Red Hat Dell and Cumulus Quickly Launch 300-Node OpenStack Cluster

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 18, 2016

Results from the seventh OpenStack Foundation user survey recently came out, and they paint a picture of a powerful cloud platform that has squarely moved from the evaluation stage at many enterprises to deployment stage. Sixty-five percent of OpenStack deployments are now in production, 33 percent more than a year ago, according to the findings. Now, many enterprises are working to deploy OpenStack at scale.

With that in mind, Cumulus Networks, Dell and Red Hat have teamed to create a huge 300+ node OpenStack cluster using Dell’s servers and networking switches, Red Hat’s OpenStack platform, and Cumulus’ Linux network OS. Through deployment of open source tools including Ansible and Git, the companies report that they built out the cluster in just six hours.

Deploying OpenStack clusters often takes days, and requires the skillsets of multiple types of developers and technologists. Cumulus Networks, Dell, and Red Hat report that they set out to see how advances in automation and networking could be applied to a production-scale OpenStack pod while removing scalability and maintenance challenges for end users. The project was designed to demonstrate the ability to bridge gaps between networking engineers and system administrators — using shared DevOps tools.

Here are details on the the OpenStack pod they built:

- Scalable 300+ node 100% Linux OpenStack pod

- Installation and provisioning in six hours using standard open source DevOps tools

- Simplified IP networking and controller-less VXLAN-based SDN

 Using Dell hardware for Cumulus Linux and Red Hat OpenStack Platform the pod included more than 300 PowerEdge rack-mount servers installed in nine racks interconnected with 24 Open Networking switches. Dual attached 10Gb Ethernet server connections and 8.6TB cluster bandwidth provided capacity for the OpenStack storage and distributed application communications.

“When we launched our Open Networking initiative more than two years ago, our intent was to innovate the network and transform the data center by delivering industry-standard hardware and providing choice of network operating systems and data center applications,” said Tom Burns, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Networking. “This project demonstrated the power of that innovation and how, when combined in a DevOps model, can greatly simplify business challenges for customers.”

Ansible by Red Hat, Git, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform formed the deployment tool chain and a virtual environment allowed for prototyping and testing of all components.

 “With the increase in production rollouts of OpenStack, customers want the ability to scale without compromising on performance and manageability,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, General Manager, OpenStack, Red Hat. “In collaboration with Cumulus Networks and Dell we have demonstrated the ability to scale with Red Hat OpenStack Platform and we're looking forward to bringing this powerful solution to our customers. What makes this project even more unique is our focus on delivering a fully open source tool chain, including Ansible, to simplify deployment.”

If you are interested in a full project overview, it can be found here: “Cumulus Networks, Dell and Red Hat Simplify 300+ Node OpenStack Pod”