The Growing Diversity inside OpenStack Object Storage

Of all OpenStack projects, Object Storage (also known as Swift) has always been considered mature or, in other words, a place where new things rarely happen. I’ve always been looking at the Object Storage project closely and I’m happy to report a lot of exciting things are happening in Swift, specifically around the community participation and growing ecosystem.

The total number of contributors to OpenStack Object Storage reached 136 with as many as 16 different people committing code in a single week of July 2013. Of those, 64 have participated in the Havana cycle, 30 of whom are new contributors to Swift. The charts show a very good upward trending curve for the total authors per week, different people filing new bugs (the Closers/Openers chart) and variety of people filing, triaging, setting priority and fixing bugs (the Changers chart). The top contributors (by patch count) are from 6 different companies: SwiftStack, Red Hat, Rackspace, United Stack, IBM, and eNovance.

Features are also growing: in Havana we’ll get global clusters. This allows deployers to build a single Swift storage system that spans a wide geographic area. For example, a deployer can build a Swift storage cluster that keeps different replicas in different regions for either DR or for low-latency regional access. SwiftStack, SoftLayer, and Mirantis all contributed into the global clusters feature. More details on what’s coming are on the CHANGELOG. Get to the Summit in Hong Kong to hear how Concur set up their global Swift cluster.

More new and cool features are also coming: SwiftStack, Box, and Intel are working on an erasure coding storage policy. Rackspace is working on improving replication. Red Hat is working on making Swift’s interface to storage volumes more dynamic. Work has started on this functionality and will be a major topic of discussion in Hong Kong.

Because of this broad base of contributors, the major feature development addressing real-world use cases, and the proven performance at scale, OpenStack Object Storage is being widely deployed and is powering some of the world’s largest storage clouds. I’m tremendously excited about Swift’s progress and its future trajectory.

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