OpenStack Ocata Improves Container Support

OpenStack Ocata Improves Container Support

The combination of OpenStack and Kubernetes is becoming an essential standard for private and hybrid cloud deployments.

Last week's release of Ocata, the 15th edition of OpenStack, arrived earlier than might be expected, coming only four months after it's last release. This made it two months premature of its normal six month release cycle. Even with the already early release, it appears that someone at the OpenStack foundation was in a hurry to push this one out the door, as the Foundation sent out an email announcing the release, with a link to a download page returning a 404 error. Thirty minutes later came an "oops" email: "In our excitement, we hit 'SEND' too soon."

Maybe this will make the people at the Motion Picture Academy feel a little better about Sunday night's "best picture" brouhaha. Maybe not.

The pushed up schedule was a one time adjustment to accommodate a change in the way the OpenStack Foundation will schedule its Design Summit going forward, meaning that the next release, Pike, will most likely happen in late August, although there's been no official time stamp yet. As you might expect from a hurry-up release, the focus with Ocata has been on issues such as stability, scalability and performance.

For the uninitiated, OpenStack is a platform designed to give enterprises the ability to run an AWS style cloud platform from their data centers. It's a huge undertaking, consisting of nearly 20 sub-projects, all of which have supplied updates to this edition. And while Ocata might be seen as something of a maintenance release, it's not without some new goodies added to the mix -- mostly revolving around containers.

This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody working with the cloud. Indeed, OpenStack's COO, Mark Collier, has indicated that the fastest growing projects connected to OpenStack revolve around containers, and recently told TechCrunch's Frederic Lardinois that OpenStack combined with Kubernetes is becoming the "LAMP stack of the cloud."

Looking at what the big three Linux enterprise distributions -- Red Hat, Ubuntu and SUSE -- are pushing these days, I would say that's an apt description.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of OpenStack right now is Kolla, an OpenStack project to ease deployment of OpenStack in a container. OpenStack has a reputation for being rather difficult to install, and use of Kolla makes deployment relatively easy and takes a lot of the finger crossing out of upgrading. In Ocata, the integration of Kubernetes into Kolla has been improved.

The irony of OpenStack's future resting not only on its support of containers, but on it's being run in them, isn't lost on the folks involved with the project.

“A year ago, people thought containers might be the death of OpenStack,” the OpenStack Foundation's executive director, Jonathan Bryce, said, “but they were actually a new source of momentum for the cloud platform. Using container orchestration frameworks to run OpenStack like an application makes it easier to operate. That means it takes fewer people to run the cloud, making OpenStack a more accessible and practical option to those running at smaller scale.”

A complete list of improvements and new features in OpenStack Ocata are available on the project's website.

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