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Mirantis OpenStack 6.0 Accelerates Fuel Plugin Deployment

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted January 8, 2015


Mirantis today released its OpenStack 6.0 cloud platform, providing new capabilities for cloud server administrators to rapidly deploy clouds with new services. Among the key enhancements are improvements to Mirantis' Fuel system for plugin deployment.

Mirantis is one of the leading vendors in the OpenStack market and closed a $100 million investment round in October. The company had released its OpenStack 5.1 platform in September, building on the OpenStack Icehouse upstream release. OpenStack - Rounded

The new Mirantis OpenStack 6.0 platform is the first from Mirantis to be based on the OpenStack Juno upstream milestone that first debuted on October 16.

One of the new additions in the OpenStack Juno platform is the Trove database-as-a-service (DBaaS) project. Nathan Trueblood, Senior Director Product Management at Mirantis, said that Trove is not yet part of the Mirantis OpenStack distribution.

"However, Mirantis recently partnered with Tesora, a commercial distributor of Trove, and we have certified that Tesora's Trove distribution is supported on Mirantis OpenStack 6.0," Trueblood told ServerWatch.

Fuel Tools a Key Value-Add for Mirantis OpenStack

A key part of Mirantis' value-add in its OpenStack product is the inclusion of Fuel tools to help organizations deploy and manage OpenStack clouds at scale.

With Mirantis OpenStack 6.0 the Fuel plugin builder enables cloud administrators to more easily integrate new services into the cloud. OpenStack itself is a framework into which supported services can be connected, though getting those services in and loaded can sometimes involves additional manual efforts.

Trueblood explained that today Fuel plugins let an administrator add functionality to OpenStack clouds at deployment time.

"The Fuel plugin framework allows a plugin to extend deployment automation with arbitrary code that could include the restart of affected services," Trueblood explained. "However, after a cloud is deployed, any additional functionality would need be installed on the nodes manually, which could require a service restart depending on what was added."

For an existing Mirantis OpenStack cloud server deployment, Fuel can be leveraged to roll out a managed migration to the 6.0 update. Trueblood noted that Mirantis OpenStack 6.0 supports the upgrade of the Fuel Master Node, letting a user manage multiple clouds with different underlying OpenStack versions.

He explained that, for example, a user running the OpenStack IceHouse release with Mirantis OpenStack 5.1.1 could upgrade their Fuel Master to version 6.0.

"This would let the user manage their existing 5.1.1 environments as well as deploy new 6.0 (Juno) environments," Trueblood explained. "An experimental feature in Mirantis OpenStack 6.0 does allow a user to upgrade from one maintenance release to another within a major OpenStack release series (IceHouse to IceHouse, for example).

That said, he added that an upgrade of a cloud from one major release of OpenStack to another, such as from IceHouse to Juno, is not yet supported. These types of upgrades are a capability that Mirantis is actively working on.

A Continued Focus on Security and Reliability

One of the key improvements that Mirantis introduced with its prior OpenStack 5.1 update was stronger security for the Fuel user interface and APIs.

Trueblood commented that the new 6.0 release includes improvements to make the Fuel authentication facility more robust, including automatic purging of tokens from the Keystone database that is created on the Fuel Master node. The improvements were also back-ported to the Mirantis 5.1.1 release.

While security is always a focus for any form of software, in the cloud, reliability and high-availability are also important areas of development. Trueblood noted that Mirantis' scale-testing lab continues to certify Fuel-deployed clouds at increasing scale.

"With the release of 6.0, we certify out-of-the-box deployments at 100 nodes," Trueblood said. "Of course, our customers are running Mirantis OpenStack at much greater scale in production but these deployments have typically required additional tuning."


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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