Bringing Enterprise-grade resource management to OpenStack clouds
OpenStack is quickly emerging as a de-facto standard for provisioning and managing public and private IaaS cloud infrastructures. It has several advantages over proprietary solutions including that it is open source, it supports multiple operating environments and hypervisors, and with so many vendors backing the effort, it promises freedom of choice, interoperability, and reduced risk of proprietary lock-in for organizations deploying the technology.
OpenStack’s Goldilocks Dilemma
The function of the Nova resource scheduler in OpenStack is to place VM-based workloads on the hypervisors in the private or public cloud best suited to running the workload. While the scheduler in OpenStack is flexible and extensible, the present implementation has two key limitations:
Getting resource scheduling “just right”
What is needed is a resource smart scheduler – one that is able to place workloads more effectively based on actual resource utilization along with other constraints, but that is also able to automatically adjust and optimize resource placement on an ongoing basis in a fashion that is transparent to cloud users and administrators.
Unlike Tetris however, real scheduling problems are multi-dimensional and much more complex – they need to schedule not only based on basic things like CPU, memory and disk, but they need to take into account a potentially infinite set of real world resource constraints based on real-time information. These include things like virtual memory usage, I/O rates, network bandwidth, machine architectures, OS and kernel versions, or the presence of specialty hardware to name just a few scheduling considering. As any data center manager will tell you, if infrastructure in a data center can be reduced by even a small amount, the savings factoring costs like infrastructure, power, cooling, facilities and people can add up very rapidly. The key to reducing infrastructure costs is smarter scheduling.
Fortunately for IBM customers deploying OpenStack clouds, IBM is a multi-dimensional Tetris grand-master. Platform Computing schedulers are production proven, sharing resources in clusters comprised of tens of thousands of cores among hundreds of application workloads in some of the words largest production clusters and clouds.
IBM Platform Resource Scheduler
IBM Platform Resource Scheduler is an OpenStack add-on that brings the enterprise-grade capabilities of the Platform Computing scheduler to private and public OpenStack clouds. It maintains full compatibility with OpenStack, but extends the OpenStack scheduler via the Nova plug-in architecture to include a richer set of criteria based on which resource selections can be made. It provides a versatile SQL-like query language that allows cloud administrators to match workloads to resources in a more precise fashion, presenting the opportunity to improve hardware utilization and service levels.
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