The open source OpenStack cloud platform received its first major update of 2023 on March 22, with the release of OpenStack Antelope.
With Antelope, OpenStack has now had 27 releases of its open source cloud platform, which got its start as a joint effort between Rackspace and NASA in 2010, expanding significantly in the years since then.
The new release follows the OpenStack Zed update that was released in October 2022 and is the first to follow the project's new release cadence for updates. While there will continue to be two OpenStack platform releases every year, users will be able to skip a release and update only once a year if they so choose.
A core use case for OpenStack is to support Kubernetes, as part of an approach known by the acronym "LOKI" (Linux, OpenStack, and Kubernetes Infrastructure). In fact, the OpenStack 2022 User Survey reported that Kubernetes is part of more than 85% of OpenStack deployments.
OpenStack continues to benefit from a broad base of contributors and organizations. Overall, the OpenStack Antelope release includes 9,794 modifications that were created by a whopping 601 contributors hailing from more than 110 organizations and over 40 countries.
Key features include:
- New release cadence: Antelope is the first in the Skip Level Upgrade Release Process (SLURP).
- Integration with Kubernetes: The OpenStack Magnum project has expanded Kubernetes support.
- Hardware enablement: A series of new hardware drivers for storage has been added.
- DNS improvements: Multiple projects can now share designated zones.
- Bare metal updates: The Ironic bare metal project now supports sharding Ironic nodes using a shard key, allowing external API clients to scale horizontally.
- Power optimization: Nova compute operators can manage power consumption of dedicated CPUs by offlining them or changing their governor when not in use by instances.
- Compute optimization: Nova now allows scheduling of PCI devices via the Placement API on an opt-in basis.
- Security Enhancements: Both Neutron network and Glance image management components support secure role-based access control (sRBAC).
Tytus Kurek, product manager at Canonical, called the new release cadence a big improvement. Canonical is a contributor to OpenStack and has its own commercially supported Ubuntu OpenStack distribution.
"Historically, OpenStack upgrades have been very challenging, even with a proper automation framework around," Kurek told ITPro Today. "The introduction of SLURP will take a lot of load out of operations teams."
OpenStack Antelope Boosts Open Source Cloud Infrastructure
There's a lot to like about the Antelope update, according to Eoghan Glynn, director of OpenStack engineering at Red Hat. Red Hat is a contributor to OpenStack and has its own commercially supported Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
From an end-user standpoint, Red Hat is excited to see a series of security improvements in Antelope, Glynn said. Among them is the extension of sRBAC and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) to make OpenStack a more secure platform across various services.
Glynn also highlighted a number of hardware enablement capabilities that have landed in OpenStack Antelope, including additional drivers and features for block storage to support more technologies from vendors such as Dell, Hitachi, and NetApp, among others.
The OpenStack Antelope release also benefits from a series of networking feature improvements. The new release integrates additional networking features to support Open Virtual Network (OVN), Glynn said. The ability to share DNS (Domain Name Service) has also been improved. Load balancing now allows users to enable CPU-pinning to help improve operations.
The next update for OpenStack is set for October 2023 and will be code-named Bobcat.
About the authorSean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.