The OpenStack community has released Ocata, the 15th version of the most widely deployed open source infrastructure software. The Ocata release cycle was a one-time, shorter cycle focused on stabilization, including scalability and performance of the core compute and networking services. Ocata also brought greater support for container-based application frameworks at the networking layer, as well as containerization of OpenStack services for easier deployment and upgrade management, treating OpenStack as a microservice application.
During this release cycle, the OpenStack community has witnessed the growing multi-cloud trend, where enterprises are employing a more sophisticated workload allocation strategy across public and private clouds. In particular, OpenStack users are seeing significant cost savings and compliance benefits with OpenStack private clouds. A new model of remotely managed private clouds has also emerged that makes it easier for users to experience the benefits of public cloud in an environment dedicated to them.
OpenStack continues to grow its support for container-based application frameworks and deployment tools, with Kolla (containerized OpenStack services), Kuryr (bridging container networking and storage with OpenStack) and Zun (container management) projects seeing the most contributor growth in the release cycle. Other container-related enhancements include:
- Magnum now supports Mesosphere DC/OS as a cluster type and Kubernetes support now includes the new SUSE distribution
- Kolla support for Kubernetes at the control plane
- Kuryr container networking service now supports Docker Swarm
- The new Fuxi (“FOO-si”) subproject of Kuryr connects Cinder and Manila storage to container environments
“A year ago, people thought containers might be the death of OpenStack,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, “but they were actually a new source of momentum for the cloud platform. Using container orchestration frameworks to run OpenStack like an application makes it easier to operate. That means it takes fewer people to run the cloud, making OpenStack a more accessible and practical option to those running at smaller scale.”
The Ocata development cycle was shortened to four months (as compared to the typical six-month release cycle) to facilitate a shift in OpenStack’s annual schedule of development. Despite the condensed timeframe, the 50+ project teams that contributed to the Ocata release (comprising approximately 2,000 developers from 52 countries and 265 organizations) have contributed significantly to the software’s stability, maturity and performance at scale. There were many updates across the OpenStack projects that can be found in the release notes, but highlights include:
- New Nova compute “placement” API that helps users intelligently allocate resources based on application needs. Cells v2 has also become default to increase scalability of Nova
- Horizon dashboard now supports keystone-to-keystone federation as new os-profiler UI, which gives operators the ability to detect performance issues across OpenStack services
- Auto-provisioning for Keystone federated identity dynamically creates a project and assigns a federated user a role upon successful authentication
- Ironic bare metal service becomes more robust with networking and driver enhancements
- Zaqar messaging service added Swift object storage as a backend to easily leverage an existing Swift cluster without deploying another MongoDB or Redis cluster
- Greatly improved performance and CPU usage for Telemetry projects: storing millions of metrics per second is now possible using Ceilometer with Gnocchi storage engine
- Active/Active HA in Cinder service can now be implemented by drivers
- Congress governance framework now has policy language enhancements to enable network address operations for better network and security governance
A new “nova-status upgrade check” command line interface enables operators to test the readiness of their deployments to see if they can safely upgrade to Ocata or find out what needs to be addressed before upgrading to ensure stability and reliability. This is especially important as OpenStack’s adoption shows increasing maturity, with a 20 percent increase in production deployments year-over-year, reaching 71 percent in production or full operational use, according to the latest OpenStack User Survey.