Watcher is a resource optimizer for cloud services managed by OpenStack. With the help of a smart migration system for virtual machines, among other features, Watcher enables performance improvements, lower maintenance costs, and most importantly, better energy efficiency. "Right now, 40% of the total cost of a cloud comes from the server cooling system. This means we understand the importance of cloud energy optimization, which was the subject of our appearance at the OpenStack Summit. We have already noted that major companies like IBM, Intel, and Huawei have been very interested in cloud energy optimization issues," said Jean-Émile Dartois, a b<>com engineer on the Watcher project.
"Watcher is unique in the OpenStack environment"
The development of OpenStack's vital functions comes from so-called "Core" around which peripheral "Big Tent" projects gravitate, which provide more specific features. Watcher aims to be integrated soon into "Big Tent" projects, probably for version N of OpenStack planned for late 2016. And the team has high hopes: "During the preceding Summit last May, we were able to observe real demand for Watcher's features and the lack of existing solutions in terms of energy efficiency. Watcher is unique in the OpenStack environment."
IBM and INTEL, Watcher's new supporters
The six people who work on its development within b<>com are behind the architecture of the early software versions. Efforts today are focused on integration with other OpenStack components as well as incorporating research into the energy optimization and efficiency of storage. The Watcher project is attracting sizable support. IBM and Intel have already deployed a test environment and provided full-time developers, whom b<>com was able to host during the first workshop a few weeks ago.
Open source: A tool for innovation
Open Source today helps accelerate innovative projects and enables the emergence of standards that can unite an entire industry and bring together contributors from the world over. "It's exciting to experience, the community is full of energy, everyone is positive and moving forward. We work regularly with teams from Russia, the U.S., China, and India, finding a time slot isn't easy, the structure is fairly unique, and meetings sometimes take place over an IRC channel.".
OpenStack has the wind at its back and is drawing together a large chunk of the computing industry. The latest version had nearly 2000 contributors, including HP, Red Hat, Mirantis, IBM, Huawei, Intel, Cisco, VMware, and NEC. Google even recently joined the project's sponsors and exhibited its desire to provide expertise in certain fields (like managing Linux containers). The largest Asian operators, like Japan's NTT Communications and Korea's SK Telecom, took the opportunity of the Tokyo Summit to show how they use OpenStack on a daily basis.