We are happy to announce that Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 is now Generally Available (GA).
This is Red Hat OpenStack Platform’s 10th release and is based on the upstream OpenStack release, Pike.
Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 is focused on the operational aspects to deploying OpenStack. OpenStack has established itself as a solid technology choice and with this release, we are working hard to further improve the usability aspects and bring OpenStack and operators into harmony.
With operationalization in mind, let’s take a quick look at some the biggest and most exciting features now available.
As containers are changing and improving IT operations it only stands to reason that OpenStack operators can also benefit from this important and useful technology concept. In Red Hat OpenStack Platform we have begun the work of containerizing the control plane. This includes some of the main services that run OpenStack, like Nova and Glance, as well as supporting technologies, such as Red Hat Ceph Storage. All these services can be deployed as containerized applications via Red Hat OpenStack Platform’s lifecycle and deployment tool, director.
Bringing a containerized control plane to OpenStack is important. Through it we can immediately enhance, among other things, stability and security features through isolation. By design, OpenStack services often have complex, overlapping library dependencies that must be accounted for in every upgrade, rollback, and change. For example, if Glance needs a security patch that affects a library shared by Nova, time must be spent to ensure Nova can survive the change; or even more frustratingly, Nova may need to be updated itself. This makes the change effort and resulting change window and impact, much more challenging. Simply put, it’s an operational headache.
However, when we isolate those dependencies into a container we are able to work with services with much more granularity and separation. An urgent upgrade to Glance can be done alongside Nova without affecting it in any way. With this granularity, operators can more easily quantify and test the changes helping to get them to production more quickly.
We are working closely with our vendors, partners, and customers to move to this containerized approach in a way that is minimally disruptive. Upgrading from a non-containerized control plane to one with most services containerized is fully managed by Red Hat OpenStack Platform director. Indeed, when upgrading from Red Hat OpenStack Platform 11 to Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 the entire move to containerized services is handled “under the hood” by director. With just a few simple preparatory steps director delivers the biggest change to OpenStack in years direct to your running deployment in an almost invisible, simple to run, upgrade. It’s really cool!
Red Hat Ansible.
Like containers, it’s pretty much impossible to work in operations and not be aware of, or more likely be actively using, Red Hat Ansible. Red Hat Ansible is known to be easier to use for customising and debugging; most operators are more comfortable with it, and it generally provides an overall nicer experience through a straightforward and easy to read format.
Of course, we at Red Hat are excited to include Ansible as a member of our own family. With Red Hat Ansible we are actively integrating this important technology into more and more of our products.
In Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12, Red Hat Ansible takes center stage.
But first, let’s be clear, we have not dropped Heat; there are very real requirements around backward compatibility and operator familiarity that are delivered with the Heat template model.
But we don’t have to compromise because of this requirement. With Ansible we are offering operator and developer access points independent of the Heat templates. We use the same composable services architecture as we had before; the Heat-level flexibility still works the same, we just translate to Ansible under the hood.
Simplistically speaking, before Ansible, our deployments were mostly managed by Heat templates driving Puppet. Now, we use Heat to drive Ansible by default, and then Ansible drives Puppet and other deployment activities as needed. And with the addition of containerized services, we also have positioned Ansible as a key component of the entire container deployment. By adding a thin layer of Ansible, operators can now interact with a deployment in ways they could not previously.
For instance, take the new openstack overcloud config download command. This command allows an operator to generate all the Ansible playbooks being used for a deployment into a local directory for review. And these aren’t mere interpretations of Heat actions, these are the actual, dynamically generated playbooks being run during the deployment. Combine this with Ansible’s cool dynamic inventory feature, which allows an operator to maintain their Ansible inventory file based on a real-time infrastructure query, and you get an incredibly powerful troubleshooting entry point.
Check out this short (1:50) video showing Red Hat Ansible and this new exciting command and concept:
Another major new addition for operators is the extension of the composability concept into networks.
As a reminder, when we speak about composability we are talking about enabling operators to create detailed solutions by giving them basic, simple, defined components from which they can build for their own unique, complex topologies.
With composable networks, operators are no longer only limited to using the predefined networks provided by director. Instead, they can now create additional networks to suit their specific needs. For instance, they might create a network just for NFS filer traffic, or a dedicated SSH network for security reasons.
And as expected, composable networks work with composable roles. Operators can create custom roles and apply multiple, custom networks to them as required. The combinations lead to an incredibly powerful way to build complex enterprise network topologies, including an on-ramp to the popular L3 spine-leaf topology.
And to make it even easier to put together we have added automation in director that verifies that resources and Heat templates for each composable network are automatically generated for all roles. Fewer templates to edit can mean less time to deployment!
Telcos will be excited to know we are now delivering production ready virtualized fast data path technologies. This release includes Open vSwitch 2.7 and the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) 16.11 along with improvements to Neutron and Nova allowing for robust virtualized deployments that include support for large MTU sizing (i.e. jumbo frames) and multiple queues per interface. OVS+DPDK is now a viable option alongside SR-IOV and PCI passthrough in offering more choice for fast data in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions.
Operators will be pleased to see that these new features can be more easily deployed thanks to new capabilities within Ironic, which store environmental parameters during introspection. These values are then available to the overcloud deployment providing an accurate view of hardware for ideal tuning. Indeed, operators can further reduce the complexity around tuning NFV deployments by allowing director to use the collected values to dynamically derive the correct parameters resulting in truly dynamic, optimized tuning.
Serious about security.
Helping operators, and the companies they work for, focus on delivering business value instead of worrying about their infrastructure is core to Red Hat’s thinking. And one way we make sure everyone sleeps better at night with OpenStack is through a dedicated focus on security.
Starting with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 we have more internal services using encryption than in any previous release. This is an important step for OpenStack as a community to help increase adoption in enterprise datacenters, and we are proud to be squarely at the center of that effort. For instance, in this release even more services now feature internal TLS encryption.
Let’s be realistic, though, focusing on security extends beyond just technical implementation. Starting with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 we are also releasing a comprehensive security guide, which provides best practices as well as conceptual information on how to make an OpenStack cloud more secure. Our security stance is firmly rooted in meeting global standards from top international agencies such as FedRAMP (USA), ETSI (Europe), and ANSSI (France). With this guide, we are excited to share these efforts with the broader community.
Do you even test?
How many times has someone asked an operations person this question? Too many! “Of course we test,” they will say. And with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 we’ve decided to make sure the world knows we do, too.
Through the concept of Distributed Continuous Integration (DCI), we place remote agents on site with customers, partners, and vendors that continuously build our releases at all different stages on all different architectures. By engaging outside resources we are not limited by internal resource restrictions; instead, we gain access to hardware and architecture that could never be tested in any one company’s QA department. With DCI we can fully test our releases to see how they work under an ever-increasing set of environments. We are currently partnered with major industry vendors for this program and are very excited about how it helps us make the entire OpenStack ecosystem better for our customers.
So, do we even test? Oh, you bet we do!
Feel the love!
And this is just a small piece of the latest Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 release. Whether you are looking to try out a new cloud, or thinking about an upgrade, this release brings a level of operational maturity that will really impress!
Now that OpenStack has proven itself an excellent choice for IaaS, it can focus on making itself a loveable one.
Let Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 reignite the romance between you and your cloud!
Red Hat OpenStack Platform 12 is designated as a "Standard" release with a one-year support window. Click here for more details on the release lifecycle for Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
And if you’re ready to get started now, check out the free 60-day evaluation available on the Red Hat portal.
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