I spent the first part of this week at the Open Compute Summit in Santa Clara where industry leaders came together to collaborate and innovate on next generation scale-out datacenter architectures. There was much discussion at the Summit about what it means to truly be “open” and many provided proof points and demonstrations of initiatives designed to further an open datacenter ecosystem.
One demonstration that caught my attention was Mark Shuttleworth from Canonical demonstrating their Ubuntu MAAS (Metal as a Service) hardware provisioning tool and Juju cloud application deployment across multiple platforms.
Microsoft OCS, Stack Velocity/Quanta OCP, and AppliedMicro servers provisioned with OpenStack
For a more thorough explanation of these capabilities, I visited AppliedMicro’s booth at the show where I received a deeper view of what was demonstrated on stage. I played with Juju running on production X-Gene™ hardware and discovered firsthand how straightforward it was to deploy applications across my newly formed OpenStack cloud.
Ubuntu provisioning of OpenStack based cloud hardware and applications
One of the keys to an open ecosystem are technologies that provide interoperability and choice in the market. While easy deployment of OpenStack-based clouds is certainly compelling, what stood out to me about what Canonical has done is the ability to stand up cloud instances in an architecture agnostic fashion. It doesn’t matter to the user what type of hardware resources are available for use. Not only are the software tools incredibly helpful for data center operators, the real magic lies in seamless interoperability across x86, ARM and Power-based architectures.
I believe demonstrations like this show significant progress for alternative architectures like ARM and OpenPOWER by lowering barriers to entry for these solutions to make a serious run in the cloud. I look forward to more innovative proof points like these that demonstrate the potential for more choice in the industry.