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OpenStack to get standardisation boost in China

New standards are being developed by the OpenStack Foundation and a standards body to improve the interoperability of OpenStack distributions in China

The OpenStack Foundation (OSF) is paving the way for greater standardisation and interoperability of OpenStack distributions in a bid to expand the footprint of the open-source cloud infrastructure platform, at least in China.

At its recent Open Infrastructure Summit in Shanghai, the OSF teamed up with the China Electronic Technology Standardisation Institute (CESI) to define standards for software production, develop test plans, and conduct interoperability evaluation and certification for OpenStack distributions in China.

As part of the agreement, CESI will also develop and maintain interoperability evaluation tools, which will eventually be contributed to the OSF community.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Horace Li, the OSF’s China community manager, said standardisation efforts are necessary to meet the needs of a diverse range of enterprises in China, which accounts for at least half of the world’s OpenStack deployments.

“Standardisation will ensure that OpenStack can integrate well with existing enterprise IT environments, further driving OpenStack adoption in China,” he added.

Under the partnership, the OSF and CESI will develop two types of certifications: a type A certification aimed at standardising interoperability capabilities – such as software interfaces – of OpenStack products; and a type B certification that validates those capabilities when deployed in an enterprise’s IT environment.

“OpenStack is the open source cloud standard in China, and this partnership with the standard-setting CESI is further validation of that trend,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OSF.

“This collaboration will aid the further adoption of OpenStack in China and help uncover new applications for OpenStack in government, research and industry throughout China.”

Li said the OSF chose China as the focal point for its standardisation efforts as the country is home to more OpenStack software suppliers than most other markets in the world.

“In the US, for example, two or three OpenStack suppliers dominate the market, but in China, you’re looking at maybe 10 to 15 suppliers,” Li said.

“But if there are markets where standardisation will help to drive OpenStack deployments in enterprise environments, we will be willing to work with other standards bodies to develop similar certification programmes.”

The partnership between the OSF and CESI was welcomed by OpenStack users such as MyRepublic, a regional broadband and mobile service provider.

“The strategic partnership between the OSF and CESI will pave the way for OpenStack to become the de facto open-source cloud platform in the world,” said Eugene Yeo, chief operating officer of MyRepublic.

“This will lead to a larger community following and support for OpenStack, and directly translates to richer features for companies such as MyRepublic that uses OpenStack to operate our private cloud,” he added.

The growing adoption of hybrid cloud, however, calls for cloud infrastructure platforms such as OpenStack to play well with public cloud suppliers, particularly those that have not built their services on OpenStack.

Describing the OSF’s relationship with public cloud suppliers as complicated, OSF executive director Jonathan Bryce said OpenStack-based public clouds such as OVH compete with the likes of Alibaba Cloud, which also collaborates with the OSF on projects such as Kata containers.

To support hybrid cloud workloads, OSF chief operating officer Mark Collier said as the tools to move workloads between OpenStack and public cloud services are still maturing due to networking complexities, the OSF is focused on supporting Kubernetes in OpenStack.

Bryce added that having strong support for Kubernetes will let enterprises run multi-cloud applications that span a private OpenStack environment and a public cloud, citing the use of Kubernetes by organisations such as Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, to manage hybrid cloud workloads.

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