OpenStack Folsom adds network automation and Hyper-V support

OpenStack Folsom, the sixth release of the open source cloud computing platform, saw a 65 percent increase in contributors, as well as the addition of Networking and Block Storage services, architected in line with the OpenStack philosophy of pluggability and extensibility.

OpenStack Folsom automates pools of compute, storage and networking resources, now including emerging Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions via OpenStack Networking plug-ins, to build private and public cloud infrastructures without vendor lock-in.

OpenStack Networking currently includes plug-in support for Open vSwitch, the Ryu open source network operating system, standard Linux bridge networking and commercial solutions from Cisco, Nicira, and NEC, with others in development.

Written by more than 330 contributors, the Folsom release features a continued focus on stability and extensibility, while adding considerable new features like Networking, Block Storage and Hyper-V support. The community also made significant progress with localization efforts, introducing a new translation framework for the software, user-facing guides and documentation.

With more than 300,000 software downloads, support from major Linux distributions like Debian, Fedora, Red Hat, SUSE, and Ubuntu, and deployments announced around the world, OpenStack continues to make a global impact with the Folsom release. Two of the largest OpenStack public clouds, HP and Rackspace, are putting Folsom into production, offering users the choice they expect when standardizing on OpenStack as their open cloud platform.

While stability and manageability were key themes of the Folsom release, contributors also added 185 new features across compute, storage and networking:

OpenStack Compute (code-name Nova) – With a focus on ease of use, performance, and security, the latest release of OpenStack Compute makes it easier for operators to configure large pools of virtual machines. A new “config drive” capability stores network configuration information, eliminating the need for DHCP, and a new “host aggregation” feature places workloads into the best pools of resources for the job, such as GPU clusters for HPC work. Performance and security enhancements enable users to expose unique features of the CPUs powering their cloud, including support for Trusted Computing, which relies on hardware to verify the cloud computing environment’s state. A cross-company Hyper-V team formed to reintroduce and improve support for the hypervisor.

OpenStack Object Storage (code-name Swift) – Among many operational enhancements, operators can now connect OpenStack Object Storage to a statsd server and receive hundreds of real-time metrics about their cluster to help with troubleshooting, diagnostics, day-to-day operational issues, and long-term capacity management. To improve performance, clusters with high write requirements or large quantities of stored objects can now take advantage of solid-state drives (SSDs) for storing metadata without incurring a high overhead in disk space. Additionally, the ability to place data in cluster locations that are “as unique as possible,” makes it easier to deploy small clusters and provides better flexibility for all clusters when handling hardware failure.

OpenStack Block Storage (code-name Cinder) – The first full release of OpenStack Block Storage implements advanced, extensible block and volume storage capabilities, while still supporting previously deployed OpenStack Volumes. Previously a sub-component of OpenStack Compute, the Block Storage capabilities of OpenStack have been promoted to a full project with a dedicated development team that will increase the rate of innovation as the OpenStack development community grows.

OpenStack Networking (code-name Quantum) – An advanced network automation platform that empowers users to choose their back-end technology, OpenStack Networking includes support for Open vSwitch, the Ryu open source network operating system, standard Linux bridge networking and commercial solutions from Cisco, Nicira, and NEC via a plug-in architecture. Additionally, the release includes significant updates to control Layer 2 networking, IP address management, API quotas, notifications, extension support for Layer 3 forwarding, Secure Network Address Translation (SNAT), and floating IPs. An integrated API policy framework allows network control at the tenant level or the admin-only level to be defined using the OpenStack Identity service, depending on an Enterprise or Service Provider’s requirements.

OpenStack Dashboard (code-name Horizon) – The second full release of OpenStack Dashboard brings usability improvements in launching Compute instances, working Object Storage resources, and managing OpenStack projects and users. Other feature advances include support for public and private image uploads and management of advanced networks. End users will appreciate better cross-browser support, timezone support, dynamic quota displays, improved error handling, and performance improvements.

OpenStack Identity (code-name Keystone) – The second full release of OpenStack Identity brings improved support for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication and improved integration and management across OpenStack services.

OpenStack Image Service (code-name Glance) – There were major advancements in usability and functionality to the Image Service, including a new API, a new client library, new replication options for increased performance and security improvements reaching from the client to the image storage system.