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February 22, 2017

Ocata-bove the rest – OpenStack pushes containers in latest cloud release

OpenStack brings out the 15th version of the popular open source cloud infrastructure.

By James Nunns

OpenStack has released Ocata, the 15th version of its open source infrastructure software.

This release comes a short time after the 14th version, Newton, and is designed as a one-time thing, essentially to that improvements could be made regarding stabilisation, including scalability and performance of the core compute and networking services.

Although this release is focused on stabilisation, it does bring greater support for container-based application frameworks at the networking layer, in addition to the containerisation of OpenStack services, with the goal of making it easier to deploy and manage upgrades.

The outcome of this is that OpenStack is treated like a microservice application.

OpenStack, which dispelled the myth that containers could be the death of it, is now pushing ahead with its support for container-based application frameworks and deployment tools, and these are proving popular for developers.


Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director at OpenStack Foundation

Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director at OpenStack Foundation, told CBR: “The area where we saw new forward progress was around containers. I think it reflects the continued growth in maturity of the container ecosystem and market.”

Kolla, which is containerised OpenStack services, Kuryr, which bridges container networking and storage with OpenStack, and Zun, container management, have seen the most contributor growth in the release cycle.

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The continued interest in this area has led to a few enhancements being made. The latest version will see Magnum now supporting Mesosphere DC/OS as a cluster type and Kubernetes support now includes the new SUSE distribution.

Kolla support for Kubernetes has been added at the control plane, while Kuryr container networking service now supports Docker Swarm and the new Fuxi subproject of Kuryr is able to connect Cinder and Maila storage to container environments.

Bryce said: “Something that has been really interesting to watch as you look at tools like Kubernetes and Docker, great tools for developers that speed up processes, but most of them haven’t necessarily had to run an application as large and advanced as OpenStack.

“It’s been interesting to see how running OpenStack as a Kubernetes application has made OpenStack more robust and reliable on the control plane.”

Typically the release cycle for OpenStack is six months, but this was shortened to four in order to facilitate a shift in OpenStack’s annual schedule of development.

However, the organisation said that despite the condensed time there were still around 2,000 developers from 52 countries and 265 organisations contributing.

Aside from the container-based updates, Ocata will include a new Nova compute “placement” API that is designed to help users to allocate resources based on application needs.

Bryce said: “Some of the most important work is some of what the Nova team did. That’s been going on for about 18 months but for the first time it shows how every Nova environment is installed and run.”

Horizon dashboard now supports keystone-to0keystone federation as new os-profiler UI, this gives operators the ability to detect performance issues across OpenStack services. Ironic bare metal service has been given networking and driver enhancements, while the Zaqar messaging service has added Swift object storage as a backend so that an existing Swift cluster can be leveraged without deploying another MongoDB or Redis cluster.

Interest in OpenStack technology remains high, which is unsurprising consider its growing status as the de-facto for private clouds. This interest was recently highlighted by Fujitsu which has extended PRIMEFLEX for OpenStack with the SUSE OpenStack cloud.

Primeflex for OpenStack is designed to make it easy for customers to quickly evaluate and then deploy a private OpenStack cloud. The native integration of SUSE OpenStack Cloud is the first outcome of the strategic alliance between the two companies last year, which is focused on further developing cloud solutions, mission-critical support and future container technologies.

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