Oracle avoids usual lock-in strategy for its OpenStack development

Latest versions of Oracle Linux and VM will release with OpenStack integrated. OpenStack development is a chance for Oracle to support community.

The latest releases of Oracle Linux and Oracle VM will come integrated with OpenStack, a free and open source cloud computing platform primarily deployed as infrastructure as a service, a move in contrast to the company's previous lock-in strategy and efforts.

The goal of the OpenStack Foundation is to support interoperability between cloud services and help businesses build large-scale distributed cloud services for their own data centers. The latest versions of Oracle Linux and Oracle VM will be able to take advantage of OpenStack's capabilities. Both Oracle Linux and VM are currently in beta, but Ronen Kofman, Oracle product development director, said they will move to production-grade releases in the next several months.

Kofman said it was a straightforward process to package and release OpenStack for Oracle Linux, since OpenStack development is primarily done in Linux. Furthermore, Oracle already provides the underlying components that OpenStack uses -- openvswitch, xen, libvirt and others.

We are excited to be working with the community to take OpenStack to the next level -- the enterprise.
Ronen Kofmanproduct development director, Oracle

As Oracle prepares for the launch, it is looking for ways to improve and contribute to OpenStack development. The plan is to be guided in large part by customer feedback.

"The effort will be focused on stability, scalability, diagnostics, things we care about in the enterprise application world," Kofman said. He added that Oracle will focus on using OpenStack with production applications rather than for testing and development.

At present, the OpenStack features that will be available on Oracle Linux and Oracle VM are Keystone, Glance, Nova, Neutron, Cinder and Horizon.

Kofman said that Oracle will contribute new features and enhancements to the OpenStack Foundation that can go in future releases. Oracle intends to release source code to OpenStack, which can then choose to include it in the next patch or update. This gives the OpenStack Foundation the final say on Oracle's contributions.

Oracle started integrating with OpenStack this year because the foundation's development has reached a point where its infrastructure is ready for enterprise applications, according to Kofman.

"With the strong momentum and maturity curve OpenStack has achieved, we are excited to be working with the community to take OpenStack to the next level -- the enterprise," said Kofman.

Oracle intends to provide support for its own OpenStack distribution, as well as other vendors' distributions running on Oracle Linux or Oracle VM. The company also plans to partner with and support OpenStack plug-in providers running on Oracle's distribution. Furthermore, Oracle Linux is already designed to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS, which also integrate with OpenStack. Oracle has started providing guides to Oracle Linux technology that provide, when possible, technology mapping that's similar to mapping in RHEL 6. This comes as a particular point of interest with the news last week that Red Hat was allegedly refusing to support competitors on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

"It is important that OpenStack does not fragment into different projects with highly customized private modules," Kofman said.

This was first published in May 2014

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