Devil’s in the detail as ‘Diablo’ powers open source cloud via OpenStack

Image representing Rackspace as depicted in Cr...

Backing open source OpenStack

Fourth community-driven software release extends cloud operating system capabilities for production clouds globally

By ECM Plus staff

ECM Plus +++ Open source cloud operating system OpenStackg has just unhooded “Diablo” – the fourth version of its community-driven software with some 70 new features and enhancements.

The new version now claims to make it possible for a broader community of users to deploy OpenStack clouds in production on a world-wide scale.

Apparently, Diablo enables the automation and control of pools of compute, storage and networking resources across a world-wide footprint and multiple datacentres with increased scale, performance and networking capabilities. There have been nearly 50,000 downloads from the central code repository, and production cloud environments are coming online across the globe.

“With 58 million users of and growing rapidly, we need to provide our teams instant access to computing resources without heavy administrative layers. With OpenStack, our internal users can instantly provision what they need without having to wait for a system administrator” commented Alejandro Comisario, Infrastructure Senior Engineer for MercadoLibre, the online trading platform in Latin America. “With our success running OpenStack Compute in production, we plan to roll OpenStack Diablo out more broadly across the company, and have appreciated the community support in this venture, especially through the OpenStack Forums, where we are also global moderators.”

Diablo also adds new features in the three key areas of computing, image service and storage. The latest OpenStack release also offers user-requested features required for enterprise private cloud implementations and global service providers, including networking features, scale and overall usability improvements, taking advantage of OpenStack’s pluggable architecture.

OpenStack Compute, code-name Nova, are new capabilities including a distributed scheduler enabling virtual machines to be deployed globally, a high-availability networking mode to prevent downtime if a primary server fails and support for a new authentication system, OpenStack Identity Management.

It also now boasts Object Storage, code-name Swift, which is new multi-cluster container sync to enable the choice on a container-by-container basis which data to replicate in order to a separate cluster located in multiple geographical locations.

OpenStack Image Service, code-name Glance, are updates to the Image Service that include new filtering and searching capabilities through the API, a highly requested feature by service providers who support a large number of customers world-wide.

In addition to the three existing core projects, two new projects were incubated with the Diablo release, including a user interface – OpenStack Dashboard – to manage OpenStack services and a unified identity management system that makes the cloud work with existing authentication systems. Both projects were introduced in Diablo and promoted to ‘core’ for the forthcoming Essex version, while a new networking project Quantum, led by Cisco, Citrix, Midokura, Nicira and Rackspace, is expected to be incubated during the Essex release cycle.

The new Dashboard project, led by Nebula Inc., enables administrators and users to access and provision cloud-based resources through a self-service portal.

OpenStack Identity, code-name Keystone, OpenStack Identity, a new project led by Rackspace, provides unified authentication across all OpenStack projects and integrates with existing, internal authentication systems.

OpenStack Quantum, newly incubated project Quantum, provides an API to dynamically request and configure virtual networks, and the Quantum API supports extensions to provide advanced network capabilities.

“The OpenStack Dashboard project provides a way to visualize OpenStack and many of its capabilities. The addition of an official web based user interface will help to drive wider adoption of OpenStack” added Devin Carlen, project technical lead for Dashboard, Founder and VP of Engineering at Nebula Inc, a company recently launched by several of OpenStack’s founders that is building an enterprise ‘private cloud appliance’ based on OpenStack. “We want to ensure that the OpenStack user interface architecture is flexible enough to support the requirements of service providers, businesses, and the rich ecosystem of emerging products and services that are compatible with OpenStack.”

“Our goal with Keystone is to allow people to download, install, and run OpenStack in their environments using their own, local usernames and passwords. We want that experience to be easy and seamless,” said Ziad Salwalha, Director of Product at Rackspace and PTL of Keystone. “We support a number of backends today and intend to add support for systems people are running, like Microsoft’s Active Directory. We’re getting demand for and planning on supporting open standards like OAUTH and SAML which will allow federation in the future where you can seamlessly burst into other OpenStack-compatible clouds when you need the extra horsepower. We expect The Rackspace Cloud to be supporting the Keystone API soon.”

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