OpenStack was created by merging two existing cloud projects: the Compute stack project, which was begun at the NASA Ames Research Facility in Mountain View, Calif., and the Storage stack project, which was created by Rackspace, a cloud service provider. The launch of Diablo was made at the OpenStack Conference and Design Summit held April 28 in Santa Clara, Calif.
The Image Service is a third project to connect the Compute and Storage stacks to create an image of a virtual machine. That image can be saved, analyzed for performance and stored for later retrieval to compare it to newer images, says Jonathan Bryce, who is the chairman of the OpenStack Project Policy Board and co-founder of Rackspace Cloud.
"The other aspect of it is that when you have an image like that, you can then start one or more machines based off of that image," Bryce says. "So if you're creating a Web server template and you want to spin up 20 of those and load-balance them, then you can say, 'Give me my master Web server template,' and then create 20 virtual machines from it."
While it rolls out Diablo, OpenStack is already working on the next release, code-named Essex, due about six months from now. The first three phases of the project were only three-month releases, as the team was rapidly adding features. But the organization waited six months before releasing Diablo to "give us time to focus on some bigger pictures and kind of stabilize the process," says Bryce.
Development for Essex is taking place in three projects. The first is the OpenStack Dashboard, for creating a management dashboard for controlling an open source cloud. It will be a self-service Web portal that lets an IT administrator create a cloud environment and delegate authority to users in the organization, as well as enable users to manage their own resources.