The OpenStack Bexar Release

It has been an intense and productive three months since OpenStack unveiled the initial “Austin” release to the world. We have had code contributions from 130 developers and have added over 30 new features to the project for the “Bexar” release. The project has matured in the processes for managing and tracking milestone targets, with the Bexar release coming together smoothly and without hiccups with our new release manager.

For Bexar here is what you can expect to see:

OpenStack Object Storage (Swift)

  • Large objects (greater than 5 GB) can now be stored using OpenStack Object Storage. Introducing the concepts of client-side chunking and segmentation now allows virtually unlimited object sizes, limited only by the size of the cluster it is being stored into.
  • An experimental S3 compatibility middleware has been added to OpenStack Object Storage.
  • Swauth is a Swift compatible authentication and authorization service implemented on top of Swift. This allows the authorization system to scale as well as the underlying storage system and will replace the existing dev_auth service in a future release.

OpenStack Compute (Nova)

  • Support for raw disk images for hypervisors that are libvirt compatible (such as KVM) and XenAPI hypervisors.
  • IPv6 support in all network modes but FlatManager. Support for the remaining network mode will come in the “Cactus” release.
  • Support for a lot of new virtual volume backends to provide highly available block volumes for virtual machines: Sheepdog, CEPH/RADOS, and iSCSI (XenAPI only).
  • Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor is supported.
  • Lots of new features have been added around the Openstack API, for example admin features to pause, suspend, lock, and password reset instances.
  • New “rescue” mode allows an instance to mount affected disks and fix problems.
  • Web-based serial console to access instances where networking fails is available through the OpenStack API.
  • Database versioning and migration support, for painless migration from one version to another.
  • Instances now use copy-on-write by default for better performance.
  • Support for availability zones, through the introduction of a new scheduler: ZoneScheduler.

OpenStack Image Registry and Delivery service (Glance)

  • Glance APIs (for registry and delivery) were unified, and a specific client class created.
  • Support for uploading disk images directly through the Glance REST-ful API.
  • Addition of the glance-upload tool which can register new AMI-like images or raw disk images.
  • Glance can now fetch image data on a S3-like backend as well as from Swift.
  • Documentation for Glance is now available at

Looking forward to the “Cactus” release.

The “Bexar” release introduced and completed a lot of features in the project. For the next release, Cactus, we will focus even more on stability and deployability, better preparing OpenStack for really large, carrier-grade installations.

This is not to say there will not be exciting features also being completed in this milestone. Current blueprints include:

  • Support for VMware ESX & ESXi hypervisors.
  • Support for Linux container virtualization through support for OpenVZ and LXC (Linux Containers).
  • Additional disk and appliance formats supported in Glance.
  • Disk and appliance format conversion support in Glance.
  • Live migration of instances (just missed the Bexar release!)
  • Features and operational elements availability via XenAPI by Rackspace in preparation for large scale deployment.
  • Performance and scaling improvements in Swift.
  • Internationalization and localization in Swift.

And these are just the highlights!

There has also been a lot of discussion on IRC and the mailing list about extending the Nova Volume and Network controllers and providing public API’s to these services. We should expect to see more discussion and specific blueprints coming in shortly.

In addition to the direct planning for “Cactus” and follow-on “Diablo” releases there has been a handful of submissions to the Project Oversight Committee (POC); these include considering the process for adding core developers to projects, image format support, and overall charter for the near term (2011) of the OpenStack project. We have gotten our feet wet with our governance process, made some adjustments, and expect to see more activity by the POC as we continue to guide and define the OpenStack project.

Getting to this point with Swift and Nova has been a tremendous amount of effort, everyone involved is to be commended. Looking forward we will continue to execute on delivering project milestones but at the same time start to introduce and discuss longer term visions and roadmaps for this project. There is consistent community feedback that in addition to understanding the current project as scoped a longer term view needs to be communicated. This will introduce new projects, new opportunities for the community to contribute, and greater value and impact of the OpenStack project in the cloud industry. I am looking forward to the discussions, debates, and projects this will spark.



  1.  OpenStack is Ready to Deploy With ‘Bexar’ Code Release
  2.  OpenStack Weekly Newsletter (January 29 – February 4) — The OpenStack Blog
  3.  OpenStack, Canonical Paving More Routes to the Cloud: Cloud Computing News «
  4.  A Big Step Forward for OpenStack | Cloudscaling
  5.  OpenStack Bexar Release: What Makes It Interesting? | Krishworld
  6.  XCP 1.0 released –
  7.  Here comes Xen Cloud Platform 1.0 « Virtual Internet Blog
  8. Unveils Ultimate Cloud Development Environment with First Xen Cloud Platform Release | Coretek Services

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