OpenStack’s Mitaka release focuses on manageability and user experience

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 5:17 PM

In many ways, this new release shows the growing maturity of the project, which was originally incubated in two thousand-tenth by Rackspace and NASA. Instead of lots of major feature additions (though there are still plenty of those), the focus for this release was on making the platform easier to manage for cloud operators and to make better the overall experience for users, as well.

OpenStack’s Mitaka release focuses on manageability and user experience

The OpenStack Foundation today launched Mitaka, the thirteenth release of its open source undertaking cloud platform.

In many ways, this new release shows the growing maturity of the project, which was originally incubated in two thousand-tenth by Rackspace and NASA. Instead of lots of major feature additions (though there are still plenty of those), the focus for this release was on making the platform easier to manage for cloud operators and to make better the overall experience for users, as well.

“The reason why we're seeing this [focus] is because we've presently had huge users running OpenStack in production for two years now,” OpenStack Foundation COO Label Collier told me.

He also stressed that one thing huge OpenStack users love AT&T, Comcast, SAP and Time Warner have asked for is the organization to focus on ease of deployment. OpenStack, after all, is a rather complex project; getting started involved making a lot of decisions about the deployment. Collier told me that in order to do this, the developers focused on making setting up and configuring OpenStack a tiny bit easier presently by choosing more default settings for the core components of the platform. These are based on the best practices developed by many of the large OpenStack operators. One example for this is OpenStack’s “Keystone” identity service, which allows administrators to integrate identity services love Active Directory into the platform and which presently features a simplified set-up process.

As Collier also noted, the new release puts a greater emphasis on the user experience for developers who write applications that sit on top of OpenStack. They can presently utilize a unified OpenStack client, for example, that allows developers to utilize a single set of calls for creating resources on the platform. The Mitaka release also features updated SDKs and makes it much easier for developers to work with OpenStack’s “Neutron” networking stack (though some of this work is still in its infancy).

As Collier told me, one of the surprises of the latest few years was that a lot of telecom companies are presently using OpenStack as the de facto way to adopt software-based network function virtualization to route information instead of using proprietary and highly specialized hardware. Indeed, he well-known that if you're an AT&T customer, there is a excellent chance your calls presently touch OpenStack in some form or another. Besides AT&T, other notable OpenStack users in this grouping comprise the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and (AOL and TechCrunch parent company) Verizon.

Collier also stressed that while a lot of the interest in OpenStack comes from companies that utilize it to construct their private clouds, the foundation is seeing a lot of companies utilize OpenStack for public cloud deployments as well, particularly in Asia and Europe. The U. S. still lags a bit behind here, though; with DreamHost, Rackspace and others, the are also a few OpenStack-powered public clouds here, but their user numbers are obviously dwarfed by the likes of AWS.

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