OpenStack launches Yoga, its 25th release

OpenStack, the massive open source infrastructure-as-a-service project that allows enterprises and public hosting services to run their own on-premise clouds, today released version 25 of its software, dubbed Yoga. Like all large open source projects, OpenStack has gone through its ups and downs, but as the Open Infrastructure Foundation, the organization behind OpenStack and a number of other projects like Kata Containers, recently announced, OpenStack now manages over 25 million CPU cores in production and nine out of the top 10 telcos now run OpenStack, as do large enterprises like Bloomberg, Walmart, Workday and TechCrunch parent Yahoo. China Mobile alone runs an OpenStack deployment with 6 million cores, and more than 180 public cloud data centers now run OpenStack.

Even after 25 releases in 12 years, the OpenStack community is still adding new features, in addition to the usual bug fixes and maintenance updates. As with most recent releases, this means increased support for additional hardware, for example. With Nvidia now a major contributor to OpenStack, there is new support for SmartNIC DPUs, that is, the ability to offload network processing to specialized cards, in OpenStack’s core networking and compute services. The OpenStack Cinder storage service now also supports LightOS for new storage types like NVMe/TCP and NEC V Series Storage. Not something you’d need for a small deployment, but features that will matter to some of OpenStack’s largest users.

“It’s great to see all of those hardware manufacturers getting involved directly in OpenStack to make sure that we correctly support and expose the features in their hardware,” said the Open Infrastructure Foundation general manager Thierry Carrez. It’s worth noting that the general manager position is still quite new, with Carrez moving to the job in January of this year after being the VP of Engineering for the OpenStack/Open Infrastructure Foundation for many years. In this new role, he now oversees the foundation’s operations, covering engineering, product, community and marketing.

Other major updates in this release include a new soft delete scheme for OpenStack Manila, the project’s shared file system service. Kendall Nelson, the senior upstream developer advocate for the Open Infrastructure Foundation, likened this to the recycle bin on your desktop. “It’s one of those things where it’s like, you know, why don’t we do that? We could have been doing this the whole time and I think that Manila has been pretty stable for a while, so [the developers were] like, ‘Oh, well, let’s go and do the obvious things that we could have done all along’,” she said.

With this release, OpenStack is also expanding its support for a number of cloud-native infrastructure projects like the popular Prometheus monitoring system and Kuryr and Tacker Kubernetes tools, and welcoming two new projects, the Skyline dashboard and Venus log management module.

As for the Foundation itself, it’s worth noting that 12 new companies recently joined the organization. These new members are mostly in the lower silver tier, like B1 Systems, Okestro, OpenMetal and TransIP, but Vexxhost, for example, is joining as a gold member. Overall, the organization’s corporate membership is up 20% since November 2021.

Later this year, the Open Infrastructure Foundation will also host its first in-person conference again, the OpenInfra Summit in Berlin, Germany, in early June. “When we launched the Open Infra Foundation, we said we were going to bring together a community to build the next decade of open infrastructure after 10 years of OpenStack and related projects,” Open Infrastructure Foundation CEO and Executive Director Jonathan Bryce said. “We’re a year into it and it’s been really exciting to see this coalition of companies who are joining across vendors, new tech leaders like Nvidia, new users like BBC and others, along with the projects that are coming in. I’m really excited to finally get all of these people back together for the first time since the pandemic.”

Soon, the OpenStack project will also change its release cadence. Currently, the community is publishing two releases a year. Starting in 2023, it’s moving to a “tick-tock” schedule, with one major and one minor release on the same six-month cadence as today. In part, this is because of feedback from operators who don’t want to have to upgrade their environments every six months.

“This really helps the smaller OpenStack clouds, because you can reliably like ‘okay, well, we have a year to breathe now before the next one,’ as opposed to every six months,” Bryce said. “There’s much less risk than there used to be in terms of upgrading, but it’s still a lot of work, so for those companies that use OpenStack that are a little bit smaller and have smaller teams or maybe are newer to it, this like long-term support cadence should really help them get off the ground and get moving. And then, the bigger companies that are used to the six-month release cadence like Red Hat are still going to be able to get their features right when they’re coming out.”