Driver Development, Upstreaming and Maintenance
For vendors who want to supply technology that will be used in OpenStack environments, creating drivers for their products is the first step in positioning themselves to grow with the emerging OpenStack cloud ecosystem. Subsequent steps — just as important — involve synchronizing with OpenStack itself as it rapidly evolves, and ensuring that your technology is easy for OpenStack users to find, easy for you to promote, and easy for users to evaluate and benefit from in production OpenStack cloud implementations.
Mirantis has much experience creating OpenStack drivers and plugins that let OpenStack interoperate fluently with a wide range of infrastructure products, from storage devices to SDN components to hypervisors.
To make your product compatible with OpenStack, we can develop a base implementation driver — optimizing it for OpenStack’s architecture, developing appropriate integration and functional tests, and documenting it completely to facilitate configuration, installation and use. A typical engagement involves research, development, documentation and full QA, and would apply to a single target OpenStack release.
Once a base implementation driver has been created, tested and validated, the next step is to prepare the driver for review by the OpenStack community for ‘upstreaming’ — making the driver an official part of OpenStack for a single target release cycle.
Because upstream inclusion is a community prerogative and a community process, Mirantis cannot guarantee upstream acceptance. Rather, Mirantis acts as technical enabler, process facilitator and advocate. An upstreaming engagement involves setting up continuous integration, producing documentation including a runbook/installation guide, providing maintenance through the release cycle, and advocating for driver acceptance by the community.
Once the driver is accepted for a single OpenStack release upstream, partnering with Mirantis can accelerate availability of your technology to customers using Mirantis OpenStack. Mirantis offers a transparent process whereby partners can self-certify drivers with Mirantis OpenStack releases. For select partners, Mirantis can provide this service on a turn-key basis.
Mirantis OpenStack certification will need to be repeated for each Mirantis OpenStack release (every six months, trailing each OpenStack core release), and for each release of your driver and other components.
OpenStack is a very fast-moving project, and that means no part of OpenStack can remain static for very long. Six-month release cycles improve OpenStack quickly, but — notwithstanding efforts to maintain backward compatibility — still place this burden on vendors, who are expected to keep drivers, installation instructions and other documentation in step with the project (and avoid deprecation).
Mirantis Services can maintain your driver across successive OpenStack releases: ensuring that CI infrastructure is in place, driver code updated and issues resolved, unit and functional tests maintained and documentation kept current for the duration of the contract.