Open Stack Diablo: The Devil Is In The Details

New version of open source cloud platform adds 3 new core feature sets and more

OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system which was originally spun up by among others Rackspace and NASA continued its maturation today with the release of Diablo, the 4th major update to the widely supported project. Diablo is unique in many regards in signaling that OpenStack is delivering on its potential to become the de facto standard in Cloud OS.  Diablo marks the first 6 month release of OpenStack versus the previous 3 month cycle.  This is an indication of the project maturing and recognizing that a user base that includes 50,000 downloads needs more stability as they come to rely on it.

I had a chance to speak with Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the OpenStack Project Policy Board and co-founder of Rackspace Cloud about Diablo yesterday. He is really excited about this release and believes it marks a flag in the ground for OpenStack being a real tool for the cloud.  In speaking to Bryce I was stuck not only by what is in Diablo, but how the roadmap for future releases are also being systematically planned.  It has the look and feel of a real project now.

All of that aside for the moment, Diablo has some great new features:

  • OpenStack Compute (Nova) - New capabilities include a distributed scheduler allowing for 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. 
  • OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) - New multi-cluster container sync allows a user to choose on a container by container basis which data to replicate in order to a separate cluster located in multiple geographical locations.
  • OpenStack Image Service (Glance) - Updates to the Image Service include new filtering and searching capabilities through the API, a highly requested feature by service providers who support a large number of customers globally.
In addition to these three new core feature sets, new feature sets which are expected to become part of the core in the next release (code named Essex):
  • OpenStack Dashboard - The new Dashboard project, led by Nebula Inc., enables administrators and users to access and provision cloud-based resources through a self-service portal (screen shot below) 
  • OpenStack Keystone - Keystone, a new project led by Rackspace, provides unified authentication across all OpenStack projects and integrates with existing, internal authentication systems.
Additionally in Essex a new feature set will be incubated:
  • OpenStack Quantum - Quantum provides an API to dynamically request and configure virtual networks, and the Quantum API supports extensions to provide advanced network capabilities.

Quantum BTW is lead by Nicira, Cisco, Citrix, Midokura and Rackspace. Interesting to see names like Cisco, Citrix and Rackspace behind this. It really show the breath and might of the companies lining up behind Open Stack.

Reading the above though you start to get a feel that OpenStack is on a firm foundation and is methodically being built out into a very feature rich platform which will serve as the basis for OpenStack being "the Cloud OS" in the not too distant future.

I guess the clock is now running and in 6 months we will report on Essex.  Great work by the whole community behind OpenStack!

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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