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Open source makes cloud computing more flexible

Standard-based and open IT solutions have become increasingly prevalent in companies in recent years . At first, Linux was just an issue for developers and essentially limited to niche applications. Today, the open-source operating system has established itself in all areas of enterprise IT due to its ever-growing technical capabilities and complete service and support. Parallel development is taking place in open source virtualization , which is increasingly emerging as an alternative to proprietary solutions. When it comes to cloud computing , a comparable trend is currently observed.

But many cloud providers are still relying on their vendor-specific solutions, which are not compatible with each other and therefore can not communicate with each other. Open source can also break up crusted structures and provide fresh wind.

A good starting point for this is provided by OpenStack, a Linux- based open source cloud computing project started by the OpenStack Foundation. The OpenStack Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 that has grown to 200 members in the meantime. OpenStack provides components for the implementation of a private or public cloud infrastructure as-as-service ( IaaS) Environment running on standard hardware. Comparable is OpenStack with EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), the heart of Amazon Web Services. Like many other leading IT companies, Red Hat is actively involved in the evolution of OpenStack. Key OpenStack components include Compute (Virtual System Management), Block and Object Storage, Networking, Dashboard Metering, Identity, Image Management, and Orchestration.

An open cloud infrastructure

There are a number of features that characterize an open-hybrid cloud infrastructure that can be implemented with an OpenStack solution. The most important aspects at a glance:

Open Standards, Protocols and APIs: Cloud Computing is a relatively new technology. Therefore, standardization is still at an early stage. Interoperability approaches that are not under the control of individual vendors and limited to specific platforms already provide significant flexibility. This allows API specifications to overcome the limitations of individual implementations and give companies the ability to develop variants that meet their technical and economic needs

Versatile: A layer of abstraction is needed above the physical servers, virtualization, storage and networking components, and cloud providers to provide cross-platform hybrid management of physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures. The cloud management is therefore independent of individual virtualization technologies. This is a prerequisite for the use of Open Hybrid Clouds, which include physical servers, various virtualization platforms, and multiple public cloud providers

Portability: Solutions developed for one cloud must be easy to port to other clouds as well. Portability can refer to a variety of aspects: programming languages, frameworks, data, and the applications themselves. Companies that have developed an application for a particular cloud should not have to rewrite it in another programming language or use other APIs to build them into one to use other cloud. A unified runtime environment across multiple clouds ensures that repeated testing and resumption are not required for each relocation.

Open source: Independent of the technology roadmap of a single manufacturer, users can individually decide on a concrete implementation. You have more freedom of choice. In addition, companies have a wealth of opportunities to collaborate with like-minded communities on open source-based solutions such as OpenStack. Through the power of the many, innovation can be accelerated much faster than a single manufacturer can.

The ability to move and manage applications and related data between heterogeneous infrastructures is one of the outstanding features of an open hybrid cloud that organizations or cloud providers can implement with OpenStack. The challenge lies in the specific case in the separation of business processes in data protection critical and less critical workflows.

An Open Hybrid Cloud is based on standards, interoperable and modular. The open approach prevents manufacturer dependence and promotes innovation. An Open Hybrid Cloud abstracts and distributes applications between physical and virtual systems. It distinguishes itself by the fact that in such a constellation it makes no difference where the basic infrastructure is located, be it in its own data center, in a private or public cloud or distributed among different cloud providers.

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