Whats New in OpenStack Stein?

Whats New in OpenStack Stein?

OpenStack, the project that powers over 75 public, as well as multiple private clouds, launched their 19th version of the software just recently and the latest release is just out of the world. In fact, if you have been following on their updates since 2010, you’d think after such a flurry of updates to this exclusive open-source infrastructure platform, there aren’t really quite that many additions that the different project teams could subsequently add, especially considering that we are discussing a relatively stable code base. 

The surprising thing is that this new release comes with several new features, besides the typical feature improvements and tweaks you would expect.

Stein, which is named after ‘Stein Street’ or Steinstraße located in Berlin where the design summit for OpenStack occurred back in 2018, comes with an assortment of improvements that include: 

  • New abilities for the management and networking of bare metal
  • Capacity to operate high-performance workloads with GPUs
  • Enhanced Kubernetes and container functionality
  • Networking upgrades for supporting edge computing, 5G, and NFV

This particular release embodies the evolutionary trajectory of the cloud. 

OpenStack represents the distinct open-source (cloud) infrastructure software project which offers storage; compute, and networking services for VM, container, and bare-metal workloads. This platform features a modular design which works across industry sectors since infrastructure operatives can select the components they require to ideally manage their infrastructure and in a manner that supports their application workloads best.

The pluggable nature of the modules facilitates added flexibility and ensures that they can find use with an SDN (software-defined network) controller or a specific storage back-end. Basically, as opposed to being single software, OpenStack is a framework comprising an integration engine and approximately 50 interdependent projects or modules, with each of them serving a narrowly defined function, such as Magnum working on container orchestration, Novate for compute, and Neutron (networking), all subsequently linked through APIs. 

What’s New? 

Well, the somewhat unsurprising fact is that much of the development activity around this platform has been primarily centered on Kubernetes together with the essential tools to effectively manage these distinct container clusters. With the release of Stein, the time otherwise needed for the launching of a Kubernetes cluster has been cut down significantly. It has reduced the time from 10 to 12 minutes/node down to 5 minutes, notwithstanding the total number of nodes.

Also, Stein also incorporates updates to Neutron, OpenStack project’s network service that now features Network Segment Range Management allowing cloud administrators to now dynamically manage network segment type ranges. 

The bare-metal provisioning service of the OpenStack project Ironic is also now updated and can now provide superior deployment templates. Consider this; for instance; standalone users are now well able to request bare-metal nodes allocations with precise configuration data. Before, standalone users had to use pre-formed configuration drives.

Besides this, OpenStack Stein also comes with other changes, including:

  • Placement: this is a new project which provides the capacity to target candidate resource providers, subsequently simplifying the process of specifying workload migration hosts.
  • Sahara: essentially a project that allows easy provisioning on Hadoop clusters; it is now refactored into an exclusive core+plugins’ design to facilitate ease of use.
  • Blazar: this is the platform’s resource reservation service, and it now features a new resource allocation API. 
  • Kolla: tasked with providing production-ready containers, Kolla can now execute incremental and full backups of the exclusive MariaDB database. 
  • Keystone: basically the identity service of OpenStack, it has launched multi-factor authentication receipts. 

Although the initial hype around project OpenStack has subsequently quieted, it is crucial to remember that we are discussing an open-source project that is still very active. During the development cycle of Stein, there were about 155 commits per day on average. As far as development action is concerned, this ideally keeps OpenStack on a similar level as Chromium and Linux kernel. 

The executive director of OpenStack Foundation, Jonathan Bryce when discussing Stein stated that with Stein, operators can now enjoy new facilities for operating high-performance workloads using GPUs, networking and bare-metal management, and operating and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization). OpenStack has now also turned into a robust platform for administering Kubernetes cluster both in multi-cloud and private deployments. 

Expected developments for future releases

Carrez (a senior officer in the foundation) outlined that as opposed to the previous improvement style that focused on introducing many new features, the improvement style is bound to focus majorly on operational issues based on improvements and developments as requested by the users already using this software-just as with the 9th release.

Do you run OpenStack? Have you deployed the latest updates? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading.

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