Market Overview

OpenStack Bare Metal Clouds, Fast Forward Upgrades and Hardware Accelerators Take Center Stage in Latest Release, 'Rocky'


18th release of OpenStack addresses new demands for infrastructure
driven by modern use cases like AI, machine learning, NFV and edge
computing, by starting with a bare metal foundation and enabling
containers, VMs and GPUs

The OpenStack community today released Rocky, the 18th version of the
most widely deployed open source cloud infrastructure software. The
software now powers more than 75 public cloud data centers and thousands
of private clouds at a scale of more than 10 million compute cores.
OpenStack is the one infrastructure platform uniquely suited to
deployments of diverse hardware architectures—bare metal, virtual
machines (VMs), graphics processing units (GPUs) and containers.

Among the dozens
of enhancements provided in Rocky
, two key highlights are
refinements to Ironic (the bare metal provisioning service) and fast
forward upgrades. There are also several emerging projects and features
designed to meet new user requirements for hardware accelerators, high
availability configurations, serverless capabilities, and edge and
internet of things (IoT) use cases.

Bare metal: programmable infrastructure for any compute instance

The vast majority of enterprises are running both VMs and containers to
support emerging use cases like edge computing, network functions
virtualization (NFV) and artificial intelligence (AI) /machine learning.
Enterprises are starting to deploy containers directly on bare metal in
addition to VMs. OpenStack bare metal clouds, powered by Ironic, lay the
foundation for this hybrid environment. Ironic is one of the fastest
growing OpenStack projects.

OpenStack Ironic is bringing more sophisticated management and
automation capabilities to bare metal infrastructure, and as a driver
for Nova, allows for multi tenancy. That means users can manage physical
infrastructure in the same way they are used to managing VMs, especially
with new Ironic features landed in Rocky:

  • User-managed BIOS settings—BIOS (basic
    input output system) performs hardware initialization and has many
    configuration options that support a variety of use cases when
    customized. Options can help users gain performance, configure power
    management options, or enable technologies like SR-IOV or DPDK. Ironic
    now lets users manage BIOS settings, supporting use cases like NFV and
    giving users more flexibility.
  • Conductor groups—In Ironic, the
    "conductor" is what uses drivers to execute operations on the
    hardware. Ironic has introduced the "conductor_group" property, which
    can be used to restrict what nodes a particular conductor (or
    conductors) have control over. This allows users to isolate nodes
    based on physical location, reducing network hops for increased
    security and performance.
  • RAM Disk deployment interface—A new
    interface in Ironic for diskless deployments. This is seen in
    large-scale and high performance computing (HPC) use cases when
    operators desire fully ephemeral instances for rapidly standing up a
    large-scale environment.

"OpenStack Ironic provides bare metal cloud services, bringing the
automation and speed of provisioning normally associated with virtual
machines to physical servers," said Julia Kreger, principal software
engineer at Red Hat and OpenStack Ironic project team lead. "This
powerful foundation lets you run VMs and containers in one
infrastructure platform, and that's what operators are looking for."

"At Oath, OpenStack manages hundreds of thousands of bare metal compute
resources in our data centers. We have made significant changes to our
supply chain process using OpenStack, fulfilling common bare metal quota
requests within minutes," said James Penick, IaaS Architect at Oath.
"We're looking forward to deploying the Rocky release to take advantage
of its numerous enhancements such as BIOS management, which will further
streamline how we maintain, manage and deploy our infrastructure."

Release-Day Availability

The capabilities of Rocky are available
on launch day
via a new, Silicon Valley public cloud availability
zone powered by Canada-based provider, VEXXHOST. Mohammed Naser, CEO of
VEXXHOST, said, "The OpenStack Rocky release makes it possible to deploy
quickly and upgrade more easily. This is a huge advantage for public
cloud providers, who compete on the ability to push new capabilities to
customers faster. OpenStack Rocky made it possible for us to open our
new Silicon Valley region on launch day."

Download Rocky and learn more, including details on features and
enhancements, here.

Additional Highlights

  • Cyborg provides lifecycle management for accelerators like
    GPUs, FPGA, DPDK and SSDs. In Rocky, Cyborg introduces a new REST API
    for FPGAs––an accelerator seen in machine learning, image recognition
    and other HPC use cases––letting users dynamically change the
    functions loaded on an FPGA device.
  • Qinling is introduced in Rocky. Qinling ("CHEEN - LEENG"), a
    function-as-a-service (FaaS) project, delivers serverless capabilities
    on top of OpenStack clouds, allowing users to run functions on
    OpenStack clouds without managing servers, VMs or containers, while
    still connecting to other OpenStack services like Keystone.
  • Masakari, which supports high availability by providing
    automatic recovery from failures, expands its monitoring capabilities
    to include internal failures in an instance, such as a hung OS, data
    corruption or a scheduling failure.
  • Octavia, the load balancing project, adds support for UDP (user
    datagram protocol), bringing load balancing to edge and IoT use cases.
    UDP is the transport layer frequently seen in voice, video and other
    real-time applications.
  • Magnum, a project that makes container orchestration engines
    and their resources first-class resources in OpenStack, has become a
    Certified Kubernetes installer in the Rocky cycle. Passing these
    conformance tests gives users confidence that Magnum interacts with
    Kubernetes as it is expected to.

Upgrade process delivers new features faster, eases operational

The Fast Forward Upgrade (FFU) feature from the TripleO project is ready
for prime time, all set to help users overcome upgrade hurdles and get
on newer releases of OpenStack faster. The recent releases of OpenStack
delivered a wealth of features to support the evolution in cloud use
cases, but users on older versions miss out on these innovations. Now
FFU lets a TripleO user on Release "N" quickly speed through
intermediary releases to get on Release "N+3" (the current iteration of
FFU being the Newton release to Queens), gaining access to the
ease-of-operations enhancements and novel developments like vGPU support
present in Queens.

At the Berlin Summit, November 13-15, Adobe
Advertising Cloud
and the Science
and Technology Facilities Council
are presenting their OpenStack
upgrades strategy. Oath will also be leading a workshop, tapping into
their own experience from upgrading
20,000 cores from Juno to Ocata

Upcoming OpenStack ‘Open Infrastructure' Summits

Learn more about Rocky at the upcoming OpenStack
Summit Berlin
, November 13-15. Attendees from more than 50 countries
will gather and interact with speakers from industry-leading companies,
discussing innovation in open infrastructure. Critical application focus
areas for the Summit include edge computing, continuous
integration/continuous development (CI/CD), AI, NFV and container
infrastructure, as well as public, private and hybrid strategies. Browse
the OpenStack Summit event agenda
and sessions featuring more than
35 open source projects, including new projects hosted at the OpenStack
Foundation: Airship, Kata Containers, StarlingX and Zuul.

Analysts and members of the media can contact
for information about registration.

About OpenStack®

OpenStack is the only open source integration engine that provides APIs
to orchestrate bare metal, virtual machines and container resources on a
single network. The same OpenStack code powers a global network of
public and private clouds, backed by the industry's largest ecosystem of
technology providers, to enable cost savings, control and portability. A
global community of 90,000 individuals in 187 countries work together on
the OpenStack project.

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