Newest OpenStack Release Reflects Project Maturity, Elevates User ExperienceApril 7, 2016
The OpenStack community today released Mitaka, the 13th version of the most widely deployed open source software for building clouds, with a focus on manageability, scalability and end-user experience. OpenStack has become the cloud platform of choice for enterprises and service providers, bridging cloud-native software development with the optimization of enterprise applications. It is an integration engine that can manage bare metal, virtual machines, and container orchestration frameworks with a single set of APIs.
OpenStack’s Mitaka release was designed and built by an international community of 2,336 developers, operators and users from 293 organizations. As OpenStack approaches the sixth anniversary of its launch, the project is widely acknowledged as having achieved a mature and stable core; therefore, recent development efforts by the OpenStack community have been focused largely on making the software easier to deploy, manage and scale.
The Mitaka release includes numerous advancements that focus on improving day-to-day ease of use for cloud deployers and administrators. One highlight is a simplified configuration for the Nova compute service that introduces additional standard defaults and reduces the number of options that must be manually selected. The Keystone identity service, too, has been greatly simplified, with multi-step processes for setting up the identity management features of a cloud network—installing, running, authenticating, distributing tokens, etc.—streamlined into a one-step process. Another example of the enhanced manageability available in Mitaka is found in Neutron, which now features improved Layer 3 networking and Distributed Virtual Router (DVR) support.
Mitaka also features continued advancements for scaling OpenStack clouds. For example, Heat’s convergence engine, which first appeared in the Liberty release, can now handle larger loads and more complex actions for horizontal scaling, while delivering better performance for stateless operations. Similarly, in Keystone, fernet tokens increase the number of API operations the identity service can support. Developers also made significant progress on Cells v2, another feature introduced in Liberty that aids in horizontally scaling out OpenStack compute clouds.
Improved User Experience
Mitaka demonstrates the community’s dedication to improving the experience of the cloud user, including not only the cloud operator but also the end user who is developing or deploying applications on top of cloud resources. For example, a unified OpenStack Client provides a consistent set of calls for creating resources so end users don’t have to learn the intricacies of each service API. Mitaka also delivers improved support for software development kits (SDKs) across a number of different languages. Another improvement that simplifies that experience for application developers is the ongoing work to add the “get me a network” function in Neutron. This feature will remove all the steps necessary to create a network, attach a server to it, assign an IP to that server, and make the network accessible, and consolidates these steps into a single action. Elements of this functionality are introduced in Mitaka.