The News: At the recent MWC Las Vegas 2022 event, Red Hat announced its latest version of OpenStack, OpenStack Platform 17. As the industry pivots to Kubernetes, Red Hat’s continued support and innovation assists enterprise clients still invested in the platform. Read more from the OpenStack blog.
Analyst Take: Red Hat’s announcement of its latest version of Open Stack — Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17 — announced at the MWC Las Vegas event this week, covered a raft of updates aimed at helping service providers as they build out large-scale, next-generation networks with a specific focus on open hybrid cloud architectures. Not surprisingly, Red Hat is making a point to highlight the integration with its OpenShift application platform and the linkages to containers and Kubernetes. The focus of the announcements is to enable service providers to deploy new services and applications at speed to meet dynamic requirements in both fixed and wireless networks.
Are we still talking about OpenStack? It’s been over a decade since the open-source driven OpenStack project was created. The project’s genesis and rationale were to deliver a competing stack to the incumbent private and public cloud software stacks, the early developers of which included RackSpace, who at one point was betting the company’s future on the platform. How times have changed. With the rise of Google-donated Kubernetes platform and the rise of CNCF, the focus has shifted. Thanks to its scalability and still strong community support, OpenStack has been relegated to sectors such as telecoms or users with niche requirements.
However, as service providers transform their network infrastructures to be cloud-native, OpenStack still plays a crucial role for many. Against this backdrop, Red Hat OpenStack Platform is looking to deliver a scalable, open, and agile cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform that will enable service providers to deploy innovative and differentiated services and applications while giving them the tools to achieve improved levels of efficiency.
Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform 17 is engineered to assist service providers as they build out large-scale, next-generation networks, with a focus on open hybrid cloud deployment architectures. This latest release enables service providers to drive the delivery of new services and applications to address the demands of advanced networking and, most crucially, deliver enhanced operational security features for their 4G and 5G networks.
Red Hat was keen to highlight the benefits of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17, allied with its flagship OpenShift Platform, touting increased resilience from the edge to the core and the ability to run both virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs) with bare-metal performance side-by-side in their network.
Given the network operator focus, a key capability in the latest release is hardware offload support for SmartNICS to provide acceleration for functions such as security groups and cryptography. Other key updates include Controller High Availability deployment across multiple L2 networks (Multirack HA), plus dynamic resource allocation and director lite deployment which enables simplifying deployments with fewer required services and a smaller footprint, according to the release documentation.
New cephadm integration enables the latest release to more easily deploy and manage Red Hat Ceph Storage 5, the latest iteration of the company’s software-defined object, block and file storage system. Red Hat has also added workload migration and networking tooling to help validate migration from Open vSwitch (OVS) to OVN.
The full feature list for the Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17 release includes:
I believe the future looks good for Red Hat. While the CNCF and Kubernetes have captured the high ground when it comes to the orchestration and management of hybrid cloud, that doesn’t mean that it is a one-horse race. In fact, according to Statistica data published earlier this year, OpenStack is the most popular open source cloud, and its adoption continues to experience steady growth. Telco providers have unique challenges, primarily driven by scale, which means that OpenStack still has an important role to play.
With the likes of China Mobile reportedly running OpenStack on over six million CPU cores underpinning its 5G network, and CERN having reportedly over 300,000 cores running OpenStack to drive its Large Hadron Collider, and Verizon cellular and 5G networks, widely deploying OpenStack, it’s clear that adoption is not an issue.
The fact that Red Hat can innovate at scale and provide fully featured releases of both OpenShift and OpenStack on a parallel track speaks to the engineering prowess of the company and positions it to reap the benefits of downstream convergence of OpenShift and OpenStack as is evidenced in this latest Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17 release.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
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