OpenStack's Grizzly rev: What's new, what it means

The cloud infrastructure standard has grown remarkably fast, but we're just at the beginning of the journey

You can tell the OpenStack conference is almost upon us because a new rev, code-named Grizzly, is about to hit the streets. So what's new in the latest version?

First, it adds support for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors. To this point, OpenStack was largely KVM- and Xen-focused. VMware had been another OpenStack holdout, but it joined the effort last summer (or should I say, jumped on the bandwagon).

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Second, there is more scalability. (But isn't there always in new releases?) The new Cells capability also lets customers manage multiple OpenStack compute environments as a single entity.

Finally, there are new block storage options, as well as better drivers and support for storage from Ceph, Coraid, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei, IBM, NetApp, Red Hat (Gluster), SolidFire, and Zadara.

Keep in mind that this new code goes out to the technology providers that use OpenStack, and they have to merge this new code into their code tree. It's going to take some time before testing is complete and it's ready for distribution.

The rise of OpenStack has been nothing but amazing over the last year, and as interest in both open source and cloud computing has exploded, this cloud standard has found both a great niche and many followers. However, interest does not equal deployments. Although OpenStack is widely used, we're not at a point where we can call it an operational success.

There are many missing features in OpenStack that enterprises typically seek in an IaaS cloud, some of which Grizzly has stepped up and provided. However, the maturation of this open source standard will take years. Many companies with many different agendas drive OpenStack, and the dynamic slows down the process. More companies will jump on the bandwagon over the next year, and some will try to highjack OpenStack for their own purposes.

Putting the obvious issues aside around the maturation of a standard, OpenStack seems to be moving right along and is actually exceeding expectations. It's an interesting concept to watch emerge, grow, and now quickly mature. As more OpenStack goes into production, we'll learn more about the true value of this technology standard. I'll keep an eye on it.

This article, "OpenStack's Grizzly rev: What's new, what it means," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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