teuto.net uses Ubuntu to bring IBM POWER8 to thepublic cloud



on 9 June 2015


The German IT company teuto.net specializes in providing linux, hosting, cloud and web development services. In 2014, teuto.net created the brand “teutoStack“ for offering a wide range of services for customers interested in OpenStack cloud technology. In addition to consulting, training, operating and support services for private clouds, teuto.net also offers an OpenStack public cloud service called “teutoStack Public Cloud“.

As a long term Ubuntu Cloud Partner, and Ubuntu Advantage Reseller, teuto.net was delighted when Canonical expanded their platform support to IBM’s POWER8 in early 2014, as Ubuntu became the first Linux distribution with “little endian” support on IBM’s new Power Systems.

POWER8 for the highly competitive cloud market

To deliver on growing client expectations in the highly competitive cloud market, we decided to integrate IBM POWER8 into the teutoStack Public Cloud, which was already running on Ubuntu, with the Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu OpenStack. We wanted to bring new capabilities within reach of our clients that may not want – or be able – to invest too much into them. For example, analytics applications are in high demand, but are also very resource-hungry. If we could build a cloud-services platform that could deliver the high performance required for capabilities such as analytics at low cost, it could form the basis for a very commercially attractive offering.

POWER8 integration was done in less than a half business day

The IBM Power S812L servers are used as nova compute nodes inside the teutoStack public cloud. Thanks to Ubuntu for POWER8 and PowerKVM, the integration of the IBM Power S812L servers was done in less than half a business day including rack installation. With the seamless integration of POWER8 as compute nodes, we’re following a hybrid concept which helps customers to migrate their existing applications from x86 to POWER8 for better performance. Customers like “GRAU DATA AG” are already using the teutoStack Public Cloud for testing and delivering their own applications on POWER8 with higher performance.

We estimate that a physical Power Systems server can support twice as many virtual environments – and therefore double the number of client systems – as a physical x86 server. This translates into an excellent return on our infrastructure spend: a smaller server footprint, lower energy costs and a more environmentally friendly business.

Our public cloud customers are able to use POWER8, alongside x86 based nodes, within the same cloud and API. With the help of the nova filter scheduler, customers doesn‘t need to worry about the placement of new instances on compute nodes. The filter scheduler uses the architecture attribute of an image to automatically place a POWER8 instance on the dedicated compute nodes.
POWER8 and Ubuntu provide impressive reliability

We found that the combination of Ubuntu with IBM Power Systems provides impressive reliability. By leveraging Canonical’s cloud tools – Juju and MAAS, with Ubuntu OpenStack running on IBM POWER8 technology, we can easily model, provision, build, manage and support our cloud at scale. We have created the ideal platform to support our new range of cloud services, optimized to support capabilities such as analytics, where we are seeing a significant boost in memory performance using the Ubuntu on POWER8 combination.

While we leverage Ubuntu and Ubuntu OpenStack in teutoStack, our users choose Ubuntu too, making it the most popular guest OS on the teutoStack Public Cloud. Leveraging PowerKVM virtualization technology we estimate being able to support at least 100 virtual environments on each physical POWER8 server.

Based on initial client interest, we’re planning to integrate more POWER8 servers into the teutoStack Public Cloud and eventually migrate additional OpenStack core services to POWER8 for higher performance. The combination of Ubuntu and Ubuntu OpenStack play a key role in providing a foundation for teutoStack, and Juju and MAAS enable easy modeling, provisioning and management, to help our clients roll out their cloud based services with speed and agility.

About the author

Carsten's photo

Carsten Duch is working as a consultant and trainer for web and cloud technologies at teuto.net.

He helps customers to realise the benefits of OpenStack and to successfully migrate their applications into the cloud.

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