编者按：开源界有个规律，红火的项目总会迎来质 疑，2000年初的Linux、2010年左右的Hadoop曾经遇到，正在发展的OpenStack也是如此：）。2013年的美国，媒体和评论人士， 总会问：“OpenStack成熟了吗、适合企业级部署了吗？”，2014年的巴黎峰会上已经大有不同，客户、案例、快速发展的生态让大家明白，参与比质 疑更重要。如果NASA、欧洲核子物理研究所、美国富国银行、Paypal、宝马，和国内的携程、苏宁、天河二号（6000多个节点）等等案例还不足以证 明OpenStack的快速发展和落地，那么世界上最大的零售公司沃尔玛超10万个cpu core（近万台服务器）的超大规模、生产级OpenStack部署是对这些质疑的强有力的回应。
沃尔玛，这家有着$460B营收的大型零售商，有着业务创新的传统，在互联网还没有出现之前，沃尔玛就已经用卫星通信技术连接商店网络了。互联网时代，沃 尔玛的电子商务业务也迅猛发展，Walmart Global eCommerce选择了OpenStack做为基础平台，支撑沃尔玛的全球电子商务业务。与其他大型OpenStack部署不同的是，沃尔玛用 OpenStack支撑的是真正关键的大规模的生产系统，在去年的节日期间，Walmart.com在美国的整个生产流量是跑在OpenStack环境下 的。
For those skeptics who still think OpenStack isn’t ready for prime time, here’s a tidbit: @WalmartLabs is now running in excess of 100,000 cores of OpenStack on its compute layer. And that’s growing by the day.
It’s also the technology that ran parent company Walmart’s prodigious Cyber Monday and holiday season sales operations. If that’s not production, I’m not sure what is.
San Bruno, California–based @WalmartLabs, which is the e-commerce innovation and development arm for the Walmart retail colossus, started working with OpenStack about a year and a half ago, at first relying heavily on the usual vendors but increasingly building up its in-house talent pool, Amandeep Singh Juneja, senior director of cloud operations and engineering, said in an interview.
“Traditionally, Walmart is vendor-heavy in its big technology investments — name a vendor and we’ve worked with it and that was also true with OpenStack,” Juneja noted. “We started about one and a half years ago with all the leading distribution vendors involved … we did our first release with Havana and Rackspace. But then we invested internally in building our own engineering muscle. We attended all the meet-ups and summits.” Havana is the code name for the eighth OpenStack code release.
Nothing says big like Walmart. It has around $480 billion in annual revenue, more than 2 million employees, and more than 11,000 retail locations worldwide (including Sam’s Club and Walmart International venues). Walmart.com claims more than 140 million weekly visitors. So scale was clearly an issue from the get-go.
What @WalmartLabs loved about OpenStack was that it could be molded and modified to fit its specifications, without vendor lock-in.
This is a massive private cloud built on a public cloud scale. There are also some macro issues at play here. Since parent company Walmart competes tooth and nail with Amazon.com, the chances of Walmart using Amazon Web Services public cloud are nil. (I asked Juneja whether Walmart would ever use any public cloud capabilities and he politely responded that this question was above his pay grade.)
The beauty of open-source projects like OpenStack is that new capabilities continually come on line and there is a community of deeply technical people working on the code. Going forward, Juneja is particularly interested in Ironic, an OpenStack project to enable provisioning of bare metal (as opposed to virtual) machines, and in the Trove database-as-a-service project. Trove, he noted, has matured a bit and Walmart will be using more DbaaS going forward.
Another work in progress is the construction of a multi-petabyte object store using the OpenStack Swift technology, but there are also plans to bring more block storage in-house, possibly using OpenStack Cinder. And the team is looking at Neutron for software-defined network projects.
One thing Walmart must deal with is its brick-and-mortar roots. The ability to order online and pick up in the store means that what @WalmartLabs builds must interact with inventory and other systems already running the Walmart/Sam’s Club storefronts. Non-e-commerce-related IT projects are run by Walmart’s Information Services Division at the company’s Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters.
So the ability of the shiny new OpenStack systems to interface with infrastructure that’s been in place for decades or so — some for as much as 50 years — is critical. It also spells the full employment act for all those @WalmartLabs engineers.