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OpenStack Icehouse: IT'S ALIVE! – live migration, that is

Ninth release of open source cloud manager gains key enterprise features

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OpenStack's Icehouse release has arrived, bearing stress-busting gifts for hollow-eyed cloud administrators.

The distribution was released on Thursday, and – finally – gives admins some upgrading features for shifting OpenStack's "Nova" compute component to the new version without having to pull the plug on their entire install.

"Limited live upgrades are now supported," the release notes say. "This enables deployers to upgrade controller infrastructure first, and subsequently upgrade individual compute nodes without requiring downtime of the entire cloud to complete."

Icehouse marks the ninth release of the open source data center management software, which was created in mid-2010 when NASA and Rackspace open sourced some of the software with which they had built their IT.

Since then, major companies including HP and Red Hat have made significant commercial bets on the software, and it has become an area of unusual collaboration within the tech industry. Even proprietary giant Oracle is using it in some capacity and has poured money into the OpenStack Foundation (though has not contributed code back – yet).

That doesn't mean the software lacks problems, though – OpenStack suffers from immaturity in a few areas due to both its youth and the expansive nature of the project.

Icehouse comes with 2,902 bug fixes and 350 new features. Its contributor list has grown as well to over 1,200 individuals – a 32 per cent increase over the previous Havana release.

Besides live upgrades, OpenStack's "Neutron" networking module has been given closer integration with "Nova" compute for better provisioning. It has also been given support via drivers and plugins for OpenDaylight, OneConvergence, Nuage, and IBM SDN-VE.

Storage has been upgraded as well, with the "Swift" object store gaining discoverability features that let admins query more information via an API call, and the "Cinder" block store has been given greater capabilities for migrating data within tiered storage installs. Other services such as orchestration telemetry and dashboards have been given upgrades as well.

The "Keystone" identity service has been given a major series of upgrades to make it easier to use a single credential across hybrid OpenSack environments, along with self-service capabilities as well.

As OpenStack is such an expansive project at this stage in its life, we'd direct interested readers to the release notes for more information.

With Icehouse, Red Hat's belief that there will be major money in OpenStack environments by the end of 2015 seems a safe bet.

"The evolving maturation and refinement that we see in Icehouse make it possible for OpenStack users to support application developers with the services they need to develop, deploy and iterate on apps at the speeds they need to remain competitive," said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, in a canned press release. ®

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