OpenStack

If you’re an OpenStack user, or even if you’ve been thinking of migrating or building a new solution, then the April 2016 release of the thirteenth iteration of this enterprise cloud solution will be good news. Dubbed Mitaka, the latest OpenStack release focuses on management for operators, increased usability, and, as always, scalability as our products continue to grow ever larger and more complex.

Along with the expected performance boosts, deployment is now made easier too, through default configuration settings elicited from some of OpenStack’s biggest customers.

OpenStack is comprised of a number of projects – over 40 and counting, so let’s see where some of the major project.t changes have been made in this latest full release.

What’s New in Networking – Neutron Project

OpenStack’s network as a service project, Neutron, is the core networking technology that the cloud platform relies upon to provide on-demand, reliable, scalable networks for other OpenStack projects while under a high system load. Neutron is able to be plugged in with various networking technologies.

A new project, Kuryr, adds bridging between Neutron and container framework networking models, making networking between the two a case of mapping.

Neutron adds improved performance when it comes to security groups, with a new OpenFlow based firewall driver, and the ‘Get me a network!’ feature where private tenant networks have been streamlined making instances with simple connectivity much easier to launch.

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What’s New in Block Storage – Cinder Project

Cinder is the OpenStack project with a focus on persistent block storage in volumes for guest machines.

Traditionally, upgrades to Cinder services have required a fair chunk of downtime to dedicate to upgrades, as everything needed to be done at once, however in the Mitaka release, Cinder have an update that now allows for rolling upgrades where all components are still operational, which significantly reduces, if not eliminates, downtimes.

Cinder has also introduced a new backup feature; whereby backup volume snapshots are decoupled from the storage volumes, enabling scaling and separate storage on other nodes.

What’s New in Object Storage – Swift Project

OpenStack’s object storage project, Swift, allows for scalable, durable object storage and retrieval in the cloud all via a simple, RESTful interface.

One new update in Swift is the fast post mechanism, which allows for fast updates of object meta-data without having to make a copy of the object itself. Then there’s the availability of the encryption at rest object storage, which helps to provide better security for enterprise users.

And finally, IPv6 is supported again, after the difficulties encountered in the previous release of OpenStack.

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What’s New in Compute – Nova Project

Nova is all about compute instance management, which includes scheduling of resources, spawning instances and taking machines off task.

In the Mitaka update, Nova has seen signification changes revolving around live migration, including the ability to pause or cancel a live migration, and show status reports on the migration itself.

The Cells V2 database implementation allows for scalability, especially in the Nova message queue and database.

Performance tweaks see added support for virtual network functions, real time KVM, and configurable thread placement policies.

New Projects

OpenStack has also become more “open” as it were. In the previous release, the guys at OpenStack forged a way forward that was to include more projects that fit into the OpenStack ethos and ecosystem into the core project itself.

Mitaka sees the inclusion of over 10 new projects in this release, including Freezer, a backup and recovery service, and Senlin, a clustering service, among others.

Other existing projects with big updates include Designate, Octavia, and Glance, so make sure to check out all the latest changes over at OpenStack for more info!

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