Grizzly release scales up OpenStack's open source cloud

The latest release of the OpenStack cloud orchestration software adds support for large scale clouds spread across multiple datacentres.

A new release of the open source OpenStack cloud control software suite can be used to manage significantly larger clouds than before.

The Grizzly release of OpenStack improves its compute, storage and networking control abilities over its earlier Folsom release.

Using Grizzly, compute resources can be managed at a greater scale — to tens of thousands of server nodes. The release introduces Nova Compute Cells, which allow compute resources to be scaled up to very large deployments and distributed across multiple locations, without having to use complicated technologies like database and message queue clustering. The release includes a "NoDB" host architecture that reduces reliance on a central database.

The Australian government's National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) has used Nova Compute Cells to split a cloud deployment across multiple datacentres while retaining a single API endpoint, according to Tom Fifield, cloud architect with NeCTAR.

Improvements to virtualisation management introduces support for more features using multiple hypervisors, including ESX, KVM, Xen and Hyper-V.

Grizzly also adds bare metal provisioning, shared storage protocols and online networking features such as the ability to hot-add or remove network devices, where changes are made without any downtime.

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Cloud operators can now set quotas to control the growth of object storage environments, and the release also includes support for bulk object storage operations, making it easier to deploy and manage large clusters. The release allows heterogeneous storage environments to be managed from a centralised access point. Meanwhile end users can now allocate storage to meet a workload's performance, efficiency or cost effectiveness requirements.

Networking improvements add support for network technologies such as Big, Switch, Hyper-V, PlumGrid, Brocade and Midonet to complement the existing support for Open vSwitch, Cisco UCS/Nexus, Linux Bridge, Nicira, Ryu OpenFlow, and NEC OpenFlow. The release is capable of greater scaling and higher availability by distributing L3/L4 and dynamic host configuration protocol services across multiple servers. A new load balancing as a service framework and API has also been added.

Grizzly's new OpenStack Identity software adds a new token format based on standard PKI functionality that allows offline token authentication by clients without requiring Identity service calls. It also allows for management of multi-tenant environments with support for groups, impersonation, role-based access controls and greater capability to delegate administrative tasks.

These new compute, storage and networking features can be controlled through the new OpenStack Dashboard, which has been altered to improve the user experience and add greater multilingual support.

OpenStack provides a collection of open-source software tools for managing and orchestrating compute, storage, and networking for private and public clouds. The code base for the software is open and built using suggestions from project contributors. The project is managed by the not-for-profit OpenStack Foundation.

Developers from more than 517 contributors merged 7,620 patches in the Grizzly release. More than 45 companies employed developers who contributed to this release, including Red Hat, Rackspace, IBM, HP, Nebula, Intel, eNovance, Canonical, VMware, Cloudscaling, DreamHost and SINA.