Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 Delivers Long-Term Support

VANCOUVER, B.C.—The Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 release was officially announced here on May 21, bringing along with it new features and expanded support for the open-source cloud platform.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Mark McLoughlin, senior director of engineering for OpenStack at Red Hat, details what's new in the release and what is set to come in the next release. Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 is based on the upstream OpenStack Queens release that first became generally available on Feb. 28.

"The key thing for the OpenStack Platform 13 release is that it is a long life release," McLoughlin said.

The last long life release for Red Hat OpenStack Platform was the December 2016 OSP 10. New releases of OpenStack debut every six months in the open-source community, which Red Hat picks up as well. Red Hat labels every third upstream OpenStack release for long-term support, providing three years of commercial support that can be extended up to five years, if needed by a customer.

McLoughlin emphasized that a key part of Red Hat's long-term support strategy is to support an upgrade path that enables users of the OSP 10 release to upgrade to OSP 13. He noted that in the community, currently the general upgrade path is from one release to the next immediate release.

There was some work done in the OpenStack Queens release cycle with the Nova compute project to support what the community refers to as fast forward upgrades that enable updates from older releases. In OSP 13, Red Hat has done broader work to support OpenStack upgrades that make use of the Triple-O (OpenStack-on-OpenStack) project that serves as the basis for the Red Hat Director product, which enables OpenStack cloud deployment and migration, he said.

"The difficult part of upgrading an OpenStack cluster is that you have workloads running on compute nodes, and you need to reboot those compute nodes," McLoughlin explained. 

Even with up to five years of support, some large Red Hat customers are already asking for even longer term support.

"I think that's a real sign of OpenStack's maturity that customers are thinking at the long term and looking for us to support them," McLoughlin said.


The next release of OpenStack is code-named Rocky and is scheduled to be released in August. While there are many enhanced capabilities set to land in the upcoming OpenStack release, for Red Hat, the key theme is about containers.

"For the Rocky release, we want to make OpenStack the best place to run OpenShift, essentially Kubernetes and OpenStack integration, and that's really the big challenge that we're asking all of our teams to think about," McLoughlin said.

Watch the full video with Mark McLoughlin above. 

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.