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IBM to make OpenStack more interoperable and with better security

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May 9, 2016

IBM said earlier today that it will make its OpenStack implementations more interoperable and will also provide improved security and networking features in time for the Newton OpenStack release due in October 2016.

And it also spoke of RefStack, a tool that tests the compatibility of OpenStack distributions and implementations by making sure expected APIs are present and working as designed.

IBM chairs RefStack's development team and says it needs to evolve quickly for the project to be viable.

“When we created the OpenStack foundation between 2011 and 2012, we had a couple of goals,” said Angel Diaz, IBM's vice president for cloud technology and architecture.

“One was to create a ubiquitous open source PaaS. And we have come a long way. Another really important part of getting to the OpenStack vision is interoperability.”

IBM added that there's still work to be done if OpenStack is to become a better candidate for hybrid clouds.

RefStack is going to advance its efforts to allow networks to extend across OpenStack implementations.

Additionally, token propagation between various OpenStack implementations is also on the agenda. We'll learn more about that soon, Big Blue asserted.

Diaz thinks RefStack needs to improve for two simple reasons, the first of which is his belief that OpenStack implementations will inevitably acquire their own peculiarities.

The second reason is that those peculiarities can lead to lock-in, which nobody wants. An expanded RefStack, he feels, will give OpenStack users (or would-be users) confidence that a supplier or technology choice isn't going to limit their future options.

IBM is also promising an interoperability challenge in October. Diaz can't quite confirm the features that he thinks RefStack needs will be present by that month, when the Newton release of OpenStack should debut ahead of a Summit to take place in Barcelona.

However, for now he's not 100 percent certain that this can be achieved. Developer interoperability remains a barrier to good intentions, one that Big Blue wishes to eliminate this year if it has its way.

Source: IBM.

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