OpenStack Icehouse Released with Approximately 350 New Features

Bit Ninja

The ninth release of OpenStack, code-named Icehouse, is now available, with approximately 350 new features reflecting a community-wide effort to bring the voice of the user into the open source cloud software platform. The release includes a feature such as rolling upgrades in OpenStack Compute (Nova) that would simplify the process of upgrading to new versions of OpenStack.

openstack-cloud-softwareEach OpenStack release has attracted larger and larger groups of contributors. The Icehouse release had 1,202 contributors, a 32 percent increase from the Havana release six months ago. Approximately 350 new features and 2,902 bug fixes were added in the OpenStack Icehouse release cycle, with a focus on testing, maturity and stability.

The Icehouse version of the open source software, used by hundreds of companies for building public cloud hosting infrastructure, private, and hybrid clouds, adds new features including:

  • OpenStack Compute (Nova) – New support for rolling upgrades minimizes the impact to running workloads during the upgrade process. Testing requirements for third-party drivers have become more stringent, and scheduler performance is improved. Other enhancements include improved boot process reliability across platform services, new features exposed to end users via API updates (e.g., target machines by affinity) and more efficient access to the data layer to improve performance, especially at scale.
  • OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) – A major new feature is discoverability, which would dramatically improve workflows and save time by allowing users to ask any Object Storage cloud what capabilities are available via API call. A new replication process significantly improves performance, with the introduction of s-sync to more efficiently transport data.
  • OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) – Enhancements have been added for backend migration with tiered storage environments, allowing for performance management in heterogeneous environments. Mandatory testing for external drivers now ensures a consistent user experience across storage platforms, and fully distributed services improve scalability.
  • OpenStack Networking (Neutron) – Tighter integration with OpenStack Compute would improve performance of provisioning actions as well as consistency with bulk instance creation. Better functional testing for actions that require coordination between multiple services and third-party driver testing ensure consistency and reliability across network implementations.
  • OpenStack Identity Service (Keystone) – First iteration of federated authentication is now supported allowing users to access private and public OpenStack clouds with the same credentials.
  • OpenStack Orchestration (Heat) – Automated scaling of additional resources across the platform, including compute, storage and networking is now available. A new configuration API brings more lifecycle management for applications, and new capabilities are available to end-users that were previously limited to cloud administrators. Collaboration with OASIS resulted in the TOSCA Simple Profile in YAML v1.0, demonstrating how the feedback and expertise of hands-on OpenStack developers can dramatically improve the applicability of standards.
  • OpenStack Telemetry (Ceilometer) – Improved access to metering data used for automated actions or billing / chargeback purposes.
  • OpenStack Dashboard (Horizon) – Design is updated with new navigation and user experience improvements (e.g., in-line editing). The Dashboard is now available in 16 languages, including German, Serbian and Hindi added during this release cycle.
  • OpenStack Database Service (Trove) – A new capability included in the integrated release allows users to manage relational database services in an OpenStack environment.

Top companies contributing code to the Icehouse release were Red Hat, IBM, HP, Rackspace, Mirantis, SUSE, OpenStack Foundation, eNovance, VMware and Intel. Top users contributing code also included Samsung, Yahoo! and Comcast.