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Open Source OpenStack Moving Forward as Folsom Nears

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted June 29, 2012


It's shaping up to be a busy summer for the OpenStack project. Over the course of the next several months, the open source group will finalize its next major release and officially launch a new foundation to govern the entire project.

The Folsom release is set for a late September release, and the OpenStack Foundation could makes its debut in the same timeframe.

"We're on target to launch the foundation," Mark Collier, Rackspace VP of Business & Corporate Development, told InternetNews. "Now what we're doing is the blocking and tackling and moving the ball forward so that everything is on track."

OpenStack Open SourceThe OpenStack Foundation effort was officially announced in April of this year as a way to bring a new open governance structure to the open source effort. As part of the foundation, the top platinum tier of members pay $500,000 a year. The initial set of platinum members includes AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat and SUSE.

OpenStack was originally started as a joint effort of Rackspace and NASA back in July of 2010. While the official formation of the OpenStack Foundation will be a milestone moment, Collier noted that it won't change the technical direction of the project, but it will provide a transparency and open governance.

Folsom

The last OpenStack release was Essex, which was released in April of this year. Essex is set to be followed up with Folsom in September.

Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the Project Policy Board for OpenStack, told InternetNews that the Folsom release cycle is going well so far. Among the new technologies that will debut in that release are several new pieces in the Quantum networking project. Those pieces will provide IP address management and layer 3 network management as well. There is also some new block storage functionality set to land in Folsom with the new Cinder effort.

The ability to migrate OpenStack running guests across different installations is also getting a boost.

"The Glance image service is getting some big API updates, including the ability to serve images across different installations," Byrce said. "So you can take a snapshot of a running instance and then you can serve that image out to a completely different installation of an OpenStack compute cloud somewhere else."

Enterprise Stability

OpenStack is currently on a six-month release cycle, which is somewhat faster than a typical enterprise support lifecycle. It's a challenge that is being worked on by those that package up OpenStack into OpenStack distribution. Bryce said that a number of OpenStack participants have formed a sub-team within OpenStack that focuses on doing the patch management and release-process stable branches as well as backporting fixes.

"It's always possible to get the latest bits directly from the OpenStack project itself, and we've had around 200,000 downloads from our source repositories," Bryce said. "But at the same time there are a lot of enterprises and businesses that have existing relationship with Red Hat, SUSE or Ubuntu, so it's nice that you can also get software available that way too."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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