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05 April 2012, 15:32

OpenStack launches "Essex" release

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After roughly six months of development, the OpenStack project has announced the availability of their fifth release, code-named "Essex". Over 200 developers from 55 different companies have worked on this release which focuses on making the cloud computing platform more scalable and reliable. "Essex is a very important milestone, as it marks a point where OpenStack has become complete and mature enough to be a solid foundation for large-scale projects on top of it" according to Phil Zamani, SVP of Digital Business Unit Cloud Services at Deutsche Telekom.

Essex also includes the first stable releases of two new components within the OpenStack project. The new OpenStack Dashboard, code-named Horizon, is designed to allow administrators to manage projects, users and resources within their cloud infrastructure, while the Identity component (Keystone)provides OpenStack with a unified authentication system that works across the whole stack. Identity can use passwords, token-based authentication or an AWS-style login variant.

OpenStack's Compute component (Nova) has been integrated with these new services and has, according to the developers, seen improvements in stability and performance. Feature parity across the main hypervisors has been another focus of development in this area. OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) has been enhanced to be more secure and administrators now have the ability to expire objects by setting up user policies. Backup and data recovery methods have also been improved and OpenStack's Image Service (Glance) has received contributions to improve its usability as well as better image protection features.

The release comes two days after Citrix, an OpenStack partner, had announced that it would re-license its CloudStack platform for inclusion into the Apache Incubator programme. Citrix's original intent when joining OpenStack was to merge its own CloudStack code with the project and release it under the GPLv3.

The release notes give further details of the changes in OpenStack's Essex release including instructions on how to upgrade. OpenStack Essex will be downloadable from the project's web site and its software and source code are available under the terms of the Apache 2.0 License.

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