OpenStack keeps stacking along: OpenStack Ussuri cloud arrives

The leading private Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud has just released its 21st version.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Public clouds get the headlines, but private clouds are alive and well for businesses that want to keep a tight grip on their data. So, OpenStack, the leading Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud software, stackers are happy to welcome Ussuri, the 21st version of this open-source cloud infrastructure software stack. 

OpenStack isn't just private clouds, though. OpenStack software now powers more than 75 public cloud data centers and thousands of private clouds with over 10 million compute cores. A major reason for its popularity is it can be deployed on multiple architectures: Bare metal, virtual machines (VMs), graphics processing units (GPUs), and containers.

In this release, OpenStack received over 24,000 code changes by 1,003 developers from 188 different organizations and more than 50 countries. It's one of the top three actively developed open-source projects behind only the Linux kernel and Chromium.

In a virtual press conference, the OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce pointed out the most important of these updates.

The Nova compute service now supports cold migration and server resizing between Nova cells. Bryce explained that this enables cloud administrators to scale OpenStack cloud deployment horizontally as they expand to more physical servers and workloads. In reverse, the cold migration support enables users to migrate workloads from hardware on its way to the scrap yard.  With these changes you can keep an OpenStack cloud running "for years and years even when you may need to decommission hardware; decommission parts of a data center or manage workloads running outside of your overall IT environment."

OpenStack Ironic bare metal management platform now has its own automated bare metal hardware provisioning. This means you can provision and use Ironic on different orchestration systems, such as Kubernetes, instead of its native Nova.

The OpenStack cloud also now supports the IPv6 networking protocol with its Kuryr networking bridge. Kuryr can now work much more easily with Docker or other container runtimes. In short, Bryce said, "you can overlay Kubernetes or Docker or other container runtimes on top of an OpenStack environment."

The OpenStack Ussuri update also boasts improved security. The most noteworthy of these improvements is that it now enables the use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) settings between different tenant, workloads, control planes, and backend API services. 

This is an important update. Mark Collier, the OpenStack Foundation COO, explained: "Security is a moving target and there are continual security threats out there. And, when you're talking about Infrastructure-as-a-Service layer, embracing and implementing the latest encryption standards at each layer in the stack. . . the job is never done there so that's one reason our community is so active."

All this is for the best because OpenStack keeps finding new users with new use cases. Sure, Collier said, "OpenStack is embraced as an intelligent open infrastructure engine first and foremost because it works really well -- it is simply the world's most stable and reliable software for building clouds." But OpenStack is also "enabling some of the world's most progressive and groundbreaking work in telecommunications, medicine, banking, entertainment, high-performance computing, government and more."

Canonical, makers of Ubuntu Linux, certainly sees the potential here. Canonical immediately announced that OpenStack Ussuri will be available on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. 

From where Canonical sits, the most notable enhancements are improvements in the Open Virtual Networking (OVN) driver and the Masakari project. This enables companies to run highly available workloads on the top of software-defined networks( SDN). Full commercial support for OpenStack Ussuri in Canonical's Charmed OpenStack distribution will come with the OpenStack Charms 20.05 release on May 20.

Canonical will support Ussuri on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS until 2025. An additional five years of security updates are available for enterprise customers as part of the Ubuntu Advantage Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) subscription. On Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ussuri will be supported until 2023.

Collier concluded, "It's great to see members of the open infrastructure community bringing the features and capabilities of new releases to their users so quickly. Thanks to the hard work of the upstream community, upgrades are faster and easier than ever before and the ecosystem is making the most of these capabilities in their product roadmaps. The OpenStack Ussuri release brings an unprecedented level of stability and performance for public and private clouds that need to deliver VMs, containers, and bare metal instances."

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