Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Latest OpenStack Release Addresses Complexity 

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OpenStack developers are addressing complaints about deployment complexity in their latest distributions as they attempt to attract new enterprise customers beyond early adopters.

The latest attempt comes from Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), which this week unveiled the latest version of its OpenStack platform based on the "upstream" Newton release. The latest version of the OpenStack cloud platform emphasizes scale and automation tools with a batch of new features that include a container cluster orchestration manager, a new container-networking project along with a bare metal provisioning service.

Along with improved scaling, Red Hat's OpenStack Platform 10 release emphasizes easier infrastructure management along with features such as a "refreshed user interface" and upgraded orchestration. The company also touted the ability to run and scaled OpenStack services independent of one another.

Also incorporated into the new platform is Red Hat's CloudForms designed to manage hybrid cloud deployments running on OpenStack as well as workloads running on other OpenStack clouds. The latest release also includes 64 TBs of Ceph-based storage capacity.

The latest Red Hat release addresses OpenStack installation complexity via a new user interface aimed at easing the transition to production. That feature leverages Newton components such as automation tools designed to make the often hard-to-deploy cloud platform easier to roll out. Hence, Newton is being touted as a single cloud platform for virtualization, bare metal and application containers.

The company also emphasized performance gains for network-intensive workloads via a new data plane developer kit and other components that it claimed deliver network performance comparable to bare metal.

Despite recent consolidation in the OpenStack ecosystem, including last month's acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (NYSE: HPE) OpenStack and Cloud Foundry platforms by SUSE, Red Hat also introduced "distributed continuous integration" with its OpenStack partners. Those partners include Dell EMC, NEC Corp. (TYO: 6701) and OpenStack pioneer Rackspace. One goal is boosting OpenStack platform stability as it is scaled to production.

Among the goals of the continuous integration partnership is accelerating code testing and validation to deliver stable software, noted Jim Ganthier, senior vice president of Dell EMC's Converged Platforms and Solution Division (NYSE: DVMT).

Still, observers note that OpenStack adoption remains dominated by technology companies—many offering their OpenStack distributions or running managed OpenStack clouds—along with a few web-scale customers with deep pockets. The challenge will be attracting retailers, manufacturers and other mainstream enterprises, they added.

Red Hat said "Long Life versions" of its OpenStack platform would be available with every third release, starting with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10. Versions in between will include one year of life cycle support, the company said.

 

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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