The OpenStack community has made available the latest release of the open source cloud computing framework, adding numerous improvements addressing large-scale deployments, native container capabilities and enhanced identity management for hybrid cloud situations.
Available to download now, OpenStack Liberty is the 12th release of the platform, following OpenStack Kilo in April.
As has become the norm, the new release includes an array of usability, performance and operational enhancements, but the most significant are in the Nova compute module, along with improved support for containers and easier hybrid cloud management with updates to the Keystone identity management module.
Liberty provides the Nova compute module with support for Cells version 2, which paves the way for Cells to be the standard way to deploy Nova in the future. Cells provides a way to bring together a group of nodes so that they can be managed as a single entity in a hierarchy of cells, enabling large-scale deployments.
Cells were first introduced as an option in the Grizzly version of OpenStack, and have most notably been used at Cern as a way to manage the expansive IT infrastructure required to support the Large Hadron Collider.
OpenStack Liberty sees the first full release of the Magnum containers management project. This now supports Apache Mesos as a Bay type, which is the platform's way of deploying and managing clusters to support containers.
Until now, Magnum had supported only Docker Swarm and Google's Kubernetes as Bay types. In addition, Kubernetes is now integrated with the Neutron project for load balancing to provide greater scalability.
The Keystone identity management module has been given updates largely focused on improving hybrid cloud support. This now offers much more control over the identity provider service associated with each specific cloud, and is now able to distinguish between users on different clouds that have the same name.
The Heat orchestration module adds dozens of new resources for management, automation and orchestration of the expanded capabilities in Liberty, while role-based access control has been added for Heat and the Neutron networking module.
There are numerous other updates to the various projects that make up OpenStack as a whole, but it seems that the platform has now matured to the point where the changes are becoming more incremental and address stability rather than adding big new features, according to Nick Chase, senior technical content manager at OpenStack specialist Mirantis.
"Even as recently as a couple of years ago, each new release heralded massive changes and new functionality, but now that OpenStack has reached the point where most of its necessary features are already in place, changes are generally more incremental - with the exception of occasional bursts, such as the current focus on containers," Chase said, writing on the Mirantis blog.
Liberty also saw the OpenStack community adopt a strategy known as the 'big tent', which sees a tighter focus on a core set of modules while encouraging more innovation and choice in the broader OpenStack ecosystem.
"Liberty is a milestone release because it underscores the ability of a global, diverse community to agree on technical decisions, amend project governance in response to maturing software and the voice of the marketplace, then build and ship software that gives users and operators what they need," said OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce in a statement accompanying the release.
"All of this happens in an open community where anyone can participate, giving rise to an extensible platform built to embrace technologies that work today and those on the horizon."
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