OpenStack PTG Atlanta, the week of February 20, was the inaugural ‘Project Teams Gathering’ for OpenStack. This event launched the standalone developer summit, which used to take place in conjunction with the bi-annual OpenStack Summit. It also marked the release of Ocata and design summit for Pike.

The first two days of the summit encouraged cross-project discussion. Essentially, work between teams to understand APIs, libraries and behavior changes within a project that might impact the rest of the ecosystem. The final three days of the summit targeted internal project discussion. Each project team had a chance assess past deliverables, set goals and debate technical direction.

There was great discussion across all OpenStack projects but F5 remains focused on load-balancing and networking, with continued interest in containers.

Octavia (load-balancing) defines what functionality is exposed for BIG-IP LTM. Load-balancing has existed in OpenStack for years, but Octavia officially became a big-tent project last November after OpenStack Summit Barcelona. It is currently the reference implementation and default provider for load-balancing within neutron-lbaas. It will eventually become the Keystone endpoint for LBaaS and interact with Neutron (networking) via controlled external APIs.  That frees both teams to pursue independent innovation in their respective spaces.  There is a natural expectation that F5 actively support and contribute to Octavia to empower OpenStack operators.

Neutron defines how LBaaS functionality is consumed in an OpenStack cloud. It directly affects how we participate in a network deployment. F5 OpenStack LBaaS supports a variety of deployments such as over-the-top tenant-provisioned service via ‘global routed mode’ and under-the-cloud administrator-provisioned multi-tenant service via ‘L2 adjacent mode’. F5 must pay attention to ensure successful F5 OpenStack LBaaS deployments as Neutron networking evolves.

Container projects in OpenStack are numerous and continue to evolve rapidly. It is not clear what projects (various integration points or technology) will win. It is clear there are benefits of tightly integrating IaaS and PaaS. IaaS (OpenStack) should not view PaaS as a threat but as co-dependent technologies.  Unlocking the promise of PaaS requires the software-defined APIs of IaaS.  Container orchestrators, such as Kubernetes, are a stepping stone to a marriage of IaaS + PaaS.

F5 is a relative newcomer to OpenStack; our plan to contribute to the upstream community continues to evolve to align with customer, community and corporate strategy. Whatever we do needs to be scalable and sustainable, since our customers and the community need us to be a reliable and consistent partner. Specific near-term technical goals include: test contributions and participating in code and spec reviews. Farther out expect to see F5 fingerprints show up in feature design and code.