OpenStack Newton promises better resiliency, scalability and security

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OpenStack has released the latest edition of its popular open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud: Newton. With broad industry support from more than 200 vendors — including Cisco, Dell, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware — this version should quickly see wide deployment.

This release features numerous new features. Perhaps the most important is simply making OpenStack easier to use. OpenStack is powerful, but it’s notoriously hard to master. While OpenStack classes are becoming more common, even with help, mastering OpenStack isn’t easy.

This release does this by improving the interface on many components. For instance, Magnum, a container application programming interface (API) now offers provisioning for container orchestration tools, namely Docker Swarm, Kubernetes and Mesos. It also includes an operator-centric Install Guide, support for pluggable drivers, support for Kubernetes clusters on bare metal servers and asynchronous cluster creation.

In addition to improving the user experience for container cluster management and networking, the Newton release addresses scalability and resiliency. Features include:

Improved Scalability

The Newton release significantly reduces architectural and functional barriers to scalability, including the ability to scale up or down across platforms and geographies. It does this by improved scale-up/scale-down capabilities in Nova, OpenStack’s compute service; Horizon the cloud’s dashboard; and Swift, OpenStack’s object storage system.

Enhanced Resiliency

Newton also boasts improvements in high availability, adaptability and self-healing. Cinder, the program’s block storage; Ironic, its bare-metal provisioning; Neutron, OpenStack’s networking; and Trove, its database-as-a-service all have improved high availability functionality.

Security improvements are included in Newton as well. For example, the identity service Keystone offers upgrades that include PCI compliance and encrypted credentials. Developers have also added support for retyping encrypted to unencrypted volumes and vice versa. Cinder also now includes micro-version support, the ability to delete volumes with snapshots using the cascading feature and a backup service that can be scaled to multiple instances.

“The OpenStack community is focused on making clouds work better for users. This is clearly evident in the Newton release, which tackles users’ biggest needs, giving cloud operators and app developers greater security, resiliency and choice,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, in a statement. “The new features and enhancements in Newton underscore the power of OpenStack: it handles more workloads in more ways across more industries worldwide. OpenStack is a cloud platform that ties everything together—compute, network, storage, and innovative cloud technologies.”

Big words, but he’s not just blowing smoke. With an international community of 2,581 developers, operators and users from 309 organizations, OpenStack has serious support.

You can download Newton‘s code and start working on it yourself. Just be warned, you must study up on OpenStack before trying to implement it. There’s a reason why companies such as Mirantis, Red Hat and SUSE are devoting so much time and energy to releasing OpenStack as a distribution.

RELATED LINKS

Agility Platform certified with OpenStack Liberty

SUSE: OpenStack for the mainframe and beyond

Stacking up OpenStack

 

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