OpenStack Havana: So many changes, so little time

Nick Chase - October 9, 2013 -

The Havana release of OpenStack is just over one week away, and as the community prepares to send it out into the world, users, developers, administrators, operators, and everyone else in the ecosystem are trying to get their heads around what’s coming.

It’s no surprise. The upcoming OpenStack Havana release will see the addition of a staggering 393 implemented blueprints, each of which represents a new feature or change in the way OpenStack works.  Even the release notes, which distill the list down to just the essentials, lists 34 new features just for Nova!

In fact, at the time of this writing, only a few projects — OpenStack Identity (Keystone), OpenStack Compute (Nova), OpenStack Orchestration (Heat), and OpenStack Documentation — had completed their release notes, but there’s already a lot to be excited about.

A sampling of OpenStack Havana additions

Some of the new features listed include:

  • Cells capabilities have been greatly expanded.  Extensions to the Nova API include the ability to determine the available RAM in a cell, and the cell scheduler has brand new features to bring it conceptually closer to host scheduling.  Live migration is also supported within cells.

  • The default quota can now be edited, and administrators can set quotas on a per-user basis, rather than just a per-tenant basis.

  • A Cinder volume attached to an instance can be transparently swapped out, with no loss or corruption of data.

  • The backend for a Cinder volume can be swapped out, enabling you to change the physical drive type hosting a volume as your needs change.

  • Keystone can store credentials such as tokens in a separate backend.

  • Deployers can create a custom Keystone provider interface

That’s just a tiny fraction of the new capabilities that OpenStack’s Havana brings, and it doesn’t even mention the addition of two completely new projects that were not part of the integrated release for Grizzly, OpenStack Orchestration (Heat) which provides the ability to automatically scale a cluster up or down based on templates, and OpenStack Metering (Ceilometer), which provides a way to measure the usage and activity of your cluster, for billing or monitoring.

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