IT experts working with private or public clouds are getting a refreshing wakeup call regarding OpenStack. This open-source cloud
-technology initiative is going places and drawing the attention of IT pros working for service providers, big business, government, and academic institutions.
The new release from OpenStack was announced Thursday and is dubbed Havana. It marks the eighth major release and is being positioned as a significant milestone for the OpenStack initiative.
OpenStack is an advancing open-source cloud architecture and system designed to control pools of processing, storage, and networking resources. The Havana release offers orchestration, monitoring and security features that represent major additions and upgrades to basic services.
These include impressive workload orchestration and metering capabilities, as well as many other new features. Havana’s Orchestration service is a template-driven service for describing and automating the deployment of compute, storage, and networking resources for an application.
Havana also supports Docker container technology for tools that make it easy for administrators to move workloads around a system. In all, nearly 400 new features have been added to this open source cloud platform across compute, storage, networking and cross-platform services.
Bringing on the Code
As an open-source project, over 50 engineers from over 20 different companies poured vast amounts of code into the Havana release and that point leads to the bigger picture beyond the news of a release. Those watching the marketplace in cloud services point to OpenStack as moving from budding open-source collaborative to powerful community, proof of which partly lies in the work and scope of involvement that went into Havana.
Code contributions came from 910 developers, a 76 percent increase from the former Grizzly release just six months ago. Developers who contributed to this release included big names such as Canonical, HP, IBM, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE. What's more, the latest stats show OpenStack deployments in around 358 cities across 72 countries.
Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, said, ”We’ve seen more users contribute directly to the Havana release than ever before. It means users are empowered and driving the direction of OpenStack based on their real-world use cases and implementations.“
Shutterstock, the New York based company that serves as a global marketplace for imagery, is using OpenStack.
Chris Fischer, vice president of technology operations at Shutterstock, explained why. "In order to support our speed of development -- hundreds of code pushes a month -- we've built our own private cloud with unique capabilities. OpenStack provides us with the flexibility you want from the cloud and the control you gain from managing your own infrastructure." Fischer said OpenStack has become the platform of choice for all the company's compute resources.
The momentum building in OpenStack’s favor is also apparent in other ways. OpenStack, known for infrastructure-as-a-service, may be moving toward becoming an important platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with features for rapid software development.
The pieces of open-source code in OpenStack such as Heat, Trove and Marconi may be paving the way toward PaaS. Alex Freedland, CEO at OpenStack services company, Mirantis, in Mountain View, California, said, "One of the first things Havana has forced us to revisit is the definition of OpenStack as a provider of only infrastructure-as-a-service." Infrastructure still remains a focus, but clearly, he added, “OpenStack is moving up the stack into the platform-level services and the community is pushing it there."
Any progression in new directions will become even more apparent next month, when OpenStack holds its OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong beginning November 5. This is where developers and OpenStack users around the world have the opportunity to weigh in on the future of cloud computing.