As virtualization and cloud computing moves forward, the traditional data center as we know it is being transformed - changing into a large, highly automated fabric of physical systems and virtualized services. Now controlled by software API’s and automation, past systems for managing the complexity of data center operations are being replaced by cloud platforms with new models driven by software, DevOps, analytics, and big data.
OpenStack is right in the center of this transformation. As a collection of loosely coupled services, not only is OpenStack creating a rich platform for building and deploying applications, it’s changing the way in which data centers themselves are operated. OpenStack is quickly becoming a new layer in the software stack in the data center, managing infrastructure below and orchestrating applications above.
And, as we know, OpenStack itself keeps evolving, introducing new services and capabilities with each new release. OpenStack is now playing a role orchestrating anything that can be deployed as a virtual machine including virtualized network functions (NFV) such as firewalls, VPN’s, and load balancers. Major ISP’s and others in the telecom industry are therefore looking to NFV to not only lower the operational cost of deployments and upgrades, but to also provide a basis for offering innovative new services to their customers. Lastly, these trends also intersect with the exploding interest in big data and network analytics. When combined, Openstack, NFV, big data, and analytics together are driving this transformation of the data center and change the very definition of infrastructure services across our industry.