Friday 5 June 2015 16:58 : Dan Whiteside
Use of open source is soaring in the enterprise and especially in the datacentre. The likes of Google, eBay and Facebook run their global web-scale systems on open source software (OSS), and Linux is now the foundation for 75% of enterprise systems, according to a report from the Linux Foundation –http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linux-foundation/linux-end-user-trends-report-2014.
There are good business reasons for this. With many eyes on the source code, OSS is more secure. The code can be tested and bugs spotted by thousands both inside and outside the company, and so quickly fixed. If you are unsure about a codebase’s vulnerability, its openness allows you to check.
By the same token, developers working on OSS code influence its direction, improve its quality, and can make it deliver what they want. Its openness ensures that there is no vendor lock-in. Other advantages include auditability, interoperability as a consequence of adherence to standards, and a range of support options. In short, OSS is and has for a long time been a highly viable contender for mission-critical enterprise deployments.
A case in point is OpenStack, an operating system for the cloud that allows cloud services users to manage and control resources – such as compute, networking and storage – using a web-based dashboard, and backed by a rich set of features that allow you to build hyper-scale web applications quickly and easily.
OpenStack has just seen the release of its latest version, Kilo, the 11th release. Kilo offers nearly 400 new features to support software development, big data analysis and application infrastructure at scale. As a testament to its OSS roots, 1,492 individuals employed by more than 169 organisations contributed to the Kilo release, whose focus is on interoperability in the market, raising the bar for driver compatibility, and extending the platform to fit workloads with both bare metal and containers.
Among the many new features is the Ironic bare-metal service, for provisioning workloads that require direct access to hardware. It supports existing VM workloads and adoption of emerging technologies like Linux containers, PaaS and NFV, and allows users to place workloads in the best environment for their performance requirements.
It enables greater cloud interoperability too, as Kilo’s identity federation enhancements work across both public and private clouds to support hybrid workloads in multi-cloud environments.
OpenStack Kilo’s new object storage system, aka Swift, now supports an erasure-code (EC) storage policy type, allowing deployers to achieve very high durability with less raw capacity as used in replicated storage. However, because it is transparent to end users, there is no API difference between replicated storage and EC storage. Container-level temporary URLs now allow a private object storage container to be publicly available for a specified period of time. And Kilo offers improvements to global cluster replication, storage policy metrics and full Chinese translation.
Kilo’s load-balancing-as-a-service API is now in its second version, adding support for NFV, such as port security for OpenVSwitch, VLAN transparency and MTU API extensions.
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