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Dell, Rackspace & Opscode Demo Bare Metal Magic

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The companies provisioned an OpenStack compute cloud from bare metal hardware in one hour

On March 9, Dell joined Opscode and Rackspace to demonstrate what they described as the first fully automated provisioning of a multinode OpenStack cloud, a new de facto cloud operating system. The demo was staged during an OpenStack gathering at the third annual Cloud Connect conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.

The demonstration showed that it is possible to provision an OpenStack compute cloud from bare metal hardware in one hour. Dell contributed its recently launched OpenStack installer, Opscode its Chef open-source software for cloud infrastructure automation and Rackspace its Cloud Builder software and cloud environment.

From Bare Metal With Auto Provisioning

In the demonstration, which also uses Dell’s installer tool and blade servers, each server node boots from bare metal, registers itself with the admin server, obtains a base operating system and is assigned its role in the OpenStack infrastructure. Servers then are updated with all of the latest packages and automatically configured by Opscode’s Chef to provide services in the OpenStack infrastructure.

The OpenStack open source cloud project, launched in July 2010 by Rackspace, has earned rapid industry support with more than 50 organisations now participating in the project, which is intended to create an open and standard cloud operating system. OpenStack provides an open-source alternative to proprietary cloud-partner alliances led by Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, to name two major ones.

Canonical, creator and maintainer of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, cloud services provider Autonomic Resources, and NASA are among the organisations involved in establishing the alliance.

“There’s a tremendous amount of interest in the OpenStack community around seeing complete, ready to deploy cloud platforms based on OpenStack,” said Michael Cote, analyst at RedMonk.

“The effort by Dell, Opscode and Rackspace is a great example of partners advancing the OpenStack initiative. The work they’re doing to bring together hardware, automation and the cloud platform into a near-push button cloud setup should provide a very interesting offering.”

“It is amazing to see how the OpenStack community and technology is advancing rapidly through industry collaboration and important contributions by open-source community members,” said Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace Cloud Builder.