OpenStack Zed Brings New Release Cadence to Open Source Cloud

After 12 years and 26 releases, the open source OpenStack cloud project continues to add incremental features and new projects to help cloud operators.

Sean Michael Kerner, Contributor

October 7, 2022

3 Min Read
OpenStack logo on a laptop screen

The open source OpenStack cloud platform reached a major milestone this week with the release of Zed on Oct. 5.

OpenStack Zed is the 26th release of the open source cloud platform that was created in 2010 as a joint effort between Rackspace and NASA and is now the flagship project of the Open Infrastructure Foundation. Over the last 12 years the effort has expanded from its roots to benefit from the participation of IT vendors and operators. Zed is the second major update this year, following the OpenStack Yogaupdate that was released in March.

Among the major updates in OpenStack Zed are the new Skyline dashboard project and the Venus log aggregation service. A recurring theme across most OpenStack updates in recent years has also been support for new hardware, which is also happening in the Zed release. And security gets a boost with support for OAuth 2.0 in the Keystone access control project as well as encryption enhancements for block storage.

"For me it's interesting to see how the lifecycle of a project affects the type of changes that still get brought in after 12 years," Thierry Carrez, general manager of the Open Infrastructure Foundation, told ITPro Today.



Skyline Brings a New Horizon to Open Source OpenStack Cloud

OpenStack consists of multiple projects that, when combined, enable a full infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform.

Related:3 Ways to Leverage Open Source in the Cloud

For the last decade, the primary dashboard project within OpenStack has been Horizon. However, the Skyline project could one day replace Horizon with a more modern dashboard interface. At the foundation of the dashboard technology, which provides a visual interface to the services in an OpenStack deployment, is JavaScript. Horizon was built with the AngularJS JavaScript framework, but Skyline uses the more modern ReactJS framework.

Chinese cloud operator 99 Cloud, which is a Gold member of the Open Infrastructure Foundation, is contributing Skyline to OpenStack, according to Carrez.

Another emerging project that was added during the OpenStack Zed release cycle is the Venus log aggregation service. Venus helps cloud operators collect logs coming from different services, Carrez said.

"Venus helps operators collect, clean, index, analyze, visualize, and generate reports on OpenStack logs across a cluster," he said.

Cloud operator Inspurcreated the Venus technology and contributed the technology to the OpenStack project.

OpenStack Zed Gets a Security Upgrade

Security has long been a core focus for OpenStack, and in the Zed update there are a pair notable improvements.

The Keystone authorization project now has support for the OAuth 2.0 specification. OAuth 2.0 is a widely used authentication standard, and by supporting it, OpenStack is now providing operators with more options.

OpenStack Zed is also providing operators with the ability to transfer encrypted storage volumes across a project. Previously, it was only possible to transfer an unencrypted volume.

Next Up: OpenStack 2023.1 Antelope and New Release Cadence

The next major release of OpenStack will be code-named Antelope and is expected to be available on March 22, 2023.

With Antelope, OpenStack will be moving to a new release cadence known as a Skip Level Upgrade Release Process (SLURP). Under the new process, OpenStack will continue to issue two releases each year. The difference is that one release will be tagged as a long-term support release, with the other being short term. The reason for the move is so operators won't have need to upgrade to every release and instead can choose to upgrade once a year.

"It [SLURP] was deemed a good solution to ease the pain of upgrades for operators," Carrez said.

About the Author(s)

Sean Michael Kerner


Sean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.

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