Canonical's OpenStack Interoperability Lab Will Rise to Prominence

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 09, 2014

At November's OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong, members of the OpenStack Foundation made clear that many IT departments are either already experimenting with the open cloud computing platform, or will do so this year. The foundation's OpenStack Survey involved 387 OpenStack cloud deployments across 56 countries, and determined that OpenStack is very high on the list of technologies to work with at enterprises in 2014.

The survey also found that within the OpenStack ecosystem, users go with Ubuntu 55 percent of the time as their host operating system a surprising statistic that Matt Asay discussed in a recent post. As IT departments focus on OpenStack and Ubuntu together, they are also going to be focusing on the OpenStack Interoperability Lab, which Canonical announced a few months ago.

As Matt Asay's post noted:

"About the time that I was serving as chief operations officer at Canonical (2010), Ubuntu pulled away as the clear leader on AWS, at least in terms of guest images. No one else even came close..."

Indeed, Ubuntu's evolution has become ever more tied to cloud computing, extending well beyond AWS, and its development cycle is now even tied to the development cycle of OpenStack. The OpenStack Interoperability Lab could play a key role for many enterprises focused on both Ubuntu and OpenStack this year. 

Canonical announced the opening of the Ubuntu OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL) late last year, and it features some really heavy-hitting tech partners including Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Inktank/Ceph, Intel, Juniper and VMware. The lab will focus on integration testing and more. 

According to Canonical:

"The Ubuntu Openstack ecosystem is growing fast. This is good news. But as the options in cloud building grow, so does the task of ensuring interoperability between all the components."

"At Canonical we have deep experience of conformity and interoperability testing between OpenStack and Ubuntu. To bring this to the wider ecosystem we’ve opened a lab dedicated to testing components’ interoperability. We want to be able to present a wide a range of validated and supportable technical solutions."

"Our process tests current and future developments of OpenStack against current and future developments of Ubuntu Server and Server LTS. As the ecosystem has grown we've expanded it to include different guest OSs, hypervisors and software-defined networking (SDN) stacks. We’ve also worked with partners familiar with Ubuntu and OpenStack but unfamiliar with Juju, MAAS and charms, to help them more fully integrate their solution with Ubuntu."

Many of the companies partnered with Canonical on the new lab are also big contributors to OpenStack, and many have their own deployments based on the platform. OpenStack is still a young project, but ensuring its interoperability and compatibility with popular tools, hypervisors and platforms is essential. As IT departments test the OpenStack waters this year, lab tested results could play a key role in their decision making.