In April, the OpenStack Foundation released Icehouse, the ninth release of the OpenStack cloud platform. The general consensus seems to be that while Icehouse has some compelling new features, the focus of this version of OpenStack is on enterprise-grade readiness. Vendors like Rackspace and users with strong engineering talent have been very successful in creating enterprise-grade clouds using earlier OpenStack releases, but there has been a concerted focus by the community to stabilize the code and to enhance the operational capabilities of the platform. As a result, more vendors and partners in the ecosystem are now able to deliver OpenStack-powered products and services that can satisfy the stringent infrastructure requirements of enterprise shops.
Let’s take a look at what makes Icehouse enterprise-grade:
Given the large number of new features and bug fixes in Icehouse, I won’t try to do a comprehensive review. Instead, I will highlight a few key updates and talk about their importance in creating an enterprise-grade cloud platform.
Rackspace runs the world’s largest OpenStack-powered public cloud and also operates a number of OpenStack-powered private clouds on behalf of enterprise customers. As such, there is always strong interest in how we consume the latest OpenStack releases and what we are doing to operationalize the platform. Users and other vendors alike rightfully believe that Rackspace’s experience with OpenStack is a bellwether in judging the enterprise-readiness of the platform.
The Rackspace Public Cloud is currently running code that is based on an Icehouse feature freeze release candidate. That means that Rackspace effectively has all of the new capabilities of Icehouse running in our public cloud (for Nova, Glance and Swift). We should be running the actual Icehouse release code some time in the second quarter as we continuously update our cloud. We recently released new updates to the current Grizzly- and Havana-based Rackspace Private Cloud (RPC) product and service; Rackspace is now working on an Icehouse-based version of RPC and we plan to deliver an enterprise-grade version to the market in a timely fashion.
One of the major focuses in making OpenStack more enterprise-ready, along with the Icehouse code, is operational capabilities. These capabilities are not only provided through new features, such as live upgrades, but also by codifying and automating recommended practices for operating an OpenStack cloud. Rackspace is committed to sharing these practices with the OpenStack community and helping to increase the OpenStack community’s collective operational knowledge and excellence. Stay tuned for more details. Meanwhile, please attend the Rackspace keynote at OpenStack Summit Atlanta next week during which Troy Toman, Cloud Architect and Foundation member, will talk more about what it will take to continue the advancement of the OpenStack cloud platform.