OpenStack upgrade and OSA Conversion in our European regions

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The summer is officially over and very soon we will initiate our biggest upgrading season in the history of City Cloud. This cycle has some pretty big news in store and in this article we will detail the first step which will result in regulatory compliance & dependability improvements as well as faster future upgrades & deployments through an improved CI/CD pipe.

High level summary

In just a couple of weeks we will initiate the first step of upgrading our public cloud regions in London, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Karlskrona. Our goals with the first step in this upgrading season is to:

  • Improve regulatory compliance & dependability for users
  • Increase our upgrading and deployment capabilities
  • Decrease user impact through CI/CD

We will achieve these goals by:

  • Implementing a unified setup and performance upgrades across all our regions
  • Converting to OpenStack Ansible and benefit from automation & orchestration tools
  • Implement an internal CI/CD pipe for faster, continuous deployment and upgrades
  • Separating our identity service for improved regulatory compliance, redundancy and dependability


Benefits for City Cloud users

Let’s dive a little deeper and look at what we are about to do and how that will benefit City Cloud users.

OSA Conversion

OSA stands for OpenStack Ansible and it is a tool that simplifies cloud infrastructure management. It’s basically a set of automation and orchestration tools that allows us to easily provision, configure and deploy our applications and services across all our public cloud regions and as you can probably guess, it’s highly anticipated by all of us.

A prerequisite for efficient use of automation, and OSA in particular, is to have a unified hardware and software setup. As you can imagine, a lot has happened between the launches of our first region back in 2014 and our most recent region which we announced just a couple of weeks ago, so naturally we have some inconsistencies between them. However this is something that we have prepared for during the past six months and it will be the first step of our conversion to OSA.

Now, OSA is no magic bullet by any means and our own processes are just as important as the tools we use. That is why we are also launching an improved CI/CD pipe internally to make sure that we will improve our pace when it comes to OpenStack upgrades and releasing new OpenStack projects in City Cloud. More on this later…

Keystone separation

Data storage has always been separated across regions in City Cloud and in a step to further improve regulatory compliance, redundancy and dependability, we are now also separating our identity service, Keystone.

Keystone provides API client authentication, service discovery and distributed multi-tenant authorisation and is the heart of all OpenStack clouds. Literally anything you do in City Cloud, or any OpenStack cloud for that matter, is checksummed by Keystone which makes this part of the machinery exceptionally important.

By separating Keystone and allowing the use of one Keystone per region, we will improve regulatory compliance, redundancy and distribute load on the identity service which will improve the overall dependability of the entire system.

Rocky upgrade

OpenStack Rocky was released a couple of weeks ago and we haven’t had much to say about it. Until now…

Our upgrading season begins on 15 October and is planned to end on 8 November. We will focus on one region at a time during this period and as a result of our improvements regarding CI/CD and the use of OSA, each region will also be upgraded straight to OpenStack Rocky.

That’s right, Our public cloud regions in London, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Karlskrona will all run the 18:th release of OpenStack come November!

We certainly don’t want to ruin the fun but this doesn’t mean much until we start implementing some more of the cool projects and project updates that are made available through the upgrade. Of course there is the obvious and overall performance and similar improvements but many of them are often more beneficial for us as an operator and unfortunately not for you as a user.

So for now we ask you to stay tuned and in the mean time, let us tease you with a list of Rocky highlights:

Cover image: Rocky Balboa spomenik u Žitištu flickr photo by Goran Necin shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license