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Here's OpenStack Platform 17 – aka what Red Hat hopes your network operator will one day use

The project with the thumbs up from CERN ... and China

Red Hat has released the latest iteration of its OpenStack Platform 17, with a strong slant towards network operators building out modern infrastructure such as that needed to deliver 4G and 5G services.

Announced at the MWC Las Vegas event this week, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17 has features aimed at helping service providers as they build out massive, modern networks with an open hybrid cloud in mind, the open source outfit said.

Not surprisingly, Red Hat is also extolling the virtues of integration with its OpenShift application platform based around containers and Kubernetes. It will allow service providers to rapidly deliver new services and applications to meet changing demand, it's claimed.

It has been over a decade since the creation of the OpenStack project, Red Hat notes. While it started out as a challenger to the incumbent private and public cloud software stacks, it has gradually been relegated to sectors such as telecoms or to users with niche requirements, thanks to its scalability and open source nature.

That isn’t to say it is a failure; China Mobile reportedly has OpenStack running on over six million CPU cores underpinning its 5G network, while the OpenStack cloud at CERN has over 300,000 cores to meet the needs of the Large Hadron Collider.

Red Hat itself claims that its platform is one of the most deployed frameworks for network function virtualization (NFV) among service providers, with over 30 percent of the paid production LTE deployments.

This update enables greater integration between Red Hat OpenStack and OpenShift for the ability for operators to run both virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs) side-by-side in their network. This is enabled by a virtualized control plane on OpenShift that enables cloud-native and virtual machines to operate within the same infrastructure.

Another new capability in OpenStack Platform 17 is hardware offload support for SmartNICS to provide acceleration for functions such as security groups and cryptography. Support for SmartNICs is a feature added in the most recent OpenStack version, Yoga, but OpenStack Platform 17 is based on the older Wallaby release from 2021, so Red Hat may have merged in some code from Yoga here.

Other updates include Controller High Availability deployment across multiple L2 networks (Multirack HA), plus dynamic resource allocation and director lite deployment which enable simplifying deployments with fewer required services and a smaller footprint, according to Red Hat.

New cephadm integration enables OpenStack Platform 17 to more easily deploy and manage Red Hat Ceph Storage 5, the latest iteration of the company’s software-defined object, block and file storage system.

Also added are workload migration and networking tools to help validate migration from from Open vSwitch (OVS) to OVN, plus Red Hat says it now offers extended lifecycle management to enable continuous feature updates.

“With the latest version of Red Hat OpenStack Platform, integrated with Red Hat OpenShift, service providers will be able to further realize use cases such as 5G core, edge deployments including hyperconverged infrastructure, networking, storage and compute and open virtualized radio access networks,” Red Hat’s Principal Product Manager OpenStack Maria Bracho said in a statement.

This version of Red Hat OpenStack Platform requires the most recent release of the company’s operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0 Extended Update Support (EUS). OpenStack Platform 17 is available via Red Hat’s Customer Portal for organizations with a subscription. ®

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