What’s the best strategy for upgrading OpenStack? How do you plan for an upgrade? And what’s the best way to minimize your downtime as you implement it? You can find answers to these and many other questions about OpenStack upgrades in a discussion held at the 2016 OpenStack Summit between experts from VMware, Cisco, Intel, HP, and Comcast.
Led by Comcast’s Charles Bitter, the panelists detail the kinds of OpenStack clouds they’ve upgraded, the versions they upgraded to, and major considerations they needed to be aware of when effecting their transitions.
Issues they identify include ensuring that a cloud remains in production during the upgrade and needing to understand all user requirements upfront in order to succeed on the first attempt. Uneven workloads also present a challenge, as do implementations of OpenStack that aren’t well thought-through to begin with.
That’s where a carefully curated distribution like VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO), can help, suggests VMware’s Sidharth Surana, who works on the VIO upgrade implementation team. For the most part, customer experiences with VIO upgrades have been very positive, he reports. “In fact some of our customers went ahead and were brave enough to do it themselves without even telling us, and they were quite successful with that.”
Running upgrades in a lab environment first can also help predict trouble spots, notes Comcast cloud engineer Basil Baby. Tom Howley and Jan Grant of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, meanwhile, point to the value of software containerization. “That puts you in a much better position,” Grant says.
The panel delves further into containerization and automation, including a description from Intel’s Michal Jastrzebski and Cisco’s Steven Dake of how tools like Kolla – which provides production-ready containers and deployment tools for operating OpenStack clouds – can help make OpenStack upgrades a lot easier.
Other topics discussed include upgrading more than one OpenStack service at a time – here VMware OpenStack architect Michael Voelker points to VMware’s adoption of blue-green upgrade pattern that enables a single control plane showing whether multiple services are working together – and the best ways to perform upgrade tests.
If you are interested in trying VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) for yourself, check out ourHands-on Lab, or download and install VMware Integrated OpenStack direct.