OpenStack’s latest release, Icehouse, came out yesterday. There’s no life-changing software-defined networking (SDN) angle to it — most of the advances are related to stability — but it’s got a few aspects that are of interest. Here’s a grab-bag sampler.
· In OpenStack Nova (the compute aspect), there’s now a way to define instance groups — items that should or should not be hosted together. It’s one of several Nova additions, as detailed by Steve Gordon on Opensource.com.
· Another Nova addition of note: For enterprise customers, there’s now the ability to do rolling upgrades. The alternative was to shut machines down for upgrades, which was oddly unpopular.
· For OpenStack Heat (orchestration), there’s now the ability to automatically scale additional compute, storage, and networking resources.
· Also noted by eWeek is one project omitted from Icehouse: Cells, a feature that would allow managment of multiple compute modules through one API. It’s been talked about since the Grizzly release. Guess it’ll have to wait for Juno.
The OpenStack Pendulum Swings
The most interesting thing I’ve heard about OpenStack recently, though, came not from Icehouse but from the OpenStack Boot Camp session at Interop. Randy Bias, CEO of Cloudscaling, noted that virtualization is becoming less of a priority among OpenStack users.
It’s not a change in philosophy. It’s more a pendulum shift due to a new use case that’s appearing: the need for big jobs to handle big data.
“Virtualization is a remnant of days when applications were single-thread and single-core,” Bias said. But when it comes to running a huge job such as a Hadoop cluster, the idea of virtualization — of putting a lot of little jobs onto one server — doesn’t really apply. Still, users want those jobs to be nimble and to be available on-demand, and that’s where OpenStack can help.
This all points to an interest in provisioning to bare-metal switches, something being covered in an OpenStack incubation project called Ironic, as V3.co.uk notes. “Incubation” means a project is still a work in progress; when it’s ready to get pulled into an OpenStack release, its status upgrades to “integrated.”
(Photo: You remember 1986, right?)