OpenStack Icehouse Moves Open-Source Cloud Forward

Icehouse development benefits from more code commits then ever before, though only 21 percent of the developers were responsible for 80 percent of the total.

The OpenStack Icehouse release debuted this week, providing users of the open-source cloud platform with a long list of new features. Among those features are live updates for Nova compute, storage replication enhancements and a new Database-as-a-Service capability.

OpenStack got its start back in July of 2010 as a joint open-source effort between Rackspace and NASA. OpenStack has since expanded to include the biggest names in the IT industry with IBM, Cisco, Dell, HP among the many organizations that support the open-source cloud effort.

For the Icehouse release, over 120 different organizations contributed to development with 1,202 different developers all contributing code. While there is a broad base of contribution, 80 percent of the code commits were written by 21 percent of the developers that contributed to Icehouse.

From a corporate perspective, Red Hat committed more code than any other organization toward the OpenStack Icehouse release, at 16.71 percent of total number of code comitts. For the OpenStack Havana release six months ago, Red Hat contributed 16.6 percent of the code changes. Rounding out the top five contributors overall to OpenStack Icehouse development were IBM, HP, Rackspace and Mirantis.

Among those top five contributors, Rackspace is already running OpenStack Icehouse to power its public cloud offering.

"We're always doing continuous integration and deployment into production, based on what's out there in the OpenStack community," John Engates, CTO of Rackspace, told Datamation. "We're basically running Icehouse in our public cloud."

Rackspace also has a private enterprise offering, which is not currently running Icehouse. Enterprise vendors, including Red Hat, tend to take additional time and measures to harden code before making it available for enterprise production usage.

"Our private cloud technology is more of a point in time release, rather than a continuous release cycle," Engates said. "It's a few weeks to a few months after an public OpenStack release until we our own private release, we're certainly not in a huge hurry there."

OpenStack Icehouse Features

There is only one new project that has been integrated into OpenStack Icehouse and that is the Trove Database-as-a-Service (DaaS) project. Rackspace along with HP helped to start the project under the name Project Red Dwarf back in 2011. Rackspace today offers a DaaS offering on its own public cloud based on Trove.

Ken Hui, Rackspace OpenStack evangelist, explained to Datamation that Rackspace has been offering MySQL as a Service in its public cloud. The Trove project moves beyond just MySQL and can also support NoSQL databases like Cassandra and Reddis.

Hui noted that Trove and Rackspace's DaaS enables developers to be able to quickly spin up a database without the need to go a database administrator.

"It's just a simple template that leverages the resources in OpenStack ," Hui said.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.




Tags: cloud computing, Red Hat, OpenStack, open source cloud, OpenStack Cloud


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