OpenStack Pike and all new updates to the Cloud Archive

Mark Baker

Mark Baker

on 1 September 2017


On Wednesday 30th August, the upstream OpenStack community officially announced the release of OpenStack Pike. Pike represents the 2nd release of OpenStack this year after Ocata was released back in February and it shows that the innovation and progress in OpenStack shows no signs of slowing just yet. With recent big announcements from Google, Amazon and VMware it is important that OpenStack continues to develop and offer a real, open alternative to public cloud platforms for organisations wanting to operate application infrastructure in house.

New features:

Pike updates have focused on manageability, flexibility and scale. Ubuntu OpenStack users  also benefit from updates to a number of key complementary technologies such as Ceph storage and OpenvSwitch.

Manageability

Thanks to updates of Cinder the block storage service of OpenStack, users get greater management of their data volumes, able to revert to a snapshot to recover from data loss or corruption. Volumes can also now be extended without rebooting a VM.

Ironic, a bare metal service for OpenStack also now joins Cinder, Nova, Neutron and Swift in being able to support rolling upgrades. Whilst we have seen that for many uses cases, machines launched in OpenStack with LXD as a container hypervisor will deliver bare metal performance with greater security control and simplicity. For those who for one reason or another require Ironic, the ability to support rolling upgrades improves uptime during maintenance periods.

Flexibility

Users of Swift can now use a remote region to recover and even in the event of cross region network failure, individual regions can still function.

Scalability

Cells are an architectural implementation that breaks availability zones into units each with its own database and messaging server used to track state of the cloud. By splitting AZs in this way, centralised database and messaging services are no longer a bottleneck enabling larger pools of compute to be made available. In Pike more cells are supported and it is a great step to full CellsV2 support due in the next release of OpenStack known as Queens.

Ubuntu OpenStack specific updates

Now that we are over halfway through an LTS cycle OpenStack Pike gives us an opportunity to refresh many of the underlying operating system dependencies that OpenStack makes use of:

QEMU – now refreshed to version 2.10 with improved NVMe support and handling of NUMA process scheduling.

Libvirt 3.6.0 – many new features relating to use of libvirt with IBM pSeries servers and improvements in how hot plug events are handled with relation to vlans and OpenvSwitch

Open vSwitch 2.8.0 – improvements to OVN including native active/passive HA support for ovn-northd, improvements to  network flow handling and improved support for DPDK (17.05.1)

Ceph 12.2.0 – with Luminous also released this week it made sense to combine it with the release of Pike. Luminous has a new simple, built-in web-based dashboard for monitoring cluster status immediately improving usability. Luminous also uses Bluestore by default for ceph-osd meaning that a filesystem is no longer required.

Access Pike now

sudo add-apt-repository cloud-archive:pike

New Charms for Pike will be released early next week giving users a clear way to upgrade from Ocata.  We’ll post more details on that soon.

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