Operating OpenStack Clouds at Scale

Virt Compute Nodes

As anyone who’s ever tried to move a technology from development to production knows, operations and scaling are two of the most difficult elements to do well. Nowhere is that more true than when you are talking about a cloud platform such as OpenStack. Deploying an OpenStack cloud with 10s of servers to support a few hundred users are a far cry from operating and scaling a cloud with thousands of servers supporting many thousands of users. As one of the few cloud operators to reach that scale, Rackspace is conscious of and embraces our place within the OpenStack community because of our unmatched experience and expertise. As I discussed in a previous blog post, Rackspace has a three prong approach to enriching the OpenStack community:

  1. We freely share the lessons we’ve learned operating the world’s largest OpenStack public cloud and some of the world’s largest OpenStack private clouds.
  2. We contribute code and ideas to the OpenStack project, including bug fixes and new innovation that we developed to scale our clouds.
  3. We open source tools based on what we use to operate our clouds, some of which are specifically applicable to OpenStack and in some cases, are useful for any cloud platform.

In this blog post, I will be providing a summary of some things we’ve done to help us operate and scale our public cloud that we have contributed back to the community as lessons learned, as ideas and code contributed to the project and/or as new open source projects. Many thanks to Matt Van Winkle from our public cloud operations team for all the great information.

To read more about how Rackspace operates OpenStack at scale, please click here to go to my article on the Rackspace blog site.


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