VANCOUVER, B.C.—The cloud doesn't exist just for its own sake; it exists as a way to deliver applications. That's a key message coming from the OpenStack Summit here as the OpenStack Foundation unveiled a new app catalog. Additionally, a live demo on the keynote stage showed efforts to further enable containers in OpenStack.
The app catalog is a community project located at apps.openstack.org, Mark Collier (pictured), chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation, explained during his keynote address.
"People want to do work with their OpenStack clouds and that means applications, and this takes the pain out of it," Collier said.
The app catalog provides apps in multiple formats, including Murano packages, Glance images and Heat templates. Prior to the apps catalog, there wasn't a single place where organizations could share and find applications.
Applications that can be found in the new apps catalog range from the Oracle database to the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.
The apps catalog will follow the same open contribution model as OpenStack does as a whole, Collier said. "As people have different use cases, they want to give back, and you don't have to be a core code contributor," Collier said. "If you have a Heat template, for example, now you have a place to share it."
The app catalog will also enable OpenStack providers to deploy to different virtualization technologies, including containers. Collier reminded the keynote audience that OpenStack in its early days was confused by some as just being about virtualization.
"We're not a hypervisor. We integrate with hypervisors," Collier said."Think of OpenStack as an integration engine, and that puts users in the best position for success."
To help further enable containers, there is now a new project at OpenStack called Magnum for container deployment. Adrian Otto, Distinguished Architect at Rackspace and project technical leader for Magnum, explained that the new project goes beyond the basic Docker container support that has been present in the OpenStack Nova compute project for the last year.
With Magnum, multiple groups of containers can be provisioned in a grouping called a "bay." A bay, in turn, can use the Google Kubernetes project as a way to orchestrate containers.
Sandeep Parikh, cloud solutions architect at Google, joined Otto on stage for a live demo showing interoperability of Kubernetes across a Rackspace Openstack cloud and the Google cloud. The point of the demo was to show how a highly available container-driven cloud could span two different cloud infrastructures.
"We believe in a vision of Kubernetes running everywhere," Parikh said.
Overall, whether its apps, or container technology, Collier emphasized that OpenStack has always been an integration engine.
"Inside any OpenStack deployment are many different technologies, and OpenStack brings it all together," Collier said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.