IBM Advances Support for OpenStack Interoperability, via RefStack

by Ostatic Staff - May. 06, 2016

While there have been questions about IBM's true commitment to the OpenStack cloud computing platform, the company definitely remains focused on cloud computing. Big Blue is delivering cloud services from many data centers worldwide in multiple countries and continents. It has also increased its focus on OpenStack.

Now, in a move that it claims will drive greater cloud interoperability, IBM announced it has contributed significant new features to the RefStack Project, which was created as part of the OpenStack community's effort to drive interoperability across clouds. The ability to move data and apps from one cloud to another is a major obstacle in the evolution of cloud and business. 

As OpenStack matures, turf wars over standards are bound to continue, but IBM says it is pushing for greater interoperability. The company claims that RefStack, officially launched last year and to which IBM is the lead contributor, is a critical pillar of its "commitment to ensuring an open cloud" – helping to progress the company's long-term vision of mitigating vendor lock-in and enabling developers to use the best combination of cloud services and APIs for their needs. 

RefStack's functionality includes improved usability, stability and other upgrades, ensuring better cohesion and integration of cloud workloads running on OpenStack.  The Register has a good report on it here.

"The OpenStack ecosystem is very rich and rapidly evolving, and provides an extremely strong foundation for real interoperability. However, achieving this will require deep, sustained collaboration across the open community," said Angel Diaz, Vice President of Cloud Architecture and Technology at IBM. "We are ready and willing to work with every single OpenStack cloud provider on this, and are challenging the OpenStack community to collaborate with us. We are determined to provide customers with the flexibility they want – regardless of their provider – so that they have a global platform for business and innovation."

At the OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, IBM also announced a formal challenge to community members, asking them to pledge participation in the first-ever October 2016 Interop Challenge. This project will work towards building a core language between OpenStack cloud providers by building and deploying test cases for real-world activities performed by everyday users of OpenStack across environments. In October 2016, it will culminate in a public demonstration of interoperability across on-premises, public and hybrid OpenStack cloud deployments.