Towards Zero Downtime OpenStack Clouds | SUSE Communities

Towards Zero Downtime OpenStack Clouds


For businesses of all kinds holiday cheer can quickly go from Ho! Ho! Ho! To Oh No! No! No! Cause when it comes to downtime failure is not option for enterprise IT organizations.

Whether caused by operational failures, natural disasters or other events, periods of downtime can have significant consequences for business. As companies move from siloed systems to a more connected computing model the number of systems deemed critical continues to rise. A recent study by Forrester Research suggests that nearly 75% of all applications are deemed mission or business critical. The increasing number of critical systems expands points of failure that can seriously impact customers and employees and result in lost revenue and increased costs.

IT decision makers and the line of business are increasingly implementing high availability solutions as the importance of computing technologies in driving business success continues to grow. The effect of downtime on employee productivity, customer loyalty and the organization’s reputation makes HA a strategic imperative.

One of the technologies that has seen rising adoption because of its impact on business success is private cloud. The automation and self-service capabilities of a private cloud enable organizations to increase business agility while lowering costs through improved resource utilization, while allowing them to keep data behind their corporate firewall and utilize traditional enterprise security and compliance methods. The initial private cloud use case for many organizations is test and development, but as organizational usage increases more business and mission critical workloads and services are deployed in the cloud.

As private cloud usage increases in an organization, the private cloud itself becomes a critical service. Without a highly available private cloud, enterprises will not be able to realize the promise of business agility and reduced costs.

OpenStack is the leading open source cloud management platform for enterprises deploying private clouds. The basic framework of an OpenStack cloud deployment includes a control plane that houses all of the core cloud services, the physical servers that run the deployed workloads and services and the workloads and services themselves. The first step in ensuring continuous accessibility of the private cloud enterprises must take is to deploy the OpenStack services in a high availability cluster. After protecting against cloud services failures, the physical compute infrastructure and workloads can be made resilient through the use of OpenStack availability zones – a capability by which the private cloud infrastructure can be configured and managed as physically separate zones. Using clustering tools or virtual machine HA, workloads can failover across availability zones without downtime or data loss.
Without question an enterprise private cloud has to ensure the availability of the OpenStack services that operate the cloud. After that, the enterprise must decide what level of resiliency is required for the physical cloud infrastructure and workloads. It is the same decision that IT makes every day in their data centers.

The SUSE enterprise OpenStack distribution, SUSE Cloud, automatically configures and deploys highly available OpenStack control services clusters. This streamlined process ensures that enterprises can maintain access to their private cloud by eliminating single points of failure. In addition, SUSE provides the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension for clustering physical servers or workloads in the cloud.

SUSE has a proven track record of using open source solutions to help governments and businesses eliminate data center downtime. Using SUSE Cloud, cloud administrators can deliver enterprise-grade SLAs and ensure continuous uptime of their OpenStack private cloud. Move your OpenStack cloud toward zero downtime and let management sleep soundly in their beds throughout the New Year, while sugar plum fairies dance in their heads. Happy Holidays!


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