OpenStack Rocky, the 18th version of the most widely deployed open source cloud infrastructure software, brings dozens of enhancements for operators, driven by real-world use cases and user feedback. Two key highlights are refinements to Ironic, the bare metal provisioning project, and improvements to the upgrade process.
To support emerging use cases like edge computing, network functions virtualization (NFV) and machine learning, enterprises are moving beyond virtualization to deploy containers directly on bare metal. Enterprises are starting to deploy containers directly on bare metal in addition to virtual machines. OpenStack bare metal clouds, powered by Ironic, lay the foundation for this hybrid environment.
Enhancements to Ironic in this release include user-managed BIOS settings, the introduction of "conductor groups" to isolate nodes, and a new RAMDisk deployment interface. These features increase user options and architecture flexibility, letting users customize bare metal for their performance and use case needs.
The Rocky release also brings improvements to the OpenStack upgrade process. The TripleO project introduced Fast Forward Upgrades (FFU) as a beta in Queens, and with a development cycle of user testing and corresponding adjustments, the FFU feature is ready for prime time. FFU lets users, who are N-3 releases back, quickly move through intermediary versions to get up to Queens and beyond.
The Application Credentials feature from Keystone has been added to the Horizon dashboard, letting users create a unique set of credentials for an application.
User-managed BIOS settings—BIOS (basic input output system) performs hardware initialization, and has many configuration options that support a variety of use cases when customized. Options can help users gain performance, configure power management options, or enable technologies like SR-IOV or DPDK. Ironic now lets users manage BIOS settings, supporting use cases like NFV and giving users more flexibility.
Conductor groups—In Ironic, the "conductor" is what uses drivers to execute operations on the hardware. Ironic has introduced the ‘conductor-group’ property, which can be used to restrict what nodes a particular conductor (or conductors) have control over. This allows users to isolate nodes based on physical location, reducing network hops for increased security and performance.
RAMDisk deployment interface--A new interface in Ironic for diskless deployments. This is seen in large-scale and HPC use cases when operators desire fully ephemeral instances or standing up a large-scale environment.
Magnum, a project that makes container orchestration engines and their resources first class resources in OpenStack, has become a Certified Kubernetes installer in the Rocky cycle. Passing these conformance tests gives users confidence that Magnum interacts with Kubernetes as it is expected to.
Octavia, the load balancing project, adds support for UDP. UDP is the transport layer frequently seen in voice, video, and other real-time applications, bringing load balancing to edge and IoT use cases.
Masakari, which provides automatic recovery from failures to support high availability, expands its monitoring capabilities to include internal failures in an instance, such as a hung OS, data corruption, or a scheduling failure.
The Cyborg project provides lifecycle management for accelerators like GPUs, FPGA, DPDK, and SSDs. Cyborg introduces a new REST API for FPGAs––an accelerator seen in machine learning, image recognition, and other HPC use cases––in Rocky, letting users dynamically change the functions loaded on an FPGA device.
The Rocky release introduces the 1.0 release of Qinling, a function-as-a-service (FaaS) project. Qinling delivers serverless capabilities on top of OpenStack clouds, allowing users to run functions on OpenStack clouds without managing servers, VMs, or containers, while still connecting to other OpenStack services like Keystone.
To see more release highlights from the project teams, visit the Release Highlights page. Learn more about individual OpenStack Projects in the Project Navigator, and get the full view of OpenStack with the Project Map.