Rackspace and CERN openlab Bring Clouds Around the World Together To Aid Scientific Discovery

Rackspace extends its relationship with CERN openlab to continue working on cloud federation project

London, UK – 20 May, 2015 - Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX), the #1 managed cloud company, today announced an extension of its contributor agreement with CERN openlab to continue working on creating a reference architecture and operational model for federated cloud services. The successful relationship has already seen Rackspace and CERN develop identity authentication over multiple OpenStack clouds, with the next iteration of the project being to extend this concept to developing standardised templates for OpenStack cloud orchestration. This work is expected to enable customers to spin up an environment across multiple cloud platforms with a single action.

CERN’s computing environment is extremely demanding; the CERN Data Centre stores more than 30 petabytes of data per year from the experiments on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and this data is made available in near real-time to physicists around the world via its distributed computing infrastructure. The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid comprises over 170 sites in 41 countries, with 350,000 cores processing 2 million jobs a day.

CERN relies on multiple OpenStack clouds that need to be accessed by thousands of researchers around the world so working in an integrated model using open standard identity federation, templates and service catalogues is essential for open collaboration, and ultimately scientific discovery. For industry partners like Rackspace, being able to test future technology solutions in CERN’s extreme computing environment accelerates the development of future technology solutions to real business and IT challenges.

“More companies are now looking to use multiple clouds to effectively serve the range of workloads they run – blending low-cost, high-performance, enhanced security and optimised environments,” says Giri Fox, Rackspace’s Director of Customer Technology Services. “But, we are still seeing the complexity businesses are facing to integrate just one cloud into their business. Federation is an opportunity to re-use that initial integration for future clouds you want to run your business on, making multi-cloud a business benefit choice rather than a business cost one.”

“Our CERN openlab mission is to work with industry partners to develop open, standard solutions to the challenges faced by the worldwide LHC community. “These solutions also often play a key role in addressing tomorrow’s business challenges,” says Tim Bell, infrastructure manager in the IT department at CERN. “After our work on identity federation with Rackspace, this is a very important step forward. For CERN, being able to move compute workloads around the world is essential for ongoing collaboration and discovery.”

The Rackspace and CERN openlab agreement involves building on the previous work to create full multi-cloud open standard orchestration capability, reliant on shared installation images and use of a service catalog to enable the identification of the available cloud resource and the management of virtual machines in remote clouds with a single identity.

Rackspace will continue to fund a full time research fellow at CERN to help with the federation project as well as provide services and remote assistance in design and implementation from Rackspace’s product teams. CERN will also be using Rackspace® Public Cloud and OnMetal™ services for testing. The contributions are expected to include Heat orchestration, Glance image, Keystone service catalog and Nova compute projects. Rackspace and CERN expect to demonstrate the federation of Heat orchestration at the 2015 Autumn OpenStack Summit.

For more information about CERN openlab, visit www.cern.ch/openlab