Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, June 9, 2023

OpenStack Platform Release Builds on Ceph 

Red Hat's latest OpenStack Platform release is said to expand the virtual machine storage capabilities of Ceph storage software the open source software leader acquired last year.

The company announced general availability on February 17 of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, which is based on the OpenStack Juno release. Red Hat said the release would enable delivery of Ceph's set of advanced and ephemeral volumes along with support for persistent images and volumes.

As part of its open cloud infrastructure credo, Red Hat also stressed "telco-ready" as well as enterprise-grade features incorporated into OpenStack Platform 6 as its attracts network carriers like Alcatel-Lucent to its cloud infrastructure partner network.

The infrastructure-as-a-service offering was also "co-engineered" with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 to foster open cloud infrastructure for service providers and enterprises deploying OpenStack. Along with businesses and telecommunications carriers, the release targets advanced cloud users, Internet providers and public cloud hosting services.

Red Hat ticked off a number of new features incorporated into the latest OpenStack release intended to ease deployments within existing datacenters along with specific capabilities for service providers to deliver virtualized network functions. Among them are: IPv6 support for provider and tenant networks; upgraded "Neutron" agents to promote high availability network configurations; and single root I/O virtualization networking.

Deeper integration with Ceph storage software is also being touted with the latest OpenStack Platform release, including OpenStack Compute, or Nova, and OpenStack Block Storage, or Cinder. Also part of the upgrade is support for ephemeral volumes backed by the Ceph block device. That, Red Hat, noted, enables "diskless" compute nodes and fast booting of new virtual machines.

The new platform is the result of a collaborative effort among Red Hat's storage, platform and OpenStack teams since it acquired Inktank's Ceph storage software for $175 million in cash last April. "With today’s release, a single, integrated installer is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 with Inktank Ceph Enterprise," Neil Levine, Red Hat's director of product management for storage and big data, noted in a blog post, thereby simplifying deployment.

OpenStack Platform 6 is also intended to allow users to store and manage and ephemeral volume within Ceph, thereby "reducing the need to manage this extra layer of storage at the compute layer," Levin explained. "Unlike in the local storage model where the OS image has to be pulled across the network to the hypervisor host, Ceph-backed ephemeral volumes enable the data to stay in situ within the Ceph cluster allowing the [virtual machine] to boot more quickly without data moving across the network."

In a testimonial, Idan Mor, senior director of Alcatel-Lucent's CloudBand network functions virtualization (NFV) initiative, noted that telco service providers are seeking to drive NFV features into OpenStack and use them via the CloudBand platform.

Mor said CloudBand is using OpenStack Platform 6 along with RHEL 7 to migrate new NFV features to the cloud to deliver cloud-based network services.

Red Hat said Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 is available immediately on a global basis.