OpenStack Essex release is most stable yet, supporters say

Essex is expected to be released on Thursday

The latest version of the cloud operating system OpenStack, known as Essex, will be released on Thursday, and supporters say that its stability should encourage larger deployments.

Essex, the fifth OpenStack release, includes 150 new features and enhancements, said Jonathan Bryce, co-founder of Rackspace Cloud and chairman of the OpenStack Project Policy Board. Fifty-five companies and 200 developers contributed code to Essex, he said.

To improve the stability, this time OpenStack developers left the final six weeks of the release schedule for testing. That allowed developers to make sure it's the most stable release yet, he said.

Some of that testing happened on high-volume clouds and that work was fed back into the project, helping to stabilize the software for use at scale, said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. The emphasis on stability in Essex could convince architects of large cloud services -- public or private -- to move forward with commercial implementations.

"There's been so much momentum around OpenStack but in terms of implementations, there's more momentum than production," Crandell said.

Essex also improves the integration between various OpenStack components. "For folks that are deploying all of OpenStack, [Essex makes it] a lot easier to manage configurations with all these different pieces tied together," said Joshua McKenty, CEO of Piston Cloud. Piston offers an OpenStack distribution that enterprises can use to build private clouds.

Essex makes many functions of OpenStack more extensible and pluggable, said Bryce. That enabled the addition of support for block storage options from Nexenta, SolidFire and NetAp storage products in Essex.

In addition, Essex adds a dashboard for self-service provisioning that was architected to easily plug into third-party monitoring products and services.

"The plug-in framework has matured," McKenty said.

Essex also for the first time includes a new identity management system that lets users have a single authentication across all OpenStack projects they are running, Bryce said.

Swift, OpenStack's object storage capability, gets updates as well, including the ability to expire objects according to document retention policies, new protections against corruption and degradation of data, and disaster recovery improvements.

"When you put it all together, this is really getting to the point where we have a complete cloud OS that you can use to manage compute, storage and networking and manage it all through a Web-based interface and have all the components integrated," Bryce said.

The time frame in which OpenStack users will implement Essex is likely to vary. Piston expects to be using it at the end of the third quarter. "We're excited to take advantage of Essex and we have faith in the stability of the release, but we do a couple months of testing ... before release," McKenty said. Since he has users in regions like Southeast Asia, if Piston implements new software and problems arise, he's on the hook to send an engineer to the customer to help out.

Some vendors, like Rackspace, have been working with each new release candidate of Essex and may be ready to start using it quickly after its release, Crandell said.

AT&T, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Internap have all announced or launched public clouds using OpenStack. Companies like Piston now offer software that enterprises can use to build their own OpenStack clouds.

OpenStack's Essex release is slightly eclipsed this week by a major announcement from Citrix that it is abandoning its OpenStack distribution and throwing its weight behind its own CloudStack, which it is now contributing as an Apache Software Foundation project. OpenStack supporters minimized the move, saying that OpenStack has a head start in attracting developers from around the industry to contribute to its project.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?