The other other open source IaaS Cloud, CloudStack, has had an update with the release of CloudStack 4.2. What’s new? reveals a lot of work which the announcement summarises as 57 new features and 29 improved features such as the ability to plug in external or internal S3-compatible storage services and support for Cisco’s UCS compute chassis and SolidFire storage arrays.
A trawl through the release notes shows that there is far more than the headline items though. There’s a whole set of features to help support for regions, zone wide primary storage and a plug-in framework for writing UI extensions.
Networking has had a lot of work done to it too with initial support for IPv6 (as a technical preview), portable elastic IPs which can be transferred between zones, the ability to assign a VLAN to an isolated networks and persistent networks which can exist without VMs assigned to it. There’s also Cisco VNMC and VMware VDS support, enhanced support for Juniper gear and global server load balancing with health checks for load balanced instances.
Host support has not been left out. Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 can now be VM Guest OS’s, ownership of VMs can now be changed by an administrator, resizable data disk volumes, storage migration (for XenServer and VMware), the ability to scale CPU and memory on running VMs (VMware and XenServer again), over-provisioning of memory and cpu (VMware, XenServer and KVM), bare-metal provisioning kickstarter, VM resetting on reboot and VMware VM snapshots.
Finally, there’s a who set of enhancements to the monitoring, maintenance and operations end of CloudStack, with support for auto purging alerts, API request throttling, forwarding of alerts to external SNMP and Syslog systems, a log collection tool, ability to change default password encryption and new VM snapshot and backup capabilities.
You can download the source or binaries (in deb and rpm packages) from cloudstack.apache.org where there is also documentation including installation and admin guides.
The news that XMir and Mir will not be in desktop Ubuntu 13.10 is hardly a surprise. Canonical set an aggressive development schedule and its one they are going to miss on the desktop. Ubuntu Touch is already running Mir as it has no legacy X apps due to it being yet to be released as a finished product and not supporting X anyway. But XMir is critical for the desktop if Canonical want to push Mir into the space they’ve assigned it as core to their graphics strategy.
Brief reminder: Canonical broke from the consensus development of a new display server technology to replace the X server called Wayland to develop their own display server called Mir. To make the transition and support current X applications, a way to run X applications on the new display technology is needed. For Mir, that’s XMir, for Wayland, there’s a rootless X server.
But the desktop schedule delay is going to have consequences. With 14.04 next April being an LTS release, if XMir is landed as a default in that release then it’s going to an interesting five years of support. If I was Canonical, I’d be looking at cancelling the 14.04 LTS status and moving it on to 14.10, using 14.04 as what 13.10 should have been – the release where all the glitches in XMir get shook out as the default desktop in the hands of real users. They can still release to their OEM partners with 14.04 after they’ve explained they’ll want to push an update in 2014Q4.
Meanwhile, the Wayland developers are working steadily away without the obvious pressure of OEMs and commercial schedules and will have a tech preview shipping with Fedora 20 if all goes to plan. There is no race to ship a new display server technology for Linux, but one player has been running while another walking and they don’t seem, at least from here, to be that far apart. For developers, there’s still no pressing need to choose a path either – keep developing with Qt or GTK+ or X raw and you’ll still be good for some years.