Posted By Colleen Miller On April 5, 2012 @ 9:56 am In Cloud Computing | No Comments
With the release of its fifth version of its open source cloud operating system, titled “Essex,” the OpenStack  community leaped forward today. Essex adds about 150 new features, including Dashboard and Identity projects, to the OpenStack cloud OS that has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
Touted as “community-oriented,” the Essex release was written by more than 200 developers from 55 different companies bringing their individual expertise to the project.
Started by Rackspace and NASA in 2010, OpenStack is open source software for building clouds. Created to drive industry standards, end cloud lock-in and speed cloud adoption, OpenStack is a common, open platform for both public and private clouds.
The Essex development cycle included an earlier feature freeze and an extensive testing phase before release. This resulted in greater stability and reliability, according to a statement from OpenStack. Essex will also be included in the next Ubuntu 12.04 long term support release.
Essex adds new features and better project integration across the three pillars of compute, storage and networking, said the statement. Essex’s additional features include the following updates:
“The Essex release shows tremendous evolution and improvement of the most critical components of OpenStack,” said Josh McKenty, Founder & CEO, Piston Cloud Computing. “Most notably, the Keystone authentication and authorization service, which was extensively revamped to enable easier and more collaborative development. The community also really rallied around improving the level of integration between the various OpenStack sub-projects. Finally, major enhancements to the modularity of core OpenStack projects (including Horizon) will make it possible for rapid development of tightly integrated plugins without impacting the project as a whole.”
“The Essex release represents an exciting time for both OpenStack users and for NetApp as it marks a significant step forward in the flexibility of the platform and our first contribution to the community,” said Jeff O’Neal, Senior Director, Solutions Integration Group, NetApp. “With NetApp technology integrated into OpenStack Compute, users will be able to build on a storage platform that delivers a unique array of storage efficiency technologies, data replication features, fault tolerance and high availability to help reduce costs and enable users to get the most out of their private and public cloud architectures.”
Looking ahead, Project Quantum, led by Nicira, Cisco, Citrix, Midokura and Rackspace, was incubated during the Essex release, and is anticipated to be in the “Folsom” release expected Fall 2012. Quantum, a plug-in based service that manages common network administrative tasks, from creating ports and routes to configuring VLANs, aims to provide an automated framework for managing data center network activities.
Below is a video released to show the new features of OpenStack Essex.
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 OpenStack: http://www.openstack.org/
 Colleen Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/colleenm/
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