as other cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace Cloud, and VMware Air.

The Foreman installer also can be used to customize installation parameters that match complex infrastructure with specific cloud datacenter requirements. Those parameters can then be reapplied in future deployments, eliminating the tedious manual configuration process.

Red Hat said the Foreman-based installer also includes a new "host auto-discovery" feature with a bare-metal OS provisioning capability that is said to simplify installation of new hosts.

An optional version of the installer allows users to boot from a CD image or USB drive and install RHEL OpenStack directly into their operating environment.

Along with the installer, the higher availability feature for RHEL OpenStack is designed to boost reliability for the OpenStack controller and service nodes, Red Hat said. The availability feature can spot a node failure then initiate a manually configured "fencing" agent to isolate the faulty node and prevent it from interrupting other operating infrastructure.

The high availability feature within RHEL OpenStack also provides an active-active cluster configuration that serves all controller nodes simultaneously.

Designed primarily to boost platform scaling by ensuring maximum uptime, Red Hat said an integrated software load balancer handles incoming resource connection requests as a way to maintain system equilibrium.

The new installer and availability capabilities along with an Open Virtual Appliance for RHEL OpenStack announced earlier this month by Red Hat are intended to ease the transition to private cloud and OpenStack environments, the company said.

"These enhancements are designed to address enterprise needs around ease of deployment and high availability and to further enable broad adoption of the RHEL OpenStack Platform," Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manage of Red Hat's virtualization and OpenStack unit, added in a statement.

Red Hat said the installer and high availability features for RHEL OpenStack Platform 5 are available immediately. An installer guide also is available now.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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