Scaling one of the world’s largest OpenStack Public Clouds

Scaling one of the world’s largest OpenStack Public Clouds

There are many reasons why businesses worldwide are increasingly turning to open source-based solutions – such as reduced cost, faster innovation, and as a way to manage and minimize vendor lock-in. As a gold member of the OpenStack Foundation, Fujitsu has actively been playing a part in building the future of open source cloud computing, and has devoted a great deal of time and resources into making OpenStack enterprise-ready. This commitment has led to Fujitsu becoming one of the top six contributors of code to the core OpenStack project.

OpenStack is widely recognized as the de-facto open source platform for private clouds. However, as businesses embark on their digitalization journeys, often the best solution is a hybrid combination of private and public cloud deployments – balancing what we call legacy, or ‘robust IT’ with the ‘fast IT’ of cloud computing, and benefitting from both co-existing in harmony.

To guarantee infrastructure and application compatibility, both private and public cloud parts of such a hybrid solution need to be based on the same, open technology. This is where Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 comes in – a global, enterprise-grade cloud service built on OpenStack. It allows customers to deploy any public, private or hybrid cloud model, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) quickly and easily, while still meeting the strictest business continuity requirements.

How K5 was built

In building our Cloud Service K5 on OpenStack, we had to overcome a number of challenges. For example, how to create a high-availability public cloud and multiple availability zones with a technology that is designed for private clouds and how to make it failsafe and fully scalable?

To achieve the enterprise-grade reliability and flexibility our customers require, we first defined distinct geographical regions based on the security and data residency requirements of our customers. Currently there are eight regions (three in Japan, plus the UK, Finland, Germany, Spain and the United States) with 16 availability zones that enable us to provide enterprise grade in-region fault tolerance zones. These numbers are still growing as we expand our reach. We then architected additional technology layers on top that seamlessly connect all our data centers and thousands of cores into what is now one of the world’s largest OpenStack based Hybrid cloud platforms.

To do this, we needed to develop a unique solution that allows us to manage and share resources and balance loads across multiple availability zones worldwide. What’s more, we wanted an intelligent network connector for highly reliable, private communication between these availability zones as well as customers’ own networks. Then we added enhanced logging features to meet our customers’ strict security and auditing requirements.

These enhancements to OpenStack underpin the core Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Platform, ensuring that when disaster strikes an availability zone, business remains unaffected as customer workloads transfer to operate and on other availability zones within the region.

All these complexities are, of course, hidden to our customers. To them, K5 provides a fully automated solution that is easy to operate, easy to maintain, and easy to scale. It is one of the few global cloud computing platforms that enable digital transformation by deploying open-source, OpenStack technology across all cloud deployment modes, as well as offering native cloud application development and API management tools.

No matter what each individual setup looks like, our K5 customers enjoy cloud computing advantages such as system flexibility, on-demand scalability, pay-as-you-go models, enterprise-class support and guaranteed service level agreements for 99.99 percent system uptime – all while managing and minimizing vendor lock-in. Ultimately, this allows them to accelerate the digital transformation of their business processes, using cloud as a foundation for new-generation technologies and services.

If you are interested in how we overcame the challenges of building our global public cloud with OpenStack, have a look at this presentation by Graham Land, OpenStack Technologist at Fujitsu, at the recent OpenStack Summit in Boston:

In the meantime, we will continue to extend our Cloud Service K5, to unleash the power of OpenStack for our customers

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