OpenStack “Essex” Release Delivers Pluggable Cloud Operating System to Power Global Clouds

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Apr 4, 2012 9:57 PM EDT
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- OpenStack®, the open source cloud operating system, today released “Essex”, the fifth version of its community-driven software, with a focus on quality, usability and extensibility across enterprise, service provider and high performance computing (HPC) deployments. OpenStack Essex allows users across the globe to leverage pools of on-demand, self-managed compute, storage and networking resources to build efficient, automated private and public cloud infrastructures.

Illustrating the power of community-driven software development, the Essex release was written by over 200 developers from 55 different companies bringing their unique domain expertise. Essex delivers user-requested features for improved automation, integration across projects, as well as central management and provisioning by leveraging OpenStack's pluggable architecture. The Essex development cycle included an earlier feature freeze and an extensive testing phase before release, resulting in greater stability and reliability, and Essex will also be included in the next Ubuntu 12.04 long term support release.

New Features in OpenStack Core Projects There have been more than 100,000 downloads from with production cloud environments deployed around the globe. Essex adds new features and better project integration across the three pillars of compute, storage and networking. Essex also marks the first full release of two new projects, Dashboard and Identity, which provide additional infrastructure and support across the three pillars. With a focus on quality, usability and extensibility across the projects, Essex adds about 150 new features including the following updates:

OpenStack Compute (code-name Nova) – Focus on stability and integration with Dashboard and Identity, including enhancements to feature parity among the tier one hypervisors -- making it a seamless user experience across each hypervisor -- improved authorization and live migration with multi-host networking. There were also contributions to support high-performance computing and additional block storage options, including support for Nexenta, SolidFire, and NetApp storage solutions. OpenStack Object Storage (code-name Swift) – Significant new features to improve compliance and data security with the ability to expire objects according to document retention policies, more protections against corruption and degradation of data, and sophisticated disaster recovery improvements. Also new capabilities important to service providers including the ability to upload data directly from an authenticated web page and the ability to restrict the maximum number of containers per account. OpenStack Dashboard (code-name Horizon) – The first full release of OpenStack Dashboard provides administrators and users the ability to access, provision and automate cloud-based resources through a self-service portal. The extensible design makes it easy to plug in and expose third party products and services, such as monitoring. OpenStack Identity (code-name Keystone) – The first full release of OpenStack Identity unifies all core projects of the cloud operating system with a common authentication system. The technology provides authorization for multiple log-in credentials, including username/password, token-based and AWS-style logins. OpenStack Image Service (code-name Glance) – The Image Service received several key updates to improve usability, authorization and image protection.

“The Essex release represents an exciting time for both OpenStack users and for NetApp as it marks a significant step forward in the flexibility of the platform and our first contribution to the community. With NetApp technology integrated into OpenStack Compute, users will be able to build on a storage platform that delivers a unique array of storage efficiency technologies, data replication features , fault tolerance, and high availability to help reduce costs and enable users to get the most out of their private and public cloud architectures. We're thrilled to take part in the OpenStack maturation process and help build a wave of production deployments combining OpenStack and NetApp,” Jeff O’Neal, Senior Director, Solutions Integration Group, NetApp.

New Networking Automation and Capabilities Added with Quantum Project Quantum, led by Nicira, Cisco, Citrix, Midokura and Rackspace, was incubated during the Essex release and aims to provide an automated framework for managing data center network activities. Quantum is a plug-in based service that manages common network administrative tasks, from creating ports and routes to configuring VLANs. Many users have been deploying OpenStack clouds with the Quantum networking service during the incubation phase, and Quantum is expected to become a core part of OpenStack in the “Folsom” release expected Fall 2012.

OpenStack Spring 2012 Design Summit & Conference The spring 2012 OpenStack Design Summit & Conference is taking place April 16 – 20 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The Design Summit will bring together more than 400 OpenStack developers and key contributors to determine the roadmap for the “Folsom” release, while the Conference will draw a broader audience of users and the technology ecosystem to discuss the state of the project. Conference keynote presentations will be given by HP, Canonical, Nebula and Rackspace, and the event will feature presentations from OpenStack users including Deutsche Telekom, San Diego Supercomputer Center, eBay’s X.commerce, Department of Energy Magellan and NeCTAR. See the Conference agenda and register for the event here.

About OpenStack® OpenStack is open source software for building clouds. Created to drive industry standards, end cloud lock-in and speed cloud adoption, OpenStack is a common, open platform for both public and private clouds with the support of over 150 industry leading companies, more than 2,600 global project participants and 100,000+ downloads. The open source cloud operating system enables businesses to manage compute, storage and networking resources via a self-service portal and APIs on standard hardware at massive scale. For more information and to join the community, visit

» Read more about: Story Type: Press Release; Groups: Community, HP, Ubuntu

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