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Converged Infrastructure and OpenStack deployment

Greg Loughmiller - April 04, 2016
Think OpenStack deployment is difficult? Is it a confusing and overwhelming task? You are not alone. Common understanding is that OpenStack can be complex and high risk, with too many steps. And it's not just the software, but the infrastructure that matches up with the configuration as well.
Today, we wanted to share with you some thoughts on on how you can overcome some of those challenges, according to the September2015 OpenStack Foundation survey, as well as the latest survey by Talligent (State of OpenStack Adoption, February, 2016).
As IT organizations face increasing pressure to become more agile while also meeting the needs of end-users accustomed to public cloud services, the costs and reality of deploying private clouds provide significant challenges. OpenStack has emerged as the leading open cloud platform, providing a cost-effective path to the cloud, enabling large-scale production-ready clouds while also driving down the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) associated with on premises deployments, but while these benefits have been driving increased acceptance in the enterprise, challenges to successful deployment remain.
The reality is that you also need infrastructure on which to deploy OpenStack, so it’s not just a matter of the OpenStack software; you also have to configure the infrastructure for your OpenStack deployment in a timely manner.

Promise of the cloud

For various reasons, more and more organizations are embracing the open cloud--specifically, OpenStack. These organizations are beginning to see the potential of the open cloud, but to fully embrace the open, private cloud businesses need a complete end-to-end solution that not only meets the needs of the business, but also enables IT organizations to continue to drive down the cost of IT, improve time to market, increase IT delivery velocity, and reduce the risk and complexity that comes with a do-it-yourself private cloud.
OpenStack has been gaining industry momentum on that front, but it still remains fairly complex to install and configure, which can increase the amount of investment needed before organizations can successfully deploy their private cloud.

The challenges of OpenStack deployment

Despite the flexibility and openness of OpenStack, it is not just a piece of software that you download, install and move on to your next project. Instead, it is a complex solution that requires you to successfully bring together the modules you need, on an infrastructure that is properly configured for those modules and can meet your needs for the cloud.
The added knowledge required to stand up an OpenStack deployment on your own introduces complexity for both the infrastructure and how OpenStack is configured. You have to make sure that all of the moving parts of OpenStack can align with the infrastructure to provide a successful deployment.  
And of course, any new emerging technology brings with it the “difficulty of finding talent”, and OpenStack is no exception. If you want to take on the “DIY” model for your OpenStack deployment, make sure you don't underestimate the challenge of being successful or obtaining the proper talent to perform the deployment.

Converged infrastructure and how it can help

Converged infrastructure operates by grouping multiple IT components into a single optimized computing package. Components of a converged infrastructure may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software.
IT organizations use converged infrastructure to increase efficiency in the management of IT resources, to consolidate infrastructure, to increase resource-utilization rates, and to lower costs. Converged infrastructures strengthen these objectives by implementing pools of computers, storage and networking resources that can be shared by multiple applications and managed in a collective manner.
The use of Converged Infrastructures (Appliances) enable you to introduce technical and business efficiencies for your organization. These efficiencies are a result of the pre-integration of the technology components and resources. This type of integrated solution can provide quick response to business needs while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition,  being able to provide a pre-certified and pre-validated infrastructure enables IT organizations to get a proven architecture without the use of required technical resources to build and deploy that infrastructure.

How to shorten your path to the cloud

With a Converged Infrastructure, IT organizations can shorten their path to a cloud, delivering greater efficiency by reducing the complexity, time to market and costs when deploying infrastructure.The ability to use an integrated solution more quickly empowers IT organizations to transform to an agile IT environment that can anticipate and respond to increasing business demands.
But how do you start with Converged infrastructure? The whole idea is that you don't have to do it yourself, so of course you'll need to find a vendor that can work with you to provide an appliance that best fits your needs, but that doesn't mean one-size-fits-all.  
The Mirantis Unlocked Appliance, for example, takes the value of Converged Infrastructure and provides a pre-tested, pre-certified, and pre-validated deployment of Mirantis OpenStack (MOS) on the certified infrastructure. The Mirantis Unlocked Appliances provide a customer an operational MOS private cloud that is both certified and validated upon installation, ensuring that it will work both with and on your existing infrastructure.
The Mirantis Unlocked Appliance leverages pre-integrated infrastructure components for key OpenStack modules, such as the Compute, Storage and Networking projects, which provides an environment enabling a fully functioning multi-tenant OpenStack cloud platform in the shortest amount of time.  This converged infrastructure gives IT and lines of business a simple to use, pre-configured and operational OpenStack cloud with the availability and resiliency that Enterprise customers require.
This way, not only has the complexity of the deployment has been eliminated, but the risk for the infrastructure and OpenStack deployments has been eliminated too. In addition, a Mirantis Unlocked Appliance can reduce the time required to deploy a private cloud from weeks to as little as a day. IT organizations can then provide more powerful capabilities to their users.

Where to learn more

Interested in learning more about how the Unlocked Appliance can help you with a successful OpenStack deployment?  Check out our Mirantis OpenStack Unlocked Appliances Whitepaper, or join us for an online discussion on April 5th, 2016 to listen in on how Converged Infrastructure and the Mirantis Unlocked Appliance can help you with your path to the cloud.

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