Mirantis has announced v8 of its OpenStack distribution incorporating the OpenStack Liberty release. The company claims that this release is the most stable OpenStack distribution on the market and credits significant feedback from its largest customers in helping it get the release right.
Addressing the issue of stability Amar Kapadia wrote in his blog: “…with the 8.0 release we have introduced a brand new performance test suite. This test suite measures the performance of components such as networking, storage I/O and Ceph, and has helped fix a new class of bugs — for example, a race condition during create and delete operations of Cinder volumes.
“This new test suite has also impacted our reference architecture. For even better performance and scalability, you can now deploy RabbitMQ on dedicated nodes. We also continue to increase the coverage of existing test suites. For example, we added new tests to try and break the Logrotate feature. Finally, we have increased the automation of our test suites to over 70%.”
This is a significant step forward when it comes to trust and stability of private cloud implementations. Many customers have found themselves struggling with the complexity of their environments and it is clear that Mirantis are aware of that. No doubt much of that awareness has come from the feedback from the major customers Mirantis thanks in its press release.
Keeping OpenStack short, sharp and on point
Mirantis has taken a slightly different approach to many of the other OpenStack distributions. Rather than bundle everything that is in the OpenStack project it has focused on the core OpenStack functionality. By keeping the base distribution small Mirantis believes that it is able to deliver better performance and a more maintainable environment.
What Mirantis is not distributing with this release is SDN, storage or virtualisation components. Instead Mirantis enables customers to use OpenStack Fuel as an infrastructure controller which allows customers to add the infrastructure components of their choice through orchestration. There are now 171 Fuel plug-ins that Mirantis customers can take advantage of.
This approach plays well with the move to decouple many of the complex components that were appearing inside OpenStack distributions. Large vendors with their own management and other products were beginning to bloat OpenStack in such a way as to make it hard for customers to change stacks. This was the major focus of the OpenStack meeting in May 2015 when it was decided that distributions had to be scaled back.
Bare-metal servers are far more effective than cloud-based servers for certain workloads. To support this Mirantis has added in support for Ironic, the OpenStack bare-metal provisioning project. According to the press release this is targeted at customers who want to deliver both bare-metal servers and VMs for key workloads such as Cassandra, Hadoop or NFV.
Blogs and webinars give more detail
Kapadia’s blog does a very good job of introducing Mirantis OpenStack 8.0 and is worth the time spent reading. It now only contains a number of links to other documents but also to a range of videos looking at key components in this release.
Mirantis has been playing clever over the last two years. It’s role in helping Red Hat into OpenStack and then insisting on staying a pure-play provider have given it a lot of respectability. By not being rushed into releasing its OpenStack Liberty release it has been able to choose those features it believes will have the most impact.