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Red Hat burps out cloudy OpenStack beta distribution

Brings in Foreman to calm cloud wrangler concerns over install and administration

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OpenStack Summit Red Hat has released a beta of a new OpenStack distribution that gives customers greater choice over the types of networking systems they pair with the project's troubled Neutron component.

The availability of Red Hat's snappily named Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5.0 (RHELOP5, for those who have a fetish for abbreviations) was announced by the company on Tuesday at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.

The distribution has fixes and additions to key OpenStack components like compute, Cinder block storage, and the technology's troublesome "Neutron". It also comes with some installation and configuration technology.

The main feature for this release is a tool based on the Foreman open source project which simplifies the install and administration of large openstack systems.

"The Foreman open source project gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy applications, and proactively manage servers, on-premises or in the cloud; this new installer will greatly simplify the initial OpenStack deployment and ensure the healthy development of a complete OpenStack infrastructure. Features will include a simple step-by-step 'wizard-style' graphical user interface (GUI) that will guide users through the deployment process and installation complexities," Red Hat explained in a canned release.

"An area of concern and feedback has been around 'give me an install configure experience'," explained Red Hat's general manager of virtualization and OpenStack Radhesh Balakrishnan in a chat with El Reg. "From a product-maturity perspective, we are making solid progress."

Another area of emphasis for this release has been networking, he explained, with the distro coming with a "Modular Layer 2" plugin for the project's troubled Neutron networking system. This plugin lets Neutron communicate with the OpenDayLight network-function virtualization tech, along with VMware's Open vSwitch tech, giving enterprises greater choice in what networking tools they use. This plugin also lets admins use Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) PCI passthrough to avoid using the switch software layer when moving data around.

There have also been tweaks to Compute which include changes to the scheduling system for controlling where and when virtual machines are run, so admins can tune for applications that need to be run off of single systems or can be run at distance across a data center. ®

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