Using the largest OpenStack tenant to define an architecture that scales out

The service offering of public cloud providers is designed to match many potential customers. It would be impossible to design the underlying architecture ( hardware and software ) to accommodate the casual individual as well as the need of the CERN. No matter how big the cloud provider, there are users for whom it is both more cost effective and efficient to design a private cloud.

The size of the largest user could be used to simplify the architecture and resolve bottlenecks when it scales. The hardware and software are designed to create a production unit that is N times the largest user. For instance, if the largest user requires 1PB of storage, 1,000 virtual machines and 10Gb/s of sustained internet transit, the production unit could be designed to accommodate a maximum of N = 10 users of this size. If the user base grows but the size of the largest user does not change, independent production units are built. All production units have the same size and can be multiplied.

Each production unit is independent from the others and can operate standalone. A user confined in a production unit does not require interactions, directly or indirectly, with other production units. While this is true most of the time, a live migration path must be open temporarily between production units to balance their load. For instance, when the existing production units are too full and a production unit becomes operational, some users are migrated to the new production unit.

Although block and instance live migration are supported within an OpenStack cluster, this architecture would require the ability to live migrate blocks and instances between unrelated OpenStack clusters. In the meantime, cells and aggregates can be used. The user expects this migration to happen transparently when the provider does this behind the scene. But if she/he is willing to change from one OpenStack provider to the other, the same mechanism could eventually be used. Once the user ( that is the tenant in the OpenStack parlance ) is migrated, the credentials can be removed.

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