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OpenStack Rolls Out Diablo

The OpenStack consortium on Thursday released the fourth version of its open source cloud operating system.

Dubbed Diablo, the new release gains improved compute scalability, storage and networking. And OpenStack is introducing identity management features and a new Web-based management interface slated for the next release of the platform.

OpenStack, founded by NASA and Rackspace, is an open source project to deliver a cloud operating system for enterprises to build private clouds and for service providers. It has more than 100 companies contributing to the project. 

Diablo takes an important step forward in making OpenStack more suited for enterprise cloud deployments, said Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the OpenStack Project Policy Board and a founder of the Rackspace Cloud.

"It's a pretty significant release for us, it's a release that opens the door for many more organizations to come in and use OpenStack," Bryce said. "With the last release [Cactus], the functionality of the cloud was all there, but if you were not a sophisticated IT department or development shop, it could be difficult to jump right into it. I think there are quite a few features in this one that make it a lot easier and a lot more deployable for many more organizations."

With 70 new features in Diablo, Bryce emphasized three:

  1. Compute (Nova): Includes a distributed scheduler for the deployment of virtual machines globally, a high-availability networking mode and a new authentication system called OpenStack Identity management.

  2. Object Storage (Swift): A new feature called Container Syncing allows an administrator to pick individual containers or folders of data and mark them for syncing to an entire separate OpenStack Object Storage cluster. "It will keep track of the changes and make sure the containers stay in sync across separate clusters, not just within a cluster," Bryce said. "It's another added level of scale across multiple locations and data resiliency."

  3. Image Service (Glance): The Image service includes new filtering and searching functions through the API.

Also introduced in conjunction with Diablo are two incubation projects that will be core in the next release of the OpenStack platform, called Essex, which is slated for release in the next six months.

The first is Dashboard, which will let admins provision and manage cloud resources via a self-service portal. The second is Keystone, aimed at providing common authentication across all OpenStack projects. Keystone is not a new directory system, Bryce explained, but rather one that can interface with existing authentication platforms such as Microsoft's Active Directory and repositories based on LDAP.

Coinciding with next year's release of Essex, OpenStack will release another incubation project called Quantum, which provides an API that dynamically requests and configures virtual networks and offers advanced networking and virtualization capabilities, Bryce said.

Plans for Essex will be discussed at the OpenStack Design Summit and Conference, to be held in Boston during the first week of October.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on September 22, 2011