BT Considers ‘Abandoning’ OpenStack

BT tells conference it might abandon OpenStack for a propriety cloud network service to roll outs its new virtual services

BT is considering giving OpenStack the boot and using a proprietary cloud substitute instead, according to its chief network researcher,

According to Light Reading Peter Willis, BT’s chief researcher for data networks, told SDN & Openflow World Congress in Dusseldorf the company is shopping around to see which cloud platform would work best with the deployment of its virtual enterprise services.

He said OpenStack open source cloud computing technology just doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to six issues that BT reckons could hinder the virtual services rollout.

99 problems and Openstack is one

openstack“If these six issues are not addressed we will not use OpenStack for virtual enterprise,” he is quoted as saying.”There are proprietary solutions out there we could use and we will use them in lieu of OpenStack being available.”
Specifically, Willis claimed OpenStack does not provide the desired method of connecting VNFs (Virtualised Network Functions) to BT’s infrastructure.

Willis also said that OpenStack suffers from a lack of scalability, as a lone OpenStack controller can only manage around 500 computing nodes.

“In our virtual enterprise CPE scenario we’re talking of the order of 100,000 CPEs to manage and so that scalability figure is not very good,” said Willis.

Willis also discussed a pain point with OpenStack, one that numerous other companies have found fault with: the lack of support for retro-compatibility between versions of OpenStack.This backwards compatibility is something that BT must have, according to Willis, because it cannot run the whole network on the same version of OpenStack.

“It’s not feasible for managing a carrier service because I’ve got thousands of customers and each customer may have a different planned engineering works,” he reportedly said. “We have to have backwards compatibility and be able to run multiple different versions on the computing node from a single controller.”

TechWeekEurope has contacted BT for comment, but has not received a reply at the time of publication.

Take our cloud computing quiz here