Rackspace Accelerates OpenStack Enterprise Push

Rackspace Hosting (RAX) continues the OpenStack push with three new reference architectures, and some heavy-hitters get private cloud certified.

Jason Verge

January 30, 2013

5 Min Read
Rackspace Accelerates OpenStack Enterprise Push
Latest gold member of OpenStack Foundation is information protection company Symantec



Rackspace announced OpenStack private cloud capabilities and partnerships with AMD, Brocade, Hortonworks and Arista Networks.

Rackspace Hosting wants to make it easier to deploy and run clouds, and has been partnering with leading hardware and software providers to create three new Private Cloud Open Reference Architectures. Reference architectures and test criteria for OpenStack solutions help to ensure consistent performance, supportability and compatibility.

"The cloud is a paradigm shift that affects IT operations and introduces an entirely new business model; therefore defining Open Reference Architectures is an essential step towards achieving cloud maturity," wrote Paul Rad, Vice President of Private Cloud at Rackspace, in a blog post. These Reference Architectures help with Enterprise OpenStack adoption.

Along with the new reference architectures, the company has developed the Rackspace Private Cloud Certification Toolkit, which validates all of the functionality of an OpenStack private cloud so your cloud operations team can be sure that your cloud is operational and that it has all of the necessary components properly installed and configured. Some of the first partners certified include AMD, Brocade, Hortonworks and Arista Networks.

Ensuring compatibility and interoperability means that customers using Rackspace Private Cloud Software with OpenStack can more easily implement a reliable and flexible private cloud solution.

The three reference architectures are:

  • Mass-compute with external storage: A scalable-compute cloud architecture where data can be stored to external resilient volumes and exported over iSCSI

  • Mass-compute: A scalable-compute cloud architecture for variable workloads where data resides on the compute nodes directly.

  • Distributed Object Storage: An architecture for an object storage cloud to store critical data across multiple zones for resiliency.

Here's a look at some of the hardware and software providers included in the first round of certifications:

AMD SeaMicro

AMD SeaMicro SM15000 server is certified for the Rackspace Private Cloud. A product certification for mass compute and object storage ensures that enterprise deployments of Rackspace Private Cloud on AMD's SeaMicro SM15000 servers are tested and solid for the enterprise.

AMD's SeaMicro SM15000 system is a very high-density, energy-efficient server. In 10 rack units, it links 512 compute cores, 160 gigabits of I/O networking, up to five petabytes of storage with a 1.28 terabyte high-performance supercompute fabric, called Freedom Fabric. The SM15000 server eliminates top-of-rack switches, terminal servers, hundreds of cables and thousands of unnecessary components for a more efficient and simple operational environment.

The AMD SeaMicro SM15000 server has been certified for the following Rackspace Private Cloud reference architectures:

  • OpenStack Compute ("Nova in a Box") scales horizontally and integrates with legacy systems and third-party technologies

  • OpenStack Object Store ("Swift in a Rack") provides a massively scalable, redundant storage system.

"The AMD SeaMicro SM 15000 system offers Rackspace Private Cloud customers unprecedented density, storage capacity and performance, bringing enterprises one step closer to running the cloud in their own data centers," said Rackspace's Rad.


The Brocade VDX switch with VCS Fabric technology underwent the validation processor compatibility and interoperability and was given the thumbs up.

"Ethernet fabric adoption has now reached critical mass and our enterprise and service provider customers are reaping the benefits of Brocade VCS Fabric technology as part of their cloud-based architectures,” said Jason Nolet, vice president of Data Center Networking, Brocade. “This certification from Rackspace is validation that the Brocade VDX switch family with VCS Fabric technology is perfectly designed to deliver the automation, reliability and agility expected by Rackspace and their customers.”

A member of the OpenStack community since 2011, Brocade has embraced this open source cloud platform as part of its cloud architecture strategy and is optimizing its networking solutions for OpenStack.

Hortonworks Data Platform

Hortonworks, a leading contributor to Apache Hadoop, today announced that the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), an enterprise-ready, 100-percent open source platform powered by Apache Hadoop, has achieved certification for Rackspace Private Cloud.

With HDP, data can be processed from applications that are hosted on Rackspace Private Cloud environments, allowing organizations to quickly and easily obtain additional business insights from this information. The provisioning, monitoring and management components of HDP are important enablers for the integration with the Rackspace Private Cloud, providing an easy path for getting data into and out of the cloud. HDP qualifies for the Rackspace Private Cloud Open Reference Architecture "Mass Compute with External Storage”.

"The Hortonworks Data Platform is emerging as the de facto Apache Hadoop distribution for cloud providers, and the certification for Rackspace Private Cloud is another significant step in the enterprise viability of Hadoop," said Herb Cunitz, president, Hortonworks. "Our commitment to the 100-percent open source model ensures that cloud providers will avoid any vendor lock-in when deploying HDP and Rackspace Private Cloud, and further extends the Apache Hadoop ecosystem to the private cloud, providing another method for exploring and enriching enterprise data with Hadoop."

Arista Networks

Arista 7050 Series switches have achieved quality assurance and certification for Rackspace Private Cloud. The Arista 7050 Series enables wire speed, 10 GbE and 40 GbE switching, powered by Arista (Extensible Operating System) EOS for software defined networking applications.

"The combination of Arista 7050 Series switches with Rackspace Private Cloud Software provides enterprise IT professionals with a certified, next generation data center architecture that drives new levels of IT efficiency," said Ed Chapman, vice president of Business Development, Arista Networks.

The Arista 7050 Series switches provide the low latency, wire speed network performance required in an OpenStack-powered cloud, in form factors of up to 64 ports in a 1 RU chassis. In addition, the Arista 7050 Series provides industry leading power efficiency with typical power consumption of less than 2 watts/port with twinax copper cables, and less than 3 watts/port with SFP/QSFP lasers.

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