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The OpenStack Foundation focusses on the SDN environment

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September 5, 2017

It's now official: today OpenStack has released its Pike application. It's now common knowledge that the OpenStack Foundation has focussed on making the foundational software-defined networking environment better-suited to the world of microservices.

To be sure, OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce asserted that users have grown accustomed to thinking of OpenStack as a single element.

But if that were true once, it's no longer true anymore. OpenStack is “made up of a number of different services providing access to compute, storage, networking, bare metal, data centre functions”, Bryce said.

In parallel with OpenStack's core development technologies like Kubernetes, Docker, OpenFlow and TensorFlow have all emerged and matured, and Bryce said that users want to tie-in their OpenStack environments with those kinds of technologies.

Hence the composability that the foundation has given prominence in the Pike release-- it's a way to make it easier to use those services.

The so-called 'Ironic' bare metal service is easier to integrate with Cinder block storage and Neutron networking. Cinder can now be broken out as a standalone storage service for virtual machines, bare metal systems, or Docker/Kubernetes containers.

Ironic now plugs directly into Neutron networking, which the foundation says is important for multi-tenant cloud offerings.

Cinder block storage is enhanced with a “revert to snapshot” feature for better data recovery and storage volumes can be expanded without admins having to shut down VMs.

The second “big theme” Bryce said influenced Pike and reflects a more mature attitude to deployment. “The focus has shifted from 'how do you install OpenStack to build your initial cloud?' to 'how do you run your cloud over its lifetime?'”

Users are now more concerned with lifecycle issues-– “how you scale it out, upgrade it, manage failures-– things that happen in the lifecycle of a cloud”.

Treating OpenStack as a collection of microservices lets users create their cloud more efficiently; and when it comes time to upgrade, the microservice model lets the admin run rolling updates with A/B testing, he added.

Other high points of the new Pike release include enhancements to Nova Cells v2; the rollout of etcd v3 as OpenStack's distributed lock management solution; and its Swift object storage now supports globally distributed erasure codes, to allow individual regions to function if a multi-region network is down, and to ensure failures in one region can recover using a remote region.

Bryce also noted that Cells v2 is an ongoing work-in-progress, because big clouds aren't static. The continuing challenge for OpenStack's largest users are how to scale clouds to very large sizes – “hundreds or thousands of physical servers”.

Pike's focus is to expose functionality for horizontal scaling-- “Every OpenStack Nova instance starts from the beginning as a Nova Cell, and you have the ability to add additional Nova cells into that environment, scaling horizontally and balancing across it,” Bryce asserted.

Source: OpenStack.


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