OpenStack announced the release of "Essex," the fifth version of the open-source cloud operating system that offers users a pluggable platform.
has announced Essex, the fifth version of its community-driven, open-source
cloud operating system, with a focus on quality, usability and extensibility
across enterprise, service provider and high-performance computing (HPC)
The OpenStack Essex news comes just days after Citrix
announced its plans for the next version of its CloudStack
cloud platform, which the company submitted to the Apache Software Foundation
(ASF) and itself became a sponsor of ASF.
Speaking of sponsorships, GigaOm reported
that IBM and Red Hat are poised to lend
their substantial might behind the OpenStack open-source cloud project at the
upcoming OpenStack Spring 2012 conference.
OpenStack Essex enables users to leverage pools of
on-demand, self-managed compute, storage and networking resources to build
efficient, automated private and public cloud infrastructures.
Moreover, illustrating the power of community-driven
software development, the Essex release was written by over 200 developers from
55 different companies. Essex delivers user-requested features for improved
automation, integration across projects, and central management and
provisioning by leveraging OpenStack's pluggable architecture. The Essex
development cycle included an earlier feature freeze and an extensive testing
phase before release, resulting in greater stability and reliability, and Essex
will also be included in the next Ubuntu 12.04 long-term support release.
There have been more than 100,000 downloads from openstack.org
with production cloud environments deployed around the globe. Essex adds new
features and better project integration across the three pillars of compute, storage
and networking. Essex also marks the first full release of two new projects,
Dashboard and Identity, which provide additional infrastructure and support
across the three pillars. With a focus on quality, usability and extensibility
across the projects, Essex adds about 150 new features.
Among the new updates to the system is the new OpenStack
Compute feature, code-named Nova, which, along with the new Dashboard and
Identity features, focuses on stability and integration. It includes
enhancements to feature parity among the Tier 1 hypervisorsmaking it a
seamless user experience across each hypervisorimproved authorization and live
migration with multihost networking. There were also contributions to support
high-performance computing and additional block storage options, including
support for Nexenta, SolidFire and NetApp storage solutions.
The new OpenStack Object Storage feature, code-named Swift,
delivers new capabilities to improve compliance and data security with the
ability to expire objects according to document retention policies, more
protections against corruption and degradation of data, and sophisticated
disaster recovery improvements. There are also new capabilities important to
service providers, including the ability to upload data directly from an
authenticated Web page and the ability to restrict the maximum number of
containers per account.
The new OpenStack Dashboard, code-named Horizon, is the
first full release of OpenStack Dashboard. It provides administrators and users
with the ability to access, provision and automate cloud-based resources
through a self-service portal. The extensible design makes it easy to plug in
and expose third-party products and services, such as monitoring. Right
alongside it is the new OpenStack Identity, code-named Keystone, which is the
first full release of OpenStack Identity, and it unifies all core projects of
the cloud operating system with a common authentication system. The technology
provides authorization for multiple log-in credentials, including
username/password, token-based and Amazon Web Services (AWS) style log-ins.
Rounding out the major new and enhanced features is
OpenStack Image Service, code-named Glance, which gains several key updates to
improve usability, authorization and image protection.
The Essex release represents an exciting time for both
OpenStack users and for NetApp as it marks a significant step forward in the
flexibility of the platform and our first contribution to the community, said
Jeff ONeal, senior director of the Solutions Integration Group at NetApp, in a
statement. With NetApp technology integrated into OpenStack Compute, users
will be able to build on a storage platform that delivers a unique array of
storage efficiency technologies, data replication features, fault tolerance,
and high availability to help reduce costs and enable users to get the most out
of their private and public cloud architectures. We're thrilled to take part in
the OpenStack maturation process and help build a wave of production
deployments combining OpenStack and NetApp.
OpenStack is looking beyond Essex. For instance, Project
Quantum, led by Nicira, Cisco, Citrix, Midokura and Rackspace, was incubated
during the Essex release and aims to provide an automated framework for
managing data center network activities. Quantum is a plug-in-based service
that manages common network administrative tasks, from creating ports and
routes to configuring VLANs. Many users have been deploying OpenStack clouds
with the Quantum networking service during the incubation phase, and Quantum is
expected to become a core part of OpenStack in the Folsom release expected
"We've been working with OpenStack for about 15 months,
and we're pleased to see how the AUTHORS file keeps growing with every release,
Juan J. Martinez, lead OpenStack developer at Memset, said in a statement. The
number of people contributing code is a fine indicator of good health,
supported by the excellent management of the elected technical leaders and the
best development practices that translate into lots of fixed bugs, improvements
and new functionalities. We're confident that we made the right decision
committing resources to include OpenStack in our business strategy."
"The Essex release shows tremendous evolution and improvement
of the most critical components of OpenStack, said Josh McKenty, founder and
CEO of Piston Cloud Computing, in a statement. Most notably, the Keystone
authentication and authorization service, which was extensively revamped to
enable easier and more collaborative development. The community also really
rallied around improving the level of integration between the various OpenStack
sub-projects. Finally, major enhancements to the modularity of core OpenStack
projects (including Horizon) will make it possible for rapid development of
tightly integrated plugins without impacting the project as a whole."
The spring 2012 OpenStack Design Summit & Conference
taking place April 16-20 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The Design Summit
will bring together more than 400 OpenStack developers and key contributors to
determine the roadmap for the Folsom release. Conference keynote
presentations will be given by HP, Canonical, Nebula and Rackspace, and the
event will feature presentations from OpenStack users, including Deutsche
Telekom, San Diego Supercomputer Center, eBays X.commerce, Department of
Energy Magellan and NeCTAR.