Automating Cloud Foundry / BOSH on Top of IBM POWER8 and OpenStack

The IBM Power Systems processors deliver extremely high performance for data and compute intensive apps. IBM turned to Altoros to assist in porting of Cloud Foundry the POWER8 architecture and automate BOSH components.Develop similar
CLOUD FOUNDRY
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
IBM

The customer

IBM is a global technology, consulting, and innovation company with 400,000+ employees serving clients in 170 countries. IBM’s broad portfolio features middleware for collaboration, predictive analytics, software development, and system management. Utilizing its business consulting, technology and R&D expertise, IBM helps clients to become "smarter" as the planet becomes more digitally interconnected.

The need

In early 2015, IBM was working on enabling Cloud Foundry components on POWER8 over OpenStack.

However, the company faced the need to build and automate the creation of necessary BOSH assets—a tool chain for Cloud Foundry—such as stemcells and releases. So, IBM turned to Altoros for expertise in Cloud Foundry, BOSH, and OpenStack to foster the delivery

The challenge

In the course of the project, the following challenges were determined:

  • The existing Cloud Foundry buildpacks only include executables for x86 systems.
  • The native Go compiler from Google doesn’t support Power Systems.
  • Ruby gems with native extensions—such as the the nokogiri gem—may not install easily under Ubuntu on POWER8.
  • The way BOSH Agent works with x86 systems differs from what is required for POWER8, so a lot of updates were needed for the agent.

The solution

Engineers at Altoros have automated creation of BOSH stemcells, BOSH releases, CF releases, as well as installation of BOSH and Cloud Foundry over OpenStack with Ubuntu VMs on IBM Power Systems.

The team has also ensured the correct installation of Ruby gems used by BOSH Director, CF Cloud Controller, DEAs, Warden, etc.

A set of Cloud Foundry buildpacks was modified to include executables for Ubuntu LE on POWER8.

To dissolve the differences between the root file systems of Ubuntu on POWER8 and x86 systems, we’ve utilized this script and also patched the BOSH Agent.

The outcome

As a result of collaboration with Altoros, IBM has accelerated porting Cloud Foundry to the POWER8 architecture, automating creation and deployment of BOSH components. All this work has been done inside the Oregon State University’s OpenStack environment based on POWER8.

The team is merging the necessary changes to the community-driven Cloud Foundry repositories and is also working on CI.

By consolidating the capabilities of Cloud Foundry and high performance of Power Systems, IBM now has a breakthrough DevOps solution to the needs of large enterprises, such as financial (banks), transportation (subways / airlines), research (healthcare / GIS / etc.), and governmental organizations.

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Ryan Meharg

Ryan Meharg

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