Rackspace OpenStack: Innovating with Containers

Two weeks ago, we announced Carina by Rackspace — an intuitive and instant-on native container environment — at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo.

We’re thrilled by the early demand and number of people that have already signed up for Carina as part of our free public beta, which allows users to create managed clusters for running containers in our OpenStack public cloud, and we’ll continue to advance Carina by incorporating additional container technologies and choices into our OpenStack products.

For example, Carina currently uses Docker Swarm for the Container Orchestration Engine but we’ll soon add Kubernetes as an additional choice. We’ll also provide users with a choice of compute instance type (LXC, virtual machines, OnMetal) and deployment platform (public, private, hybrid cloud). Carina makes it easy to use containers and will provide enterprises an easy path from public cloud development to private cloud container deployment on OpenStack.

Rackspace has led the OpenStack industry since the beginning when we founded OpenStack with NASA in 2010. Today, we operate the world’s largest OpenStack cloud and offer OpenStack private clouds as-a-service — in our data center or yours — using upstream code and backing it with the industry’s leading OpenStack API uptime guarantee — 99.99 percent.

We also recently founded the OpenStack Innovation Center, in collaboration with Intel, to accelerate the advancement and enterprise adoption of OpenStack, through training and recruitment, the creation of a shared road map, and now the availability, also announced at OpenStack Tokyo, of the first of two 1,000 node clusters available free to the community for upstream development and large-scale testing of OpenStack features and implementations.

And Carina isn’t the first time we’ve added value for customers using container technology.

In fact, we eliminated one of the largest barriers — upgrades — in OpenStack when we launched the first containerized architecture for OpenStack private clouds deploying OpenStack services using Linux containers (LXC) with our Icehouse release in September last year,.

Deploying services in containers enables Rackspace to provide customers with non-disruptive, in-place upgrades from one OpenStack release to the next, and to independently scale a given OpenStack service. This helps our customers overcome the challenge of keeping their environment up-to-date without impactful downtime and enables them to be prescriptive in scaling OpenStack services (for example, the ability to scale Neutron without having to scale Nova, Keystone, etc.). Since this launch, we’ve proven out our in-place upgrade path by upgrading our customers to our subsequent Juno and Kilo-based releases.

OpenStack is quickly becoming the enterprise IT platform of choice for private and hybrid clouds and for building and operating containers. Both OpenStack and containers are flexible, modular and open — and they help enterprises prevent vendor lock-in.

Rackspace is making containers easy-to-use and accessible to all by using our industry-leading OpenStack portfolio and human experts. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for Carina and stay tuned as we continue to incorporate leading container technology into our products and lead the OpenStack industry.

Christian Foster is the Senior Director of Marketing for the OpenStack Cloud business. A Racker since 2013, he has more than 17 years of experience in marketing and strategy roles including eCommerce, brand management, product marketing, operations, demand generation, executive communications, media relations, and corporate strategy. Christian holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Baylor University and is a native of Austin, Texas. When he is not on the golf course or working out, Christian and his wife Megan can be found spending time with their 11-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son, and a King Charles Spaniel named Ellie.

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