Upgrades. Few IT activities are as important yet heartburn-inducing as upgrading a major system.
Often upgrades mean service disruption, both expected and sometimes unexpected, which can negatively affect businesses. Often the cause is unreliable software and/or lack of operational expertise.
I’ve worked with and for enterprise customers who had policies of not upgrading until a particular piece of software or driver had been out for at least two years. I know customers with policies of not ever upgrading software, unless they had no choice. Whatever the reasons, these enterprises have often adopted a risk avoidance stance on upgrades, e.g. “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”
OpenStack has by no means been immune to the upgrade conundrum. The community has prided itself on being able to develop software quickly, as evidenced by the project’s cadence of two major releases per year. But upgrading each time has often been painful with many earlier releases requiring a complete reinstall as the “upgrade” process. While there have been significant improvements, upgrading OpenStack is still not a task to take on lightly, especially without significant operational expertise.
Rackspace has always been committed to making operational IT tasks, like upgrades, as painless as possible for customers. Our goal is that upgrade events should be something customers can forget about because Rackspace has them covered.
In particular, we’ve worked with Red Hat to combine the advances Red Hat OpenStack platform has made around software reliability and non-disruptive upgrades with Rackspace’s operational expertise. The end result is that Rackspace Private Cloud powered by Red Hat, aka RPC-R, is an innovative and yet reliable OpenStack platform for enterprises to consume.