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Dell EMC JetPack Automation Toolkit for OpenStack

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Dell EMC has been a supporter of and contributor to open source since the very early days of Linux. We’ve been collaborating closely with Red Hat (and others) for more than 15 years on numerous open source technologies. Our efforts in open source are driven by three key principles:

1)    Open source efforts are developed in the best interests of the community

2)    Projects are executed with complete transparency and openness

3)    Open source technologies are made to be consumable by the widest range of users and organizations

JetPack Automation Toolkit for OpenStack

A prime example of our efforts with open source is the work we’ve been doing with Red Hat to make OpenStack implementations stable, reliable, and able to integrate with enterprise IT systems. We focus on addressing key challenges of OpenStack — namely executing seamless automated deployments for the entire hardware and software stack, supporting non-disruptive upgrades, and building integrations with complementary open technologies like Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

The automated deployment tools and techniques we’ve built jointly with Red Hat is called the “JetPack Automation Toolkit”. We are very excited about JetPack as these tools are now refined to the point where we will contribute them to the open source community. Jetpack tools are field hardened and are used by both the Dell EMC and Red Hat professional services teams. We announced our efforts to open source JetPack in the latest release of the jointly-engineered Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Let’s explore JetPack in more detail

JetPack is an integrated set of tools designed to rapidly and reliably configure the hardware stack and deploy OpenStack software in a fully automated fashion. JetPack automation integrates with Red Hat OSP Director (Red Hat’s OpenStack deployment tool). OSP Director, in turn, leverages the OpenStack projects OOO and Ironic to execute a completely automated software deployment experience.

A typical “green field” deployment using JetPack would include the sequence of steps listed below. Everything but the initial hardware racking (step #1) and creation of the Solution Admin Host (step #2) is automated byJetPack.

picture1 Dell EMC

1)    Rack/stack hardware, implement network plan and cabling, program switches

2)    Set up the Automation Answer File, and create the Solution Admin Host (SAH) with Red Hat Enterprise Linux ISO image, retrieved from Red Hat’s content delivery network

3)    Invoke the “Deploy” command from JetPack Command Line Interface (CLI) on SAH node to start the automated deployment

4)    Red Hat OSP Director is installed onto the SAH node

5)    Red Hat Storage Console is installed

6)    BIOS/RAID set up is executed by OSP Director with Jetpack scripts and by leveraging OpenStack Ironic bare metal provisioning

7)    OpenStack controller, Nova compute, and Ceph storage node(s) are installed

           a.     OSP Director leverages OpenStack projects OOO and Heat to execute                            this installation

           b.     Storage configurations can be adjusted via the Red Hat Storage Console

8)    Installation is now complete

Using JetPack with Red Hat OSP Director you can reliably deploy a 10 node OpenStack instance on Dell EMC PowerEdge R-series rack servers in under 3 hours, less than half the time it takes using manual methods! And on the PowerEdge FX-series modular servers, a typical deployment takes just over an hour!*

Once your OpenStack system is deployed you can do some initial testing to validate and or refine the implementation. We provide procedures and guidance for testing in our solution technical documentation. After testing, if you then want to implement a new configuration, you simply invoke the JetPack CLI and “Deploy” again and JetPack automation will re-deploy the environment rapidly and reliably.  

Updates and upgrades with JetPack

Updating OpenStack components and upgrading OpenStack version releases without disruption have historically been very challenging. Now, with JetPack, you can automate OpenStack version upgrades without disrupting an existing implementation. Updates and upgrades to an existing system are handled the same way as for a new deployment — just invoke “Deploy” from the JetPack CLI and let it do its thing.

Once open sourced, we will provide complete documentation with detailed instructions and all of the JetPack executables packaged in a single .ZIP file. Dependency mappings, and links to the associated repositories on GitHub, etc., will also be included.

Our work in OpenStack and in JetPack is only one example of Dell EMC contributing to open source communities with engineering work on hard to solve problems. Our engagements and commitments to open source are expanding all the time — learn more in this blog post.

So, when and where can you get all this JetPack goodness?

We are currently in the process of making JetPack open source. Once the open sourcing process is complete JetPack will be posted into a GitHub repository. Until that time, JetPack is available free of charge to Dell EMC customers by contacting us via email at: openstack@dell.com

Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Red Hat OpenStack Platform V10 is generally available now.

For additional information:

Contact your Dell EMC Account Representative

Email us at: openstack@dell.com

Learn more:  Dell.com/OpenStack  

Architecture guides and technical documents for the Ready Bundle for Red Hat OpenStack Platform are available on the Dell TechCenter community

View the Dell EMC Keynote address at Red Hat Summit 2017

*Deployment times quoted are based on Dell EMC internal testing, April 2017. Your results may vary.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.