F5 in OpenStack 101: An Introduction
So you’ve heard about OpenStack, right? Like, how it’s gaining momentum as a private cloud provider for enterprise and service provider production environments? Or, maybe, that F5 is developing open source solutions that will make F5 services more easily accessible and adaptable by developers? Do you have questions about what, exactly, this all means? If so, you’ve come to the right place and you’re not alone.
What is OpenStack?
OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing software platform made up of a number of core and optional services. Of particular interest from the F5 perspective are the Nova (compute), Neutron (networking), and Heat (orchestration) services.
What can F5 do for me in OpenStack?
F5’s application delivery services can be used in OpenStack-hosted applications via the Neutron LbaaS service and/or the Heat orchestration service. To learn more, check out (and bookmark!) our new DevCentral OpenStack wiki. This is the place to go to find out about our projects, latest releases, and more!
F5’s OpenStack dev team has been working like crazy to provide you with tools that make deployment and management of OpenStack environments easier than ever. So far, we’ve released an LBaaSv1 plugin; a set of Heat templates that can deploy F5 services in OpenStack; and a developer-friendly Python SDK that lets you manage configuration objects on a BIG-IP in any Python project (not just in OpenStack). We’re hard at work preparing our first supported* release of the LBaaSv2 plugin as well.
How do I use these wonderful tools?
Our docs writer (yours truly) has also been hard at work ensuring that you not only know where to find our OpenStack plugins, but also how to use them. We’re pleased to announce that we now have documentation sets for each open source project that lives in GitHub. Our docs are all published on Read The Docs. In the central docs site linked to here, you’ll find descriptions of each of our open-source projects and links to the individual doc sets. If you’re unsure what, exactly, you need or where to find it, this is a great place to start.
Join the F5 OpenStack team on Slack. There, you can ask questions, get tips, or just hang out and chat with F5’s OpenStack experts.
* As of this writing, we have two unsupported LBaaSv2 alpha releases available: