Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8 Improves Cloud Manageability

The new cloud platform update integrates management capabilities and benefits from partner offerings including one from Dell.


Red Hat released today OpenStack Platform 8, providing users of its commercially supported cloud technology with new features and integrated cloud management capabilities. The OSP 8 release is also at the core of the new Dell Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Version 5.0 update debuting today, a co-engineered offering with a reference hardware architecture.

Red Hat OSP 8 is based on the OpenStack Liberty milestone release that first debuted in October 2015 and not the more recent OpenStack Mitaka milestone that was released on April 7.

The plan is for Red Hat OSP 9, based on Mitaka, to be released this summer, according to Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of virtualization and OpenStack at Red Hat.

Among the big changes in the upstream OpenStack community that occurred during the Liberty release cycle is a move to a model known as the "Big Tent." With the Big Tent, more cloud projects are included under the OpenStack "tent," providing many different types of capabilities. Although the definition of OpenStack expanded with the Big Tent to include more projects, Red Hat OSP 8 isn't officially adding any new projects to what was included in the OSP 7 release in 2015.

"We have a very strict process for component graduation to ensure that projects and features are production-grade before we add them to our products," Balakrishnan told eWEEK. "The first step is to make the projects available in RDO, our community-based distribution of OpenStack; then, once integration is complete, ensure that it meets our maturity criteria before announcing them in technology preview in Red Hat OSP, before making them fully supported."

That said, there are three new projects—the OpenStack Trove database-as-a-service, Manila file-sharing-as-a-service and Rally performance testing framework projects—included in OSP 8 as technology previews, according to Balakrishnan.

Another technology preview debuting in OSP 8 is an OpenDaylight (ODL) plug-in networking feature. OpenDaylight is an open-source effort that is building a software-defined networking (SDN) platform.

"ODL is being included as a technology preview feature in OSP 8 to get customer and ecosystem feedback," Balakrishnan said.

Balakrishnan added that OSP has multiple certified commercial SDN solutions from partners including Cisco ACI, Nuage, Juniper Contrail, PLUMgrid, Midokura and Brocade. Currently, Red Hat doesn't have any plans to offer ODL as a stand-alone solution, he added.

Getting OpenStack up and running is improved in the OSP 8 update, thanks to the OpenStack Platform Director. Balakrishnan explained that the Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director is a toolset for installing and managing the "Day 1" tasks of a complete OpenStack environment. It is based primarily on the OpenStack project TripleO, which is an abbreviation for "OpenStack-On-OpenStack."

"This project [TripleO] takes advantage of OpenStack components to install a fully operational OpenStack environment," Balakrishnan said.

From a migration perspective, the OSP 8 milestone is an important one as it is the first that will enable easier upgrades to future releases of OpenStack.

"Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8 is the first version of a production-ready OpenStack offering that supports an in-place upgrade from version 7 to version 8 as well as, in the future, from version 8 to version 9," Balakrishnan said.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.