Scalability is a major merit of cloud, but enterprise users are striving to reach the on-demand cloud scale via OpenStack. Recently, OpenStack issued the latest Ocata version delivering some services conducive to reach enterprises’ large cloud scale.
OpenStack now is still an on-going project, whose components are in different stability and mature phases. It also means enterprises are confronting OpenStack deployment challenges, especially in the terms of scalability and network.
After 4 months of release cycle, (instead of normally 6 months), the latest OpenStack Ocata was published in February 2017, and the new version of OpenStack brings something new to handle the issues found before.
The previous version of OpenStack’s scalability limits most users with small size of configuration. The latest OpenStack Ocata version has largest improved this part. Ocata version is easy to expand and scale to large size of production allocation, which leads to more private cloud based on OpenStack appearing. For network reliability, particularly those for OpenStack Neutron services, is improved as well.
Generally, OpenStack Community takes Ocata as a significant step that OpenStack becomes mature, and Navigator project is a tool showing every OpenStack project or module status. By far, Ocata is No. 8 in the list of software maturity, behind OpenStack Nova, Neutron, Swift, and Cinder modules. Even so, most projects’ software maturity lingers between level three and level four. Therefore, there is still a relatively long way to go to be mature.
Ocata is basically a stable version, but indeed brings many new features, including the function for OpenStack scalability. In below, there are some important updates about OpenStack services that IT professionals should know.
Nova: It is the core component allowing creating virtual machines. Ocata aims at improve Nova performance. For instance, a new deployment service allows administrators to package virtual machines to optimize memory usage and other resources. Ocata also helps OpenStack scalability, by using Cells modules to scale thousands of nodes. However, Cells are still complicate, so it is not recommended to new OpenStack users. Because of scalability, the long-term goal of Ocata is to make Cells become the standard mode of OpenStack.
Swift: it is an object-based storage similar to AWS’ simple storage services, but Swift has already caught up Ceph that is an open source storage system often replacing Swift in OpenStack development. Ceph includes a powerful code erasing method, which can be used to realize the storage node’s object distribution across geographic locations. With Ocata, Swift now has better code erasing function, such as faster code erasing generation, error correction, and redevelopment.
Keystone: Ocata enables administrators to set up multi-factor identity validation via Keystone based on each account. So, Ocata helps realize more refined access control.
Cinder: Cinder is OpenStack’s block storage service whose operating method is the same to SAN operating in cloud. Via Ocata, active-active control is still an on-going work, but most functions are available to administrators. Cinder offers constant storage operation, which is good to extend the normal uptime of critical operation. Additionally, Ocata also allows single storage scroll connected to multiple users to increase data sharing level, especially the database apps.
Glance: This is the image manager of OpenStack. Ocata can use it to simplify the access to shared images and enhance the new visibility numeric value – sharing and community.
Heat: It offers business process choreography service for the resources in OpenStack cluster. Even better, most changes of Heat help solve OpenStack’s scalability issue, and accelerate the integration between API and other projects such as Sahara.
Horizon: This is the control panel of OpenStack. Ocata includes enhanced Horizon GUI that helps administrators to find the needed information faster.
Neutron: As OpenStack’s core network services, Neutron always strives to surpass sandbox size of configuration. Using Nova is clumsy, which limits many users within 64 or even less nodes. Now, Ocata version of OpenStack can handle some. Other more, Ocata also updates firewall as a service, which allows port level of firewall policy.
New OpenStack Services
Apart from the services and OpenStack scalability we mentioned above, Ocata version also comes with some new OpenStack services, including:
Octavia: Previously Octavia is a subproject of Neutron, load balancer as a service, but now it is a top-level OpenStack project. As a result, Octavia becomes a plugin of Neutron. Octavia plugin could be officially issued along with OpenStack’s next version of Pike.
Dragonflow: It is the answer OpenStack offers to SDN, also is a SDN controller used to deploy Neutron in a large scale. By far, Dragonflow includes IPv6 support, and offers higher-level report function.
Tricircle: This is a new feature, allowing multiple OpenStack cloud located separately integrate more closely. It also enables enterprise’s private cloud separately distribute in available areas just like pubic cloud. This feature is good to large cooperates who have multiple link sites to perform disaster recovery and redundancy
There are 3 new subproject related to container coming from Ocata: Kolla used to container deployment; Kuryr used to connect container to network and storage resources; Zun, a container manager having API allowing using Kubernetes and Docker container.
Kuryr is a subproject of core OpenStack Magnum contain module. It connects Docker container to Neutron network to realize the communication between container and virtual machine via API. Fuxi is a subproject connecting Cinder to Manila shared storage, which can be used to container storage access. Fuxi and Kuryr are both in the early phase of product maturity, but they are the identified steps to connect container to OpenStack.