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Deployments and management made easy with Openstack & Opencontrail Helm

Note: This blog is coauthored by Ranjini Rajendran and Madhukar Nayakbomman from Juniper Networks.

OpenStack provides modular architecture to enable IaaS for primarily managing virtualized workloads. However, this open source platform is a complex piece of architecture, one that provides organizations with a tall order problem for dealing with configuration and management of  applications. One of the biggest challenge or pain point that Cloud administrators experience is around life cycle management of Openstack enabled Cloud environments.

To simplify the life cycle management of Openstack components, Openstack-helm project was started during the Barcelona Openstack Summit in 2016. In October 2017, Openstack-helm became an official Openstack Project.


What is Helm

Well, think of it as the apt-get / yum of Kubernetes, it is a package manager for Kubernetes. If you deploy applications to Kubernetes, Helm makes it incredibly easy to

  • version deployments
  • package deployments
  • make a release of it
  • and deploy, delete, upgrade and
  • even rollback those deployments

as “charts”.

“Charts” being the terminology that Helm uses for a package of configured Kubernetes resources.

What is Openstack-Helm ?

Openstack-Helm project enables deployment, maintenance and upgrades of loosely coupled Openstack services and its dependencies as kubernetes pods. The different components of Openstack like glance, keystone, nova, neutron, heat etc are deployed as kubernetes pods. More details about the openstack-helm charts can be found at:

OpenContrail Helm charts

Recently, OpenContrail components have been containerized. There are mainly three containers in Opencontrail –

  • OpenContrail Controller (config and control nodes)
  • OpenContrail Analytics (Analytics node)
  • OpenContrail Analytics DB (Analytics Database node)

There is now support for  OpenContrail Helm charts for deployment, maintenance, and upgrade of these  Opencontrail Container pods. The details on OpenContrail Helm charts can be found here:

The video below shows the integration of OpenContrail helm charts with Openstack-helm and how easy it is to upgrade OpenContrail using helm charts with minimal downtime for existing tenant workloads.


You can also see this at Openstack Sydney summit session on Tuesday 7th November at 5:50 pm.