The OpenStack Blog

OpenStack Announces Cactus Release

With the availability of the Cactus release of OpenStack today the momentum and progress of the project continues to grow. A tremendous amount of effort and contribution from the large, and growing, community has added significant features, fixed a lot of bugs, and debated and discussed many technical issues. I am impressed with the progress that has been made since the Bexar release just 10 weeks ago and believe the projects and code are tracking to fill the promise of being the ubiquitous, open source cloud solution.

New features in Nova (OpenStack Compute) include:

  • Two additional virtualization technologies: LXC containers and VMWare/vSphere ESX / ESXi 4.1, Update 1. Driven by a common compute control infrastructure (Nova) this brings the options for OpenStack host virtualization to 8 (adding to Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, QEMU, UML, Xen, and Citrix XenServer).
  • Live Migration support for KVM-based systems landed in the Cactus release; it is now possible to move running VMs from one physical host to another without a shut down.
  • Lots of new features were added to XenServer support: network and file injection, IPv6 support, instance resize and rescue, network QoS, and VM instance parameters.
  • The OpenStack Compute API version 1.0 is available, with the OpenStack Compute API version 1.1 marked as “experimental” for Cactus. The intent is to finalize the 1.1 API at the Diablo design summit and have it complete and stable in the Diablo release. Multi-tenant accounting support was added to OpenStack API, allowing multiple accounts (projects) and admin API access to create accounts & users.
  • The OpenStack Compute API version 1.1 supports a standardized extension mechanism, this allow developers to innovate more quickly by adding extensions to their local OpenStack installations ahead of the code being accepted by the OpenStack community as a whole;
  • Nova can now start instances from VHD images that include customer data and kernel in one unified image.
  • Volume backend support has been enhanced; Nova now supports volumes residing on HP SANs and Solaris iSCSI devices.
  • Continued work on feature uniformity and parity across network types and hypervisors; IPv6 is now supported in all network modes, including FlatManager and VlanNetworkManager. Basic network injection is now supported under XenAPI.
  • Multi-cluster region support, which allows administrators to manage servers in clusters, and create fault zones and availability zones.

New features in Glance (OpenStack Image Registry and Delivery) include:

  • New command line interface tool (aptly-named “glance”) that allows direct access to Glance services through the API.
  • Support for multiple image formats through a new disk_format and container_format metadata definition.
  • Uploaded images can now be verified against a client-provided checksum, to ensure the integrity of the transfer.

New features in Swift (OpenStack Object Storage) include:

  • The option to serve static website content directly from a Swift installation using container listings in index.html displays. Swift will automatically translate requests to possible /index.html resolutions, where the index.html display is configurable per container.
  • To more quickly detect errors for often-served files, Swift now performs content checksum validation during object GET actions.
  • Performance of many request types has been improved through a refactoring of the Swift Proxy Server.
  • To avoid slowdowns for common operations when deleted items build up over time, Swift now has improved indexing of the SQLite databases for account and container listing and tracking.
  • An enhanced authentication system (SWauth) is available.
  • The ability to collect and serve data that enables integration of service provider billing solutions or internal chargebacks.

In addition to the work done on the project code, there have been several other things happening to improve the state of OpenStack. Primary amongst these was the election of Project Team Leaders for the three current OpenStack projects… Congratulations to Vish Ishaya (vishy) [Nova], John Dickinson (notmyname) [Swift], and Jay Pipes (jaypipes) [Glance] as new PTL’s, they also join the OpenStack Project Policy Board.

The OpenStack Project Policy Board also had elections, with 5 board members holding elected seats. These are Thierry Carrez (ttx), Rick Clark (dendrobates), Eric Day (eday), Soren Hansen (soren), and Ewan Mellor (ewanmellor). Congratulations folks!

OpenStack has defined a process for bringing in new projects, both as core projects and those that are being incubated.  (See http://wiki.openstack.org/Governance/Approved/NewProjectProcess). The initial incubation project is “Burrow”, a simple queuing service for OpenStack being led by Eric Day (eday). At the upcoming Diablo Design Summit I expect several more projects to be proposed for incubation; including Load Balancing and Database Services.

The Diablo Design Summit is setting up to be the most dynamic and content-filled summit to date! The entire week is completely filled with attendees and items for discussion. While ttx and the PTL’s are busy scheduling all the sessions here are a few of the highlights:

  • Network as a Service. In order to fulfill the vision of OpenStack as a secure cloud infrastructure with the ability to federate across clouds it is imperative that the underlying network support isolation, federation, and the ability to manage these topologies. The NaaS discussion has many important participants working hard to collaborate on this very technical set of issues.
  • Volume services. Extending the initial Nova volume management for richer block storage solutions.
  • Additional machine types (GPU accelerators, larger multi-core processor systems).
  • Consistent authentication and authorization across OpenStack projects.
  • Multi-zone support, intra-data center and federation across data centers.
  • Project management discussions.
  • Stability and QA automation. A key theme of the Diablo release will be to automate the build and test infrastructure for OpenStack to ensure that trunk is always runnable. With the proliferation of virtualization architectures, machine architectures, and service options this will be a key element to success of the project.
  • Complete and stable OpenStack version 1.1 API.
  • Target large scale service provider deployments, with proof of concepts happening in large OpenStack contributor sites.

A job well done to all of the folks that contributed and made the Cactus release come together and get released. I will see all of you at the Design Summit in Santa Clara and look forward to the discussions around the Diablo release and the future of OpenStack!

Lastly, the OpenStack Project Team Leaders are hosting a Webinar on Tuesday April 19th at 3:00 pm CST. More information at http://www.openstack.org/blog/2011/04/openstack-cactus-webinar/.

John
Director, OpenStack@Rackspace

Category: Communication, Development | Tags: , , , 32 comments »

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