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Yesterday, OpenStack announced its 18th release, Rocky. This release aims at addressing new demands for infrastructure driven by AI, machine learning, NFV and edge computing, by starting with a bare metal foundation and enabling containers, VMs and GPUs.

The Rocky update is the second OpenStack update for 2018 and follows the Queens milestone that became available on Feb, 28.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Rocky is named after the mountains stretching across British Columbia, the location of the previous OpenStack Summit.[/box]

Highlights and Improvements in OpenStack Rocky

Rocky includes several other enhancements with two key highlights such as,

  • Improvements to the ‘Ironic’ project’s bare metal provisioning service
  • Fast Forward Upgrades

Improvements to the ‘Ironic’ project’s bare metal provisioning service

OpenStack Ironic brings increased sophisticated management and automation capabilities to bare metal infrastructure. It is also a driver for Nova, allowing multi-tenancy. This means users can manage physical infrastructure in the same way they are used to managing VMs, especially with new Ironic features landed in Rocky:

  • User-managed BIOS settings: BIOS (basic input output system) performs hardware initialization and has many configuration options supporting a variety of use cases when customized. The different BIOS options can aid users in gaining performance, configuring power management options, or enabling technologies such as SR-IOV or DPDK. Ironic now lets users manage BIOS settings, supporting use cases like NFV and giving users more flexibility.
  • Conductor groups: In Ironic, the “conductor” uses drivers to execute operations on the hardware. Ironic has introduced the “conductor_group” property, which can be used to restrict what nodes a particular conductor (or conductors) have control over. This allows users to isolate nodes based on physical location, reducing network hops for increased security and performance.
  • RAM Disk deployment interface: This is a new interface in Ironic for diskless deployments. This interface is seen in large-scale and high-performance computing (HPC) use cases when operators desire fully ephemeral instances for rapidly standing up a large-scale environment.

Fast Forward Upgrades (FFU)

The Fast Forward Upgrade (FFU) feature from the TripleO project helps users to overcome upgrade hurdles and get on newer releases of OpenStack faster.

FFU lets a TripleO user on Release “N” quickly speed through intermediary releases to get on Release “N+3” (the current iteration of FFU being the Newton release to Queens). This helps users in gaining access to the ease-of-operations enhancements and novel developments like vGPU support present in Queens.

Additional Highlights in Rocky


In Rocky, Cyborg introduces a new REST API for FPGAs, an accelerator seen in machine learning, image recognition, and other HPC use cases. This allows users to dynamically change the functions loaded on an FPGA device.


Qinling is introduced in Rocky. Qinling (“CHEEN – LEENG”) is a function-as-a-service (FaaS) project that delivers serverless capabilities on top of OpenStack clouds. This allows users to run functions on OpenStack clouds without managing servers, VMs or containers, while still connecting to other OpenStack services like Keystone.


This supports high availability by providing automatic recovery from failures. It also expands its monitoring capabilities to include internal failures in any instance, such as a hung OS, data corruption or a scheduling failure.


This is the load balancing project that adds support for UDP (user datagram protocol), bringing load balancing to edge and IoT use cases. UDP is the transport layer frequently seen in voice, video and other real-time applications.


This project makes container orchestration engines and their resources first-class resources in OpenStack. Magnum has become a Certified Kubernetes installer in the Rocky cycle. Passing these conformance tests gives users confidence that Magnum interacts with Kubernetes.
To know more about other highlights in detail, visit Rocky’s release notes.

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A Data science fanatic. Loves to be updated with the tech happenings around the globe. Loves singing and composing songs. Believes in putting the art in smart.


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