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What’s New about Mirantis OpenStack 5.1

David Easter - September 24, 2014

Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 has just been released, and with it comes several new enhancements.  These features include an experimental preview of features that are technically complete but still require some testing to ensure that they stand up within real world environments.  We’ve done this to enable our customer and community base to review and use the features in controlled environments and then provide feedback - so we strongly encourage you to try them out and let us know what you think!

 Like 5.0.1 before it, you can upgrade Mirantis to OpenStack 5.1 in place and still manage your existing environments deployed by version 5.0 or 5.0.1.  The Fuel Master Node retains the ability to add and delete nodes and perform other operational functions such as log management and Health Checks.  

In addition, here’s a rundown of some of the newly added features:

Fuel is now protected by access control

When using either the Fuel UI or Fuel APIs, users will be asked to provide authentication credentials (e.g. username and password). These credentials and the authentication process are handled by a local instance of Keystone that is present on the Fuel Master Node. Users can change their passwords within the Fuel UI.


VMware NSX is now supported as a network option

Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 enables you to select VMWare NSX, a software-defined networking (SDN) option that uses controllers and overlay networking, as a networking choice.   You can configure this integration from the UI before deployment.

The Fuel Master Node can now be backed up and restored

Building on the Docker packaging architecture introduced in Mirantis Openstack 5.0, the current state of the Fuel Master Node can now be backed up and, if necessary, restored. This is done from the command line in Mirantis OpenStack 5.1.

vCenter integration has been enhanced

The ability to utilize vCenter ESXi servers as compute resources for OpenStack was introduced in Mirantis OpenStack 5.0. In Mirantis OpenStack 5.1, this integration has been enhanced in the following ways:

  • Fuel can now be configured to utilize multiple vCenter clusters. This can be accomplished by entering multiple vCenter cluster names into the Cluster field in the Settings Tab, separating the cluster names with commas.

  • vCenter integration now provides high availability for the Nova-compute service.

  • The compute service used to communicate with vCenter is now deployed on multiple controllers (if available), thus making the implementation highly available.

  • The vCenter Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) can be utilized as a back-end for Cinder utilizing the standard upstream VMWare VMDK Cinder driver. Cinder LVM is no longer supported as a storage option for vCenter.

SR-IOV based networking and ISER block storage over the Mellanox ConnectX-3 adapter family are supported

Mirantis OpenStack can now properly detect Mellanox hardware that is installed on discovered nodes and enable an operator to:

  • Configure storage to work over iSER (High performance iSCSI protocol over RDMA).

  • Install OFED drivers, firmware and configure SR-IOV kernel parameters.

  • Install and configure Mellanox SR-IOV plugin for OpenStack (included in the ML2 plugin) for high performance VM links.

  • Test the environment using Mirantis OpenStack Health Checks.

Ceph storage platform has been updated to Firefly

Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 deploys the Ceph version 0.80.4 ("Firefly"). Previous versions of Mirantis OpenStack deployed the Ceph version 0.67.x ("Dumpling").

Enhanced High Availability Architecture

Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 includes fixes and improvements for a number of OpenStack issues related to the stability and scalability of Highly Available clusters. These fixes have been contributed to the community for possible inclusion in future OpenStack distributions. These fixes are related to the architectural modifications made to Fuel in Release 5.1 and so are not included in the 5.0.2 release.

(Experimental) Fuel can now perform a minor update of existing Mirantis OpenStack environments

In Mirantis OpenStack 5.1, we’ve introduced an experimental feature that enables the Fuel Master Node to perform a minor update to existing Mirantis Openstack environments using Mirantis OpenStack packages provided by Mirantis. You can update an existing environment to a newer stable release automatically through the UI with a single button push.  

For example, Mirantis OpenStack 5.0 is based on the 2014.1 version of Icehouse. Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 contains the packages required to update an Icehouse 2014.1 OpenStack environment (deployed with 5.0) to Icehouse 2014.1.1. In Mirantis OpenStack 5.1, this update package is labeled as “2014.1.1-5.0.2” and the upgrade feature is available from the Actions tab in the Update panel.

(Experimental) Zabbix can be installed as a monitoring solution

Also, when the experimental feature group is enabled, Mirantis OpenStack can now deploy the Zabbix solution to monitor network and server devices as well as OpenStack services. The Zabbix server can be selected as a role to be deployed onto a discovered node; Zabbix agents are automatically deployed onto all other OpenStack nodes in the environment.

Zabbix comes with some standard templates for monitoring the operating system and general health of a server.  We’ve also added templates that enable you to monitor OpenStack services, High Availability processes and other components utilized by OpenStack (e.g. mySQL).  



We’re extremely excited about this newest release of Mirantis OpenStack.  It delivers on several features requested by both customers and the wider community.  It continues to provide a stable and reliable infrastructure choice to run production workloads.  And it makes all this available through an easy to use lifecycle management application.  We hope you download and utilize Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 and see for yourself!

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