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InfoQ Homepage News Canonical Sunbeam Aims to Simplify Migrating from Small-Scale Legacy IT Solutions to OpenStack

Canonical Sunbeam Aims to Simplify Migrating from Small-Scale Legacy IT Solutions to OpenStack

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Canonical has announced a new open-source project to enable organizations to transition their small-scale proprietary IT solutions to OpenStack. Named Sunbeam, the project is free of charge and does not require an expensive professional services engagement, says Canonical.

Sunbeam's goal is to enable the deployment of OpenStack in hybrid contexts where both Kubernetes and native nodes coexist. Thanks to its ability to run OpenStack inside containers, Sunbeam can be seen as a sort of OpenStack on Kubernetes on steroids. Sunbeam leverages Canonical Juju to orchestrate and manage nodes in multiclouds or hybrid clouds using charms operators.

Charms are the basic encapsulation unit for business logic, providing a wrapper around an application containing all the instructions for deploying, configuring, and scaling it. Sunbeam adopts native Kubernetes concepts such as StatefulSets and operators, thus making it possible to deploy and operate OpenStack in a way similar to other Kubernetes deployments.

Another basic tenet of Sunbeam are relation handlers that mediate between charms and interfaces to create an intermediate abstraction which allows the charm to interact in a consistent way with a diverse range of interfaces. Relation handlers provide, for example, a ready property which tells the charms whether all data has been received at the interface. On the opposite end, container handlers mediate between charms and pebble containers to enable configuring the container, restarting it, inspecting its running status, and so on.

While Sunbeam is actually able to support OpenStack operation and management at any scale, from single nodes and small deployments on the edge to large clouds including thousands of hypervisors, Canonical is specifically targeting it to the initial phase in adopting OpenStack, such as when transitioning a small-scale legacy IT solution, as Canonical product manager Tytus Kurek confirms:

Sunbeam emerged to remove numerous barriers around the initial adoption of OpenStack and is just the first step towards an autonomous private cloud.

As a direct consequence of this vision, Sunbeams strives to provide a simple interface aiming to be friendly for non-OpenStack savvy customers, who can bootstrap and OpenStack cloud in minutes, claims Canonical.

At the moment, Sunbeam ships with the latest OpenStack version, 2023.1 but it only includes core OpenStack services, although Canonical says it will evolve quickly.

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