UPDATED 08:10 EDT / APRIL 11 2016


What you missed in Cloud: The operating systems of the future

Since the initial launch of OpenStack in 2010, the cloud ecosystem has taken a small break from its usual hustle and bustle every six months to welcome the platform’s newest bi-annual release. Last week saw the tradition repeat itself once again following the introduction of Mitaka, the 13th iteration of the project, which brings a unified programming client meant to ease application development.

The addition enables services to request hardware capacity from an OpenStack cluster through a centralized interface instead of having to separately query the different sub-components that are in charge of managing each resource type. Mitaka can thereby reduce application complexity and avoid the need for developers to learn the intricacies of the platform’s internal provisioning mechanisms, which has the potential to add up to a lot of saved time. The new release also aims to help their colleagues in the operations department become more productive with revamped installation wizards that cut the number of steps involved in deploying the project.

Mitaka’s launch into general availability came against the backdrop of Ericsson AB acquiring another data center operating system called NodePrime to augment its budding line of hardware appliances. The platform’s main claim to fame is hands-off configuration functionality that makes it possible to quickly get a new-installed server up and running with minimal human intervention, a necessity for hyperscale companies that add upwards of thousands of machines every quarter. To top it off, the software also takes care of several common maintenance work such as rolling out firmware updates and fixing network boot errors. 

For more complex tasks, operations professionals usually turn to dedicated automation tools like Puppet Enterprise, which also made headlines last week after receiving a set of new features designed to streamline the implementation of configuration changes. The main highlight is a real-time monitoring capability that makes it possible to quickly check the results of a tweak and revise as necessary until finding the best way to meet the requirement at hand. The update also introduces the option to perform such testing on a small number of servers before applying a modification to the rest of a data center in order to minimize the risk of something going wrong.

Photo via giografiche

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