IBM Boosts Support to OpenStack RefStack Project to Advance Common Language Between Clouds
April 26, 2016

In a move to drive greater cloud interoperability, IBM has contributed significant new features to the RefStack Project, which was created as part of the OpenStack community’s effort to drive interoperability across clouds. The ability to move data and apps from one cloud to another is a major obstacle in the evolution of cloud and business.

RefStack, officially launched last year and to which IBM is the lead contributor, is a critical pillar of IBM’s commitment to ensuring an open cloud – helping to progress the company’s long-term vision of mitigating vendor lock-in and enabling developers to use the best combination of cloud services and APIs for their needs.

RefStack’s new functionality includes improved usability, stability and other upgrades, ensuring better cohesion and integration of cloud workloads running on OpenStack.

RefStack testing ensures core operability across the OpenStack ecosystem, and passing RefStack is a prerequisite for all OpenStack certified cloud platforms. By working on cloud platforms which are OpenStack certified, developers will know their workloads are portable across IBM Cloud and the OpenStack community.

“The OpenStack ecosystem is very rich and rapidly evolving, and provides an extremely strong foundation for real interoperability. However, achieving this will require deep, sustained collaboration across the open community,” said Angel Diaz, VP of Cloud Architecture and Technology at IBM. “We are ready and willing to work with every single OpenStack cloud provider on this, and are challenging the OpenStack community to collaborate with us. We are determined to provide customers with the flexibility they want – regardless of their provider – so that they have a global platform for business and innovation.”

At the OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, IBM also announced a formal challenge to community members, asking them to pledge participation in the first-ever October 2016 Interop Challenge. This project will directly work towards building a core language between OpenStack cloud providers by building and deploying test cases for real-world activities performed by everyday users of OpenStack across environments. In October 2016, it will culminate in a public demonstration of interoperability across on-premises, public and hybrid OpenStack cloud deployments.

As the primary resource for cloud providers to test OpenStack compatibility, RefStack also maintains a central repository and API for test data, allowing community members visibility into interoperability across OpenStack platforms.

The specific upgrades to the upcoming RefStack release include:

User functionality and usability enhancements to allow easier, more streamlined visibility into test data for OpenStack release compatibility.

Tempest plug-in enablement to allow users to expand existing test suites to include external test cases.

Stability enhancements to expand the availability of the RefStack service and support a growing number of RefStack users.

Additionally, RefStack will soon enable vendor registration, allowing community members to easily correlate test results in RefStack’s central repository with specific OpenStack vendors – ensuring results are more transparent.

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