OpenStack improves support for AI workloads.

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Image credit: Heinrich van den Berg

OpenStack allows enterprises to manage their own AWS-like private clouds. Even after the 29 release, it is still one of the most active open source projects in the world and this week, the OpenInfra Foundation that shepherds the project announced the release of version 29 of OpenStack. Named ‘Caracal’, this new release emphasizes new features for hosting AI and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.

A typical OpenStack customer is a large enterprise company. That could be a retailer like Walmart or a large telco like NTT. What virtually all enterprises currently have in common is how to put their AI models into production while keeping their data secure. For many, this means having complete control over the entire stack.

Mark Collier, COO of the Open Infra Foundation

As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang recently noted, we’re on the cusp of a multi-trillion dollar investment wave that will go into data center infrastructure. A big part of that is the investment of the big hyperscalers, but a lot of that will also go into private deployments – and those data centers need a software layer to manage them.

That puts OpenStack in an interesting position right now as one of the only comprehensive alternatives to VMware’s offerings, which has its own problems as many VMware customers aren’t too happy with its sales at Broadcom. More than ever, VMware customers are looking for alternatives. “With VMware’s acquisition of Broadcom and some of the licensing changes, we’ve had a lot of companies come in and take another look at OpenStack,” explained Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the Open Infra Foundation.

Image credit: Frederick Lordinos/TechCrunch

Much of OpenStack’s growth in recent years has come from its adoption in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, as the Open Infra Foundation announced this week, its newest platinum member is Okestro, a South Korean cloud provider with a strong focus on AI. But Europe, with its strong data privacy laws, has also been a growth market and, for example, the UK’s Dawn AI supercomputer runs OpenStack.

“All things are set for a big increase in infrastructure and adoption of open source,” Mark Collier, COO of the Open Infra Foundation, told TechCrunch. “That means primarily OpenStack, but also Kata containers and some of our other projects. So it’s exciting to see another wave of infrastructure upgrades giving our community some important work to complete for many years to come.” .

Practically, some of the new features added in this release include the ability to support vGPU live migration to Nova, OpenStack’s core compute service; This means that customers now have the ability to move GPU workloads from one physical server to another with minimal impact on workloads, something that some enterprises have been asking for ever since they moved their expensive GPUs. Want to be able to manage hardware as efficiently as possible. Direct transfer has been a standard feature of Nova for CPUs, but this is the first time it’s available for GPUs as well.

The latest release also brings several security enhancements, including rule-based access control for more basic OpenStack services like the Ironic bare-metal-as-a-service project. This is in addition to networking updates to better support HPC workloads and many other updates. You can find the full release notes here.

BURBANK, CA – JULY 10: A general view of the atmosphere at the 7-Eleven 88th Anniversary Celebration at 7-Eleven on July 10, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for 7-Eleven)

This update is the first since OpenStack moved to a ‘skip-level upgrade release process’ (SLURP) a year ago. The OpenStack project churns out a new release every six months, but that’s too fast for most enterprises – and in the project’s early days, most users saw the upgrade process as ‘painful’ (or worse). Will explain.

Today, upgrades are much easier and the project is much more stable. The SLURP cadence introduces something akin to a long-term release version, where on an annual basis, every other release is a SLURP release that makes it easier to upgrade, even as teams still make major updates on the original six-month cycle. Prepares. People who want speed.

Over the years, OpenStack has gone through its ups and down cycles. But now it’s a mature system and backed by a sustainable ecosystem — something that wasn’t necessary at the height of its first hype cycle ten years ago. In recent years, it has had a lot of success in the telco world, which has allowed it to move through this maturation phase and today, it may find itself at the right place and time to take advantage of the AI ​​boom.

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