Kontron has done the integration work of OpenStack on SYMKLOUD hardware to demonstrate to IT operators how they could build their own private cloud environments more easily and more efficiently.

Typical OpenStack installations require up to nine (9) 1U servers to simply arrive at a redundant configuration of controllers, Neutron nodes, and a “deployer” node. To improve upon this, Kontron achieved the same set up in a single 2U enclosure for significant rack savings.


OpenStack and SYMKLOUD MS2910 Converged Platform


Kontron worked with the Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu OpenStack with the SYMKLOUD Series of MS2900 Intel®-based converged platforms. The hardware design of the MS2900 Platform Series is modular based and features nine (9) modular servers.

Note:  Ubuntu OpenStack licenses and support need to be purchased from Canonical.

Depending on the model, each modular server can host a one or two independent processors with dedicated storage and memory. And in one case, the MSP8040 Series, there is a single processor and room for most half-height, half-length PCIe modules to incorporate a range of composable technologies such as fast storage, FPGA, smart NICs and GPU (nVidia). The MS2900 platforms can be fully populated with the same modular servers or configured into a mix-and-match configuration; whatever meets the needs of the service use case(s).

Lastly, the nine modular servers are managed by two (2) modular, hot-swappable Broadcom-based switches that elegantly manage redundant data plane and control plane to all nodes. The MS2900 series are available with 1GbE, 10GbE, and 100GbE switch options.

How we configure SYMKLOUD for OpenStack
SYMKLOUD is mapped out in the following configuration:

  • 1x Modular Server for the Juju / MAAS deployer tools
  • 3x Modular Servers for redundant OpenStack Controllers
  • 2x Modular Servers for redundant Neutron (networking) Nodes
  • Up to 3x Modular Servers left to act as computes resources (VMs)
  • For additional compute nodes, one can deploy additional MS2900s or other Kontron or 3rd party commodity cloud servers and storage.

Open source cloud provisioning is a disruptive way to always benefit from the continuous efforts of the developer community and streamline the orchestration of a scalable range of virtual machines (VMs) and even bare metal installations (via the Ironic project). But, as most DIYers will attest, the overall software components are complicated and are not easy to make all work in concert across certain hardware.

As a hardware vendor (we are part ODM, part integrator) Kontron took on the mission to help the service provider and enterprise community realize the advantages of open source cloud provisioning sooner, rather than later. The SYMKLOUD OpenStack Platform is the simplest answer to overcoming that major hurdle – getting it all to work properly.

And what about the OpenStack releases?
SYMKLOUD hardware currently supports the Canonical the Canonical LTS 18.01 release based on Queens. To ensure line-rate performance, Kontron supports the 6WIND DPDK Virtual Accelerator (Juju Charm).

Who could use the SYMKLOUD Platforms for OpenStack?
Good question. So, it is ideal for anyone who builds private and/or public clouds. While the enterprise client is a prime candidate, another major focus is on the Kontron initiatives the telco space to help service providers across the globe to take the important first steps to transitioning their carrier grade networks into one gradually built into a virtualized and software defined network using network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN).

OpenStack is the defacto cloud provisioning layer within NFV infrastructure for operators to run their services as virtual network functions (VNFs). It is at this juncture that Kontron continues to work with an array of VNF vendors to test and build reference solutions in the Kontron SYMLAB test environment so that operators can consider new potential solutions for lab trials and eventual deployment.

To name just a few, Kontron and VNF partners developed use cases that include virtualized session border controllers (vSBCs), virtualized policy and charging rules function (vPCRF), video delivery and deep packet inspection (DPI)/security.

The door is open to operators – the freedom to choose
Service providers see the value in open source as a means to run what applications they want and need to run in the most efficient way without having to suffer the limitations of any particular vendor lock-in strategy.

The strategy behind the SYMKLOUD MS2900 series is to provide the highest level of hardware integration and flexibility via a modular design. This changes the entire concept of how services can be deployed: make an entire system dedicated to just one high-density service, or conversely, take an entirely mix-and-match approach to assembly multiple 3rd party services (VNFs) across the same MS2900 platform or a stack of MS2900 platforms in a single rack.

A major commitment to open source 
In its mission to simplify the evaluating and deploying of production-grade OpenStack platforms, Kontron is not stopping at OpenStack. The next logical step is its recently introduced SYMKLOUD Kubernetes/Docker Platform – also based on a Canonical Distribution – for enterprises and communication service providers to run on-demand types of services across scalable containers.

No one vendor can do everything, which is why Kontron is continually increasing its role in the open source community. Kontron recently joined the Linux Foundation and the Linux Networking Fund (LNF) to support the work already done within certain projects such as OPNFV and to commence new ones such as ONAP.

The end goal remains the same: to enable developers to rapidly test and deploy new services on common, scalable infrastructure readily available for end customers to efficiently integrate various tools and open source software.


IPMItool is a simple Linux command-line tool used to communicate with IPMI-enabled devices. It provides remote management, sensor and FRU information. It can also be used to update firmwares if supported by the device. The following binaries are optimized for Kontron’s products and are based on the open source version found on Sourceforge.


Helping service providers roll out new services using Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies.

Simplifying automation for private/public cloud deployments in hours, not days.

Providing cable, CSPs and digital Pay-TV operators more efficient ways to deliver media content using GPU and FPGA architectures via VMs or bare metal.