Why

The cloud era has revolutionised the IT datacentre. It has made it cheaper, easier and faster to provision a robust infrastructure upon which you can develop and host digital products.

However, there are some disadvantages to the current cloud model. Once you start relying on the services of a particular cloud it becomes very difficult and expensive to move to another cloud. And if all of your environments are hosted in the cloud then the cost of spinning up dev, test and ad-hoc environments can soon mount up.

The emergence of Open Source software as the “de facto” standard for many domains has also been a revolution. Democratising access to software that would have previously been locked behind expensive and prohibitive licensing contracts.

However, the numerous choices available within Open Source can make it difficult to select a product that is a good fit. And integrating the products chosen for a particular capability can be complex and potentially expensive.

A recent revolution, the container orchestrator, offers an answer to the previously noted problems. With a container orchestrator you can abstract away the underlying platform, be it bare metal or a hypervisor. Proprietary services, such as an edge router or block storage, can be offered in a normalised form or deployed into the container cluster. And entire collections of open source software can be packaged together to provide integrated and secured “out of the box” solutions that are built using best practice.

What

Open Datacentre also known as opendc, provides a set of curated open source Products within the productivity, development and infrastructure domains. These Products are integrated and secured "out of the box" with management provided by Kubernetes, Helm and Ansible.



Open Datacentre has Capabilities that are realised through Solutions. These Solutions are implemented by Products with a relevant configuration. And each Capability can potentially have multiple Solutions.



Some examples of Capabilities that are provided by Open Datacentre can be seen below.

  • Distributed Block Storage.
  • Identity Management.
  • HTTP/S Reverse Proxy.
  • Metrics.
  • Logging.
  • Job Management.
  • Image Repository.

It is possible to create customised installs by selecting just the Solutions that you require. So you could have a lite install to run on your laptop and a production install to run in the cloud.

Installation and management of both the Open Datacentre base components and the Solutions is performed through a simple CLI called opendc.

Using Open Datacentre an organisation can develop and host digital products and even run their business using Products from the productivity domain. Open Datacentre can run anywhere, from cloud to on-prem to laptop. You choose your deployment target and can potentially have everything running within an hour. Running Open Datacentre on multiple clouds as well as on-prem allows for consistent and highly available environments.

 
 

Roadmap

The future roadmap of Open Datacentre includes a number of focus areas, some of which are detailed below (in no particular order):

  • Extensive documentation and examples.
  • YouTube videos.
  • Dynamically created nodes to extend the Kubernetes cluster.
  • Federation of clusters.
  • Service mesh for internal and edge routing.
  • Better data model to describe how external services can be incorporated as part of the cluster.
  • Scheduled jobs for data backup of the stateful Solutions.
  • Nextcloud for Dropbox like file synchronisation and productivity Capabilities.
  • Dashboards for the logging and metrics Solutions.
  • Additional in-cluster distributed block and file storage Solutions.
  • Various productivity Solutions to be able to manage an organisation.
  • Additional infrastructure and development Solutions.
  • More providers.

Contribute

The intention with Open Datacentre is to give organisations, large or small, a quick and easy way to get a comprehensive set of modern datacentre capabilities running with the minimum of time and effort. However, to achieve this goal will require a lot of work and it will not happen quickly.

If you would like to contribute to this effort please send an email to: helloopendatacentre.io

 
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