One of the benefits that Platform9 customers most value with our managed cloud offering is the ability to take advantage of new innovations and capabilities without having to shoulder the burden that often comes with new software releases. This includes all the testing that needs to be performed prior to putting new technology in production. It includes integration of new software with existing or new infrastructure. And it includes the burden of having to upgrade live production systems to a new software release. These all go away for Platform9 customers who rely on us to deliver new innovations and capabilities, such as OpenStack Neutron networking, as part and parcel of our cloud management SaaS offering.
This was the experience for our customers when we seamlessly upgraded them to release 1.3 of Platform9 and our customers “magically’ received new block storage capabilities via our rollout of the OpenStack Cinder service. Now with the release of version 1.4 of Platform9, old and new customers alike will receive additional new capabilities such as dynamic network provisioning, application orchestration using OpenStack Heat, and other useful innovations. As with previous Platform9 releases, we will be able to upgrade our customers to the new release with minimal disruption.
Let’s look briefly at some the new capabilities provided in our new 1.4 release of Platform9:
Advanced Networking via OpenStack Neutron
One of the highlights of the 1.4 release is Platform9’s beta support for Neutron networking with the KVM hypervisor using Open vSwitch (OVS) and with VMware vSphere using their Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS) technology.
The new capabilities allow Platform9 customers to take advantage of capabilities such as creating and managing virtual networks for their private clouds. Cloud administrators will be able to offer their tenants self-service networking. Neutron will also enable customers to leverage advanced network services such as L3 forwarding and load balancing as a service. To check out the new features, customers can request to participate in our beta program (start by registering for a free trial).
Application Orchestration via OpenStack Heat
With this release, Platform9 has enabled the OpenStack Heat orchestration service. Using the Heat service, customers can create “Stacks” which are blueprints made up of multiple virtual machines linked together to form an application like, for example, a traditional Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP (LAMP) stack. Using Heat, Platform9 customers will be able to go beyond spinning up virtual machines and move to automating the launching of complete applications stacks.
Event and Alarms via OpenStack Ceilometer
Using the OpenStack Ceilometer service, customers can view events associated with their private cloud infrastructure. These events are useful for auditing purpose and also form the basis of ‘alarms’ that can be enabled/disabled for conditions such as a host disconnecting unexpectedly or utilization spiking for a set of virtual machines. These alarms can be integrated with Heat to enable auto-scaling of a customer’s applications.
Host Aggregates for VMware vSphere
Host aggregates is a useful feature in OpenStack that allows a user to specify that specific virtual machines be created on a subset of compute nodes at the time the virtual machines are provisioned. Platform9 had previously supported this feature with KVM but now has extended it to vSphere with the 1.4 release. Using host aggregates, a cloud administrator or cloud user can specify that virtual machines be launched on a specific vSphere cluster. This is useful if users want to place virtual machines on clusters with specific hardware, with specific security configurations, or to comply with licensing agreements.
VMware vSphere 6.0 Support
Along with existing support for vSphere 5.1 and 5.5, version 1.4 provides official support of vSphere 6.0. This enables Platform9 to continue to be the best private cloud platform to manage VMware vSphere.
We are excited about this latest release of Platform9 and how it will help our customer be even more successful and innovative with their private cloud deployments.