October 16, 2014 | Written by: Brad Topol
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Enterprise readiness and user experience improvements are just a few of the highlights of the latest release of OpenStack, codenamed Juno. As the OpenStack ecosystem celebrates yet another successful milestone, I wanted to honor all of OpenStack’s developers by highlighting some of the best new features that users can expect in this latest release, as well as celebrate some truly amazing contributions by team IBM.
The OpenStack ecosystem continues to experience outstanding growth. In the Juno release, the number of contributors has reached the impressive milestone of more than 2,500 with an average of 400 contributing monthly in the last 12 months. There have been almost 130,000 commits with 61,000 in the last 12 months and an average of 4,000 monthly commits since the beginning of 2014, leaving no doubt that OpenStack is the place to be for IaaS open source development.
Like many of these loyal developers and sponsors, IBM remains committed to the success of OpenStack by increasing contributions focused on improving the OpenStack ecosystem for the benefit of the entire OpenStack community and accelerating its growth. I’m excited to have the opportunity to present an early preview of the key contributions for this latest release.
Increased enterprise security
IBM continues to lead several enterprise integration efforts in OpenStack’s Identity Service Project codenamed Keystone. Key enhancements by the IBM team include federating multiple Keystones, enhanced auditing, and better support for multiple identity backends. Consistent with the Icehouse release, IBM contributors collaborated heavily with contributors from CERN and Rackspace on new enhancements that enable Keystones from multiple clouds to work together using industry standard federation protocols thus laying a solid foundation for enabling OpenStack based hybrid clouds.
For users, this means it will be simpler to combine their on premise OpenStack cloud with the public cloud of their choice. IBM contributors also continued to expand critical CADF Standard-based auditing work to include audit support for users authenticating through a federated environment or when a role assignment is created or deleted.
Furthermore, full support for multiple identity backends was realized in the Juno release. This not only enables Keystone to support different corporate directories but also allows a deployer to specify using an SQL backend for local service accounts, and an LDAP backend for all other users. This results in providing the users a much simpler approach for integrating with their read only LDAP backends.
Block storage improvements
For two consecutive release cycles, IBM has continued to lead in contributions to OpenStack’s Block Storage project, codenamed Cinder. This includes contributions such as the base enablement of volume replication, making it possible for Cinder to create volumes with a replica on the storage backend that can be quickly switched to in the case of a catastrophic storage system failure.
IBM also committed patches to enable internationalization support in Cinder logs, making it possible for OpenStack users to view Cinder logs in languages other than English. Security was enhanced via patches to scrub passwords from logs and to enhance the existing SSH functionality to not ignore unexpected system keys.
Enhanced user experience
In an effort to improve the OpenStack user experience, IBM increased its contributions in the Juno cycle to the OpenStack dashboard project, codenamed Horizon. IBMers contributed more than 1,500 code reviews and also were Horizon’s third highest committer. New key features were added such as custom tooltip support, filtering and pagination support, improved help text, and increased internationalization support. They also continue to work on improving performance and responsiveness by moving Horizon to a client-side rendering model.
For the OpenStack Compute project codenamed Nova, IBM contributors led the development of the design of the new V2.1 API. This work supports the ability to make API changes in the future with much less overhead than the current process including backwards incompatible changes which were not previously possible. We also made numerous bug fixing contributions across Nova and were part of the team monitoring the health of the OpenStack community development system and applied fixes to a variety of bugs affecting OpenStack Continuous Integration as problems arose.
It’s all about interoperability
IBM has also been a strong contributor to Refstack which is the OpenStack community project focused on assessing OpenStack interoperability and provides an API test certification process for OpenStack service and product vendors. IBM was the top contributor to The Refstack-client project which is a test tool that runs compliance tests against a target OpenStack deployment and the second highest contributor to the Refstack project which is a community portal that stores test results, and performs analysis and reporting of compliance outcomes. Refstack ensures that OpenStack based offerings are interoperable which is the true value behind building on open technologies.
Unfortunately it is simply not possible in this article to cover all the innovations that have been added to OpenStack by IBM in the Juno release. Furthermore, there are many other outstanding contributions in this release by active contributors from other companies. Please join us at the next OpenStack Summit in Paris Nov. 3-7 for a much more comprehensive overview of the advances and improvements in the latest version of OpenStack. I look forward to seeing you in Paris!
(Related: IBM technical sessions at the OpenStack Summit)