OpenStack Ocata – 1 Month Update


OpenStack Ocata is here and actually really useful.  Through our cloud computing platform AURO, we have been using OpenStack in one form or another for more than 3-years.  I would be remiss if I didn’t say that the first few deployments and build-outs were not without their frustration.  Whether it was scale out capabilities, multi-region support, upgradeability – each step with OpenStack proved to be challenging, frustrating but ultimately beneficial.

Last month, OpenStack released its 15th version known as Ocata.  For Canadian Web Hosting, this is really like version 1.5 as we now finally are getting focus and attention on critical aspects of the cloud operating system that focus on stability, performance and improved upgradeability.

With Ocata, the OpenStack community also improved many of the existing features.  These updates were worked on by roughly 2,000 developers spanning across 50 different project teams.  These efforts upgraded the cloud OS with greater support for container-based application frameworks and enabled containerisation of major OpenStack services.  Not to be facetious here, but in case you haven’t noticed containers are a hot topic in the infrastructure space and OpenStack has been a few steps behind whats happening with Docker and Kubernetes.

“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,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director, OpenStack Foundation.

OpenStack Ocata Features

In addition to auto-encryption features with Swift another feature that we are excited about within OpenStack Ocata is the new Nova compute “placement” API. With this, users can intelligently allocate resources based on specific application needs.

The OpenStack GUI called Horizon has also received support for the keystone-to-keystone federation as a new os-profiler UI.

The OpenStack developers have also uplifted the ironic bare metal service with some networking and driver enhancements, as well as better performance and CPU usage for Telemetry-related projects that allow users to easily manage millions of metrics per second using Ceilometer and the Gnocchi storage engine.

With project Kolla, you can “containerize” OpenStack services giving users the ability to easily leverage container-based application frameworks and deployment tools.

In addition, the project known as Kuryr enables container-based networking and storage and

Zun allows user to to manage new and existing containers.

Upgrade Check

So back to one of my biggest ares of concern with OpenStack – upgrades.  Ocata was designed with a new ‘nova-status upgrade check’ command line interface. This new feature enables OpenStack operators to test the readiness of their deployment to see whether they should and can safely upgrade to the newest OpenStack version or what needs to be addressed upgrading.  I can’t speak enough on this subject as this has been a huge pain point for operators, including ourselves, for the last several years.



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