IBM in OpenStack interoperability push

Big Blue wants RefStack secured and networked by the time Newton falls from the three

IBM wants to make OpenStack implementations more interoperable and hopes it can add security and networking features to the RefStack project in time for the Newton OpenStack release due in October.

RefStack is a tool that tests compatibility of OpenStack distributions and implementations by making sure expected APIs are present and working as expected.

IBM chairs RefStack's development team and thinks it needs to evolve, fast.

“When we created the OpenStack foundation in 2001/12 we had a couple of goals,” Angel Diaz, IBM's veep for cloud technology and architecture, told The Register. “One was to create a ubiquitous open source PaaS. And we have come a long way. Another really important part of getting to the OpenStack vision is interoperability.” And on that score, IBM thinks there's work to be done if OpenStack is to become a better candidate for hybrid clouds and/or automated use of .

RefStack is therefore going to advance its efforts to allow networks to extend across OpenStack implementations. Token propagation between OpenStack implementations is also on the agenda.

Diaz thinks RefStack needs to improve for two reasons, the first of which is his belief that OpenStack implementations will inevitably acquire their own peculiarities. His second is that those peculiarities can lead to lock-in, which nobody wants. An expanded RefStack, he feels, will give OpenStack users (or would-be users) confidence that a supplier or technology choice isn't going to limit their future options.

IBM's throwing down a gauntlet of sorts, promising an interoperability challenge in October. Diaz can't quite promise the features he thinks RefStack needs will be present by that month, when the Newton release of OpenStack should debut ahead of a Summit to take place in Barcelona. But he can't quite promise that aim will be achieved. Developer interoperability, it seems, remains a barrier to good intentions. ®

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