Platform9: Managed OpenStack SaaS Cloud Orchestration with Kubernetes

Written by: , Jul. 24, 2017

Cross-Platform Cloud Vendor Hardware Support for OpenStack & Kubernetes Cluster Servers

Platform9, a start-up company that offers managed hybrid cloud orchestration using integrated OpenStack and Kubernetes containers as a 'Software as a Service' (SaaS) product, announced a $22 million USD Series C funding round this week led by Canvas Ventures with support from Hewlett Packard, Redpoint Ventures, and Menlo Ventures. The announcement highlights a year of 360% customer growth for the company including the acquisition of key new enterprise clients like Autodesk, Sony, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Platform9 has additionally established working solutions with NetApp, Nutanix, Juniper, Dell/EMC, HPE, & other major IT corporations this year to grow cross-platform cloud interoperability on open source foundations. The company was founded by Sirish Raghuram, Madhura Maskasky, & Roopak Parikh, who all have backgrounds in technical engineering at VMware, as well as Bich Le, who created ARIES at HP Labs. Platform9 is also developing Fission, a serverless platform, and Omni, a set of extensions for OpenStack that can be used for public cloud management requirements.

Platform9: Open Source Delivered as a Service - Fully Integrated, SaaS-Managed Cloud Orchestration

Platform9 provides what many DevOps teams in corporate enterprise working with public/private cloud orchestration are looking for in the current environment with a "remote controlled" OpenStack SaaS platform. Founded in 2013 by virtualization experts from VMware & HP Labs, Platform9 simplifies cross-platform cloud management with hardware in different data center locations and allows for the construction of hybrid elastic cloud architecture with Kubernetes clusters. The "remote controlled" aspects of Platform9 mean that the network administration, web traffic request monitoring, and resource allocation control panels are located as a SaaS product "in the cloud" and the web server hardware can be anywhere. For example, a company can program and develop custom code "in-house" and keep it on local servers for better security while using Kubernetes in AWS & Google Cloud data centers simultaneously or interchangeably to support multiple SaaS products, domains, brands, ecommerce, or mobile-specific applications. For websites that need to support thousands of simultaneous users and millions of page hits per day, Platform9 combines API-driven cross-platform cloud compatibility (like CloudFoundry) with the ability to run an entire data center architecture on OpenStack or use Kubernetes for web server cluster management at scale. This system represents a combination of best practices from DevOps in corporate enterprise today developed from work on large scale, high traffic web/mobile applications. Platform9 can easily be integrated with Jenkins, Ansible, Vagrant, Chef, SaltStack, etc. for web development & software programming teams.

 


Concept Video: "Open Source-as-a-Service" (OSaaS) Makes Cloud Infrastructure Easy

Sirish Raghuram, CEO, Platform9 - "Manage cloud infrastructure across multiple platforms at savings up to 70% of IT costs... Learn how best-of-breed cloud infrastructure like OpenStack and Kubernetes can be SaaS-managed to reduce cost and time to value, all while avoiding being locked into a single vendor ecosystem. This helps DevOps and IT teams focus on solving core business problems while automating much of the set-up and management process on the back end. Platform9 will speak from experience after enabling customers to realize a greater than 99 percent success rate with OpenStack projects."  Learn more about Platform9 & Kubernetes.

 


On top of Kubernetes cluster and OpenStack cloud orchestration, Platform9 is developing an AWS Lambda-like "Functions as a Service" (FaaS) platform known as Fission. Serverless solutions are enabling entirely new forms of web development with multi-device publishing and mobile-driven ecommerce but overall there are few apps on the market currently that take advantage of these frameworks. FaaS platforms represent a new type of web architecture to code apps for or increasingly use as an efficient means to add lateral processing to an existing web presence or functioning codebase. Serverless solutions can run on top of PHP, Python, JavaScript, HTML, etc. code or in parallel to a webhost for support of additional new functionality on published web pages and mobile apps. The FaaS environment looks to be one where many companies are going to be offering serverless solutions alongside of other specialized web hosting and PaaS/SaaS cloud hosting plans, so web developers will have a wide range of choice in service providers each with slightly different stack features & functionality, as with LAMP or VPS hosting today.  The main alternatives to Fission in the serverless platform market currently are:

Platform9 has introduced Fission with Kubernetes integration via APIs, giving programmers and web developers looking to build on serverless or FaaS platforms an excellent option, although the service is still in Alpha and primarily works with Node.js & Python currently. Platform9 manages Fission (fission.io) as a separate product from their OpenStack & Kubernetes cloud orchestration solutions.

Platform9 Automation Frameworks - "Being based on OpenStack means your teams can use libraries such as jclouds or Libcloud to integrate their development pipeline with your Platform9 hybrid cloud... thanks to OpenStack, your development teams can reuse existing support in virtually any major automation framework to integrate the development pipeline with your Platform9 hybrid cloud. These include Puppet OpenStack Provisioner, Chef’s knife cli, Ansible’s Nova Compute Module and SaltStack’s OpenStack Module." Learn More About Platform9 DevOps Automation.

 


Platform9 includes everything required to run, operate, update, and maintain public/private clouds with OpenStack or Kubernetes clusters. All OpenStack controllers are hosted in the remote SaaS cloud servers while website or mobile app data stays in the local network where clusters can include hardware from different service providers or data centers in different geo-locations. The Platform9 network management tools require a P9 host agent to be installed on every VM that connects to the remote control unit for load balanced network routing between hardware units or web servers. Systems administrators can monitor a realtime network traffic request queue and provision additional web server hardware through VMs that are added to a cluster to meet increased demand. One of the main areas of R&D in cloud hosting currently is in developing API-driven automation for scaling Kubernetes clusters up and down in launching VMs in volumes to meet web traffic demands. Platform9 cloud orchestration tools allow network administrators to define any VM as a "Hypervisor" (for any autonomous use, like remote computing, VPNs, email servers, web hosting, etc.), "Container Visor" for Kubernetes/Docker node clusters, or a "Cinder Volume Node" as part of an OpenStack cloud architecture. With Kubernetes, systems administrators can construct complex web hosting solutions for cloud apps at scale with servers in different data centers around the world positioned by geo-location and synchronized by Platform9 remote controlled network management utilities. Docker containers can be used for virtualized workloads or hybrid clouds can be created that combine on premise hardware capacity with multiple cloud SaaS vendors or web hosting solutions providers. This also makes it possible to build on AWS, Google Cloud, Bluemix, Rackspace, Azure, etc. simultaneously and draw upon various priced wholesale/retail commodity hardware plans from each vendor individually. Platform9 also enables simple data portability between cloud hosting service providers when required without taking websites and mobile applications offline when committing software version updates or applying security patches.


Sirish Raghuram, CEO, Platform9
- “With our novel SaaS approach to complex cloud frameworks, we enable infrastructure anywhere to be easily managed using industry-leading open-source frameworks such as Kubernetes and OpenStack. Today, Platform9 is enabling DevOps, reducing costs and accelerating cloud transformation for more than 200 clouds worldwide.” Learn More About Managed OpenStack, Kubernetes Cloud Orchestration, & Network Management Solutions at Platform9.

Platform9 provides the Omni control panel software as a module extension for OpenStack installs as well as a  "Stack Switcher" which can categorize network hardware resources into web server clusters, nodes, cloud providers, & federations as part of the orchestration capabilities.  With Omni, systems administrators can monitor incoming web requests in a queue, add extra servers to the cloud cluster, and expand capacity to maintain near zero download request times. Cross-platform cloud management & geolocation-based hybrid clouds with Google, DigitalOcean, CDN, & AWS integrations are what many SaaS providers and web hosting companies require in managing services in continual operation, introducing new platform services and hardware, as well as transitioning between corporate cloud service providers at wholesale rates. Managed Kubernetes & OpenStack network orchestration with Platform9 includes support for container visors as an alternative to VPS hypervisors, CIDRs (containers/services), API-driven storage, monitoring apps, serverless function integration, etc.  Platform9 administration tools make it easy to manage DNS host records for Kubernetes clusters, where the entry values for every Kubernetes host in the cluster can also be API established. Programmers can build custom solutions to add hosts dynamically at scale through the API resource manager which authorizes every user of the container visor. Host aggregation can be accomplished using flavors, tenants, VM instances, SSH keys, Chef or Puppet agents with increased flexibility in customizing the instances through programming language-driven command line scripts on web servers.

 


Concept  Video: Platform9 Managed OpenStack

OpenStack Cloud Orchestration - "Platform9 is the simplest way for enterprises to implement an OpenStack based private cloud, with intelligent, self-service provisioning of workloads onto their computing infrastructure. Platform9 Managed OpenStack enables the use of existing and new virtualized servers to power private clouds in minutes, while interoperating seamlessly with existing processes and management products. Platform9 brings single pane of glass management across KVM, VMware vSphere and Docker to enterprises." Learn More About Platform9.

 


Platform 9 provides upgrades, 24x7 monitoring, patching, capacity planning, automatic failure detection, auto-scaling, etc. for public/private OpenStack & Kubernetes cluster clouds, enabling better data portability, cross-cloud compatibility, and DevOps solutions. Platform9 operates primarily through transforming the OpenStack API layer to be the unifying interface for multicloud management. This allows web developers and software programmers to standardize on open standards & reuse existing tools for public cloud resources. Platform9 provides a "single pane of glass" administration toolset for network administrators and cloud architects with multi-tenancy, quota management, and a single API to construct complex network topology for web server solutions. Platform9 can be used as a solution for web hosting companies to run multi-tenant CentOS servers in VMs with Kubernetes clusters at scale for client support including multiple data backups and load balanced network traffic, or to run VPS platforms like SolusVM, VMware, Parallels, etc. in containers for client SaaS/PaaS product support. Google originally developed a system similar to Kubernetes containers to run gMail, Maps, & Search for users in dedicated VM partitions at scale of billions of servers at a time. These solutions create an object-oriented approach to web hosting with isolated containers, VMs, & VPS with stack software that can be installed from snapshots or easily transferred between hardware in data center management.


Concept Video: Kubernetes as a Remotely Managed Service

Hybrid Cloud Container Orchestration - "Kubernetes promises an order of magnitude increase in operability of modern software systems. Upgrade, monitor, scale it and more with Platform9."  Learn more about Kubernetes.

 


Platform9 is an excellent solution for cross-platform data center management where they have mostly abstracted the advanced Omni control panel for OpenStack to cloud servers which enable hardware from any web host to be included in the network design or cloud orchestration. This can assist IT departments in managing multiple public and private servers for different internal departments and published web/mobile applications simultaneously. The main advantages of Platform 9 solutions are:

  • Cloud Visibility, Network Administration, & Remote Network Control Panel
  • Infrastructure Cost Reduction through Multi-Vendor Hardware Provisioning
  • Self-Service SaaS Network Administration of Remote Public/Private Clouds
  • DevOps Automation & Version Control Integration for Web/Mobile Software
  • Multiple Hypervisors, Docker Containers, & Kubernetes Cluster Management
  • Hybrid Cloud Orchestration with Rancher/CoreOS/CloudStack/VMware Support
  • Cross-Platform Cloud Service Providers - Google, AWS, Bluemix, Azure, Webhosts, etc.

Web developers and programmers can use Platform9 tools efficiently, for example, by using a single VPS or dedicated server for testing code and staging versions, then publishing to a Kubernetes cluster for live production. Network administrators can run private CRM database clouds for company employee use in sales, logistics, & order fulfillment with public cloud web hosting & mobile application support on scalable elastic cluster web servers in order to support maximum web traffic and processing efficiency on data center hardware for corporate IT. Independent web publishers can use Platform9 tools to deploy to multiple international data centers and support apps on elastic web servers with load balancing between geo-location, CDN integration, API storage functions, reverse proxy caching, etc. Platform9 offers a remote SaaS cloud orchestration control panel for bringing together multi-vendor hardware resources that is generally not found with other software products on the market.

 


Platform9 Video: SaaS-Managed OpenStack and Kubernetes

Bich Le, Co-Founder and Chief Architect of Platform9 - "Platform9, the latest addition to the remotely managed solution category of OpenStack, leverages a SaaS-managed platform to easily deploy and manage OpenStack and Kubernetes, and expand them across on-premises and public cloud environments."  Follow Platform9 on Twitter.

 


Fission - Function as a Service (FaaS) & Serverless Web Scripts for Cloud Application Support

Fission is the Alpha release of Platform9's "Function as a Service" (FaaS) or "Serverless" software solution which is similar to the Lambda platform at AWS. FaaS or serverless solutions allow developers to build parallel processing support into existing web applications that connect laterally across the web via APIs without cross-site scripting problems in the browser. For example, the FaaS solutions can be used to calculate ecommerce discounts or shipping rates for millions of ecommerce customers on the fly, according to zip code, geo-location, IP address, and other variables; make customized product recommendation displays with catalog links; or process stored images for web pages at different sizes and compression rates as determined by client device type. This type of CPU processing through snippet-driven functions is not linked to a specific hardware unit but rather provides continual support through dedicated processing resources to websites and mobile applications in order to provide more advanced layers of customized functionality to users. The Fission platform currently only supports functions written in Python and Node.js code, but Platform9 has plans to continue to develop and expand support for other programming languages in the future. Another major application for serverless functions is improving page caching for websites where Fission is compatible with Memcached, Redis, PostgreSQL, etc. to laterally expand what a single server is capable of managing at scale for complex applications. Overall, this type of web development is just beginning and Platform9 is well positioned as a leading company in the sector with the Fission FaaS platform.

 


Omni Control Panel: OpenStack Cloud Network Management & Kubernetes Clusters at Scale

Platform9 simplifies OpenStack and Kubernetes cloud deployment while both of these platforms have a wide range of sub modules and extensions that can be implemented according to the requirements of the network administration or web development project.

  • OpenStack: one of the most advanced platforms for cloud data center management
  • Kubernetes: container-based elastic cloud cluster web servers with enterprise scalability

Major IT companies and Fortune 500 companies are already using Platform9 for advanced cloud orchestration and data center management, making the tools a valuable resource for SMEs, web start-up companies, and independent publishers who need to run OpenStack & Kubernetes in hosting.

 


Demo Video: Platform9 & Managed Kubernetes

Kubernetes Delivered as a Service - "Cody Hill, Systems Engineer at Platform9, demonstrates how to easily get up and running with Platform9 Managed Kubernetes. He walks us through the Platform9 UI and REST APIs for setting up and managing a Kubernetes cluster. He then deploys Jenkins master/slave nodes in a Kubernetes cluster and a containerized web application running in the same cluster. An automated Jenkins pipeline performs a rolling update of the web application."  Learn more about Platform9 & Kubernetes.

 

Author:
Eliran Ouzan is the Co. Founder and designer of Host Advice and also owns Moonshot Marketing LTD, a leading web design & development firm and was a member at GreenPeace.

Widely known for his pixel-perfect and high conversion rate web designs. Over the course of his web experience he experimeneted with over 200 web hosting companies and have a superior knowledge on what defines a good hosting company.

Share this post

"Platform9: Managed OpenStack SaaS Cloud Orchestration with Kubernetes"