OpenStack, an extremely popular open source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud program, has just released its latest version: Icehouse. According to the OpenStack Foundation, the ninth release of OpenStack comes "with new features reflecting a community-wide effort to bring the voice of the user into the rapidly maturing open source cloud software platform."
This is a major release that includes many minor improvements and new features. Perhaps the most welcome for OpenStack administrators is that you can finally do "rolling upgrades in OpenStack Compute (Nova). Rolling upgrades simplify the process of upgrading to new versions of the OpenStack software by not requiring virtual machine (VM) instances to be shut down in order for upgrades to install." This has been a major annoyance for companies deploying OpenStack in business environments where downtime equals lower profits.
"Everyone we talk to wants cloud resources that let them move faster," said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation. "The evolving maturation and refinement that we see in Icehouse make it possible for OpenStack users to support application developers with the services they need to develop, deploy, and iterate on apps at the speeds they need to remain competitive."
Approximately 350 new features and 2,902 bug fixes were added this time. The main focus was on testing, maturity, and stability. In addition, third-party continuous integration (CI) has resulted in 53 external systems testing OpenStack compatibility across broad sets of hardware and software configurations.
Among the approximately 350 new features added are a new program, OpenStack Database Service, Trove, which was incubated during the Havana release cycle and is now available in the Icehouse release. Programs in incubation include OpenStack Bare Metal (Ironic), OpenStack Messaging (Marconi), and OpenStack Data Processing (Sahara).
New Icehouse features include:
Like the releases before it, Icehouse has attracted more contributors. The Icehouse release had 1,202 contributors, a 32-percent increase from the Havana release six months ago. Corporate support has also grown during this development cycle. Top companies contributing to this release were Red Hat, IBM, HP, Rackspace, Mirantis, SUSE, OpenStack Foundation, eNovance, VMware and Intel.
What does all this amount to? Forrester Research analyst Lauren E. Nelson, the research house's private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud lead, believes that "OpenStack has crossed the threshold and will become another de facto IaaS standard before the end of the year , when OpenStack compatibility will be a must, not a nice-to-have." She's right.
To see the dashboard demo, detailed release notes and download the source code for yourself visit the OpenStack Icehouse site