OpenStack pushes its first easy-to-upgrade release out the door

'Caracal' improves AI capabilities and is pitched as an alternative to VMware

The OpenInfra Foundation has loosed an update of OpenStack on the waiting world and – like everyone else that can spell "virtualization" – has pitched it as fine alternative for those pondering a move away from VMware.

OpenStack Caracal is perhaps most notable for being the open source cloud project's first Skip Level Upgrade Release Process (SLURP) release.

As The Register explained when SLURP was announced, OpenStack previously did not allow users who upgrade their code to skip versions. Operating OpenStack therefore meant either keeping up with twice-yearly releases, or occasional big-bang upgrades.

Neither scenario was ideal. SLURP addressed it to some degree by making annual upgrades possible without having to implement the release issued in-between.

It's therefore possible for users of March 2023's Antelope release to adopt Caracal without first having to implement October 2023's Bobcat release.

Among Caracal's features highlighted by the Foundation are the Nova cloud compute fabric gaining the ability to support live migration of virtual GPUs – which those running AI and HPC workloads will appreciate as it means easier access to accelerators attached to different hosts.

Ironic, the bare metal provisioning tool, has implemented more of the Redfish API, meaning that standard interface for the management of servers is more easily deployed with OpenStack infrastructure.

Security enhancements include improved role-based access controls (RBAC) in several modules, and automatic session timeouts for the Nova console.

Latency has been reduced in Octavia Amphora-based load balancers, thanks to support for SR-IOV Virtual Functions.

Ironic has been upgraded to better handle API-intensive workloads that could sometimes crash clusters during big provisioning jobs across many nodes. The Manila filesystem has improved volume mounting.

There are 33 sub-projects listed in Caracal's release notes . Many of the sub-projects have created their own release notes.

So many happy hours of reading await!

OpenStack's next release is named Dalmatian, per its current convention of applying animal names to each fresh version of the project.

Caracal could yet make a re-appearance of sorts in this sequence of names, as the medium-sized cat is also known as the Persian or desert Lynx – despite the beast being found across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, and the actual Lynx belonging to a different genus altogether. ®

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