OpenStack Cloud OS Project Rolls Out Bexar Edition, New Partners

OpenStack, the open-source cloud-operating-system project that's backed by NASA and Rackspace, released OpenStack "Bexar" with support for IPv6, internationalization and more hypervisors.

OpenStack, the open-source cloud-computing platform, announced its second release of a cloud operating system on Feb. 3. Code-named "Bexar," the release focused on solidifying the code base to make it more stable and introduced enterprise-friendly features, according to OpenStack.

With Bexar, organizations will find it easier to install OpenStack to create public and private clouds similar to services offered by Amazon Web Services, Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the OpenStack project oversight committee and co-founder of the Rackspace Cloud, told eWEEK.

Users will be able to pre-install and create application environments and create additional copies as needed, he said. Rackspace and NASA jointly launched OpenStack last July to create a vendor-neutral platform that would allow customers to move from one cloud service provider to another without being locked in.

The initial "Austin" release in October included OpenStack Compute for provisioning and managing cloud servers and OpenStack ObjectStorage, a cloud-based file system, based on Rackspace's Cloud Files service, Bryce said. Internap's XIPCloud Storage service launched Jan. 18 was the first major deployment outside of Rackspace.

Bexar was released on the same day the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority distributed the final five blocks of IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses to the regional Internet registries. With IT managers thinking about the IPv6 transition, it is timely that one of the major features in Bexar is a dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) implementation for built-in IPv6 support in OpenStack Compute, said Bryce. IPv6 support was provided by a NTT, a Japanese telecommunications giant.

IPv6 support was previously announced when Internap deployed ZIPCloud Service, along with changes to the storage object sizes in OpenStack ObjectStorage. Previously in the Austin version, ObjectStorage had a 5GB object size limit, but this limit has been removed in Bexar, said Bryce. Object sizes are now limited only by the system storage capacity, he said. ObjectStorage also supports concurrent uploads, where large files are broken up into smaller chunks, uploaded to the cloud and then reassembled in the cloud, said Bryce.

The new release also adds support for eight international languages, so that implementers get messages back in their own language, Bryce said. Partner contributed code to add support for Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology, which expanded OpenStack's list of supported hypervisors. The platform already supported Red Hat's KVM and Citrix Systems' XenServer.

Step-by-step guides on how to get started with OpenStack Compute and OpenStack ObjectStore have been completed and are now available at, OpenStack said.

Work on the next release, code-named Cactus and expected in April, is already under way. Support for live migration of virtual machines in a cloud environment was intended for Bexar but is now planned for Cactus, Bryce said. Cactus will have new tools to simplify management and also include features to make it robust enough for large-scale deployments at telecommunications companies and service providers, Bryce said. Support for VMware's ESX Server is also expected later this year, according to OpenStack.

Along with the Bexar release, OpenStack announced Cisco Systems, Canonical, Extreme Networks and Grid Dynamics as new partners. Cisco is expected to contribute code that will make it easier for customers to configure Cisco switches in the OpenStack environment. Canonical has committed to shipping OpenStack with the server version of Ubuntu Linux 11.04, expected in April.

Code-named Natty Narwhal, the new Ubuntu release will support both OpenStack and Eucalyptus, another open-source cloud platform, according to Mark Shutterworth, Canonical's CEO. Eucalpytus has built-in support for Amazon Web Services. "We'll have to see how they shake out from a competitive perspective," he said in a video on Dell's Website.

Dell, another partner, provides customized hardware for customers interested in hyperscale environments. Customers can take "the optimized hardware from Dell and the optimized code from OpenStack" and run it inside Dell's modular data centers for the most "efficient implementation," Barton George, cloud-computing and scale-out evangelist at Dell's Data Center Solutions division, told eWEEK. The PowerEdge C6100 servers will be optimized for OpenStack deployments, he said. Dell also ships Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud software, based on Eucalyptus, on the PowerEdge C servers.

It's time to take the "learning to the next level" by putting Dell servers with OpenStack in customer environments to "see real-life use cases," Joseph George, senior cloud-solutions strategist at Dell Data Center Solutions, told eWEEK.