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Trying OpenStack Using Kolla

Cisco Employee

At Cisco we have used OpenStack heavily internally as well as supported use of it in partnership with our customers for several years now. One lesson we've learned from our operational experience with OpenStack is that architectural approaches which facilitate management are essential to a successful experience operating OpenStack; OpenStack is a large distributed application which consists of dozens of loosely coupled services, each with their own software dependency stack. Managing those services and their dependencies through the entire lifecycle from deployment through update and upgrade while achieving desired operational metrics around availability poses interesting challenges.

One architecture we often use which helps simplify management of OpenStack is to containerize deployment of OpenStack. By containerizing each of the separate OpenStack services into a self-contained container housing that service and its required software stack, each service can be dealt with as a discrete unit. This greatly simplifies both flexibility in deployment as well as ongoing maintenance tasks such as updates and upgrades.

Within the OpenStack community, the Kolla Project provides tools which simplify creation of Docker containers of each of the separate OpenStack services, as well as orchestration to deploy those containers to achieve a functional, manageable OpenStack deployment. To help developers and admins wanting to explore Kolla and OpenStack, we now have an virtual machine image available in DevNet to try out OpenStack and Kolla.

The virtual machine image and documentation on how to install it are available now on our Box site

CiscoLive Berlin 2016 Kolla Liberty VM - Box. In this site, you'll find two key files:

  • CentOS VirtualBox OpenStack Liberty.ova
    • This is the VirtualBox image. It is roughly 5.5 GB in size, so plan accordingly when you download it.
  • CentOS OpenStack Liberty Kolla Instructions 201602.docx
    • This is a document covering how to configure VirtualBox for the Kolla image, detailing how to set up your networks and other basic configurations that must be made for the virtual machine to work properly. This document also covers user name and password information and other details for accessing the OpenStack cloud running inside this VirtualBox image.

To get started exploring, download the VirtualBox image and follow its accompanying setup doc. Feel free to post followup questions and discussions here in the OpenStack DevNet Community. Special thanks to the Kolla Project and the larger OpenStack community for this fantastic way to deploy and manage a cloud!

1 Comment
Cisco Employee

Thanks a lot Chris ! We also hope to have DevNet Learning Lab on Kolla soon as well.

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