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OpenStack Folsom Debuts with 2 Key Features

narayanam_jr
28th Sep 2012
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Within a week of formalizing the OpenStack Foundation, the open source Cloud software hits another milestone – the release of OpenStack Folsom. This is the second release of OpenStack in 2012 while Essex was the first that was available in Feb 2012. All the releases so far focused on the core building blocks of Compute, Storage and Security. This is a significant release with 2 key components getting added to the stack (Release Notes).

Quantum is a project that is designed to deliver “Network as a Service”. It is a virtual switch that comes with the components to bring Software Defined Networking deployment to OpenStack. Quantum provides a plugin mechanism to enable different technologies implement calls made via the Quantum API. The plugin architecture brings advanced networking capabilities like firewall, intrusion detection, VPN between the VMs running within Nova. This will make it easy to deploy multi tier applications on OpenStack that demand advanced networking features. The best thing about Quantum is that it can interface with controllers like Open vSwitch, Nicira NVP and Ryu Controller.

OpenStack Folsom also includes the block storage component called Cinder. While Swift delivers the object storage, Cinder provides the pluggable block storage to the VMs. Though it was implicitly included in the Nova project as Nova-Volume, Folsom release highlights the importance of the block storage for the workloads deployed on OpenStack. Cinder will also enable Nova VMs to boot from persistent block storage.

This release of OpenStack makes it complete by bridging the gap that existed with the commercial implementations. Quantum will let commercial deployments of OpenStack bring certain AWS capabilities like Security Groups, ELB and VPC. Cider is comparable to Elastic Block Storage of AWS.

It’s also interesting to note that Red Hat is one of the major contributors to OpenStack Folsom release. While Rackspace remains the largest contributor, Cannoical, HP and others are investing in this stack through their contributions.

This release of OpenStack is certainly appealing to both enterprises and service providers. Let’s hope that we see more Private and Public Clouds powered by OpenStack!

- Janakiram MSV, Chief Editor, CloudStory.in

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