Upgrading OpenStack | SUSE Communities

Upgrading OpenStack


In a previous blog, I wrote about the complexities of setting up OpenStack, with a specific focus on networking. One of the key things to think about once you’ve implemented your OpenStack private cloud is keeping it up to date. No-one likes having to upgrade their systems, particularly when you’re looking at upgrading a software-defined infrastructure, but it’s one of those things that you just have to do.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? (of upgrade releases)

Whether your name’s Kenneth or not (and mine’s not, just to be clear but I do quite like the REM song), you’ll know how important it is to keep your systems up to date – with security vulnerabilities being found with alarming regularity, this should be a key task within every IT department. If you’re familiar with the OpenStack release cycle, you’ll know that a new version is released every six months. How many enterprises are in the habit of upgrading their business-critical infrastructure twice a year though? Also, what about keeping updated with patches outside of the upgrade cycle – for vulnerabilities, bug fixes and general updates?

When you look at all the different components of OpenStack, each of them will need to be upgraded during the process. This represents a number of issues waiting to happen – what if one fails the upgrade process after you’ve already upgraded a number of other components? How will you actually carry out the upgrade – will you deploy a parallel cloud and then migrate all of your resources from the production cloud to the upgraded one when it’s ready? Will you do an in-place upgrade and migrate each component individually? If so, be careful as upgrading the services in the wrong order could cause problems. How much downtime are you willing to risk? Have you built out an HA environment and are hoping for a non-disruptive upgrade? What about your databases? Lots of questions, not all of them with ready answers…

You’ve got a friend

Here at SUSE, one of the things that we pride ourselves on is making open source easier for enterprises around the world. We started this off with Linux way back in the mists of time (well, around the year 2000 actually) and have since expanded to include OpenStack, Ceph, Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry and more. By packaging up the components most commonly used by enterprises for these open source projects and releasing distributions, it’s easier for enterprises to install, manage and upgrade them all. And if you need more than that, then you’ve definitely got a friend in SUSE Global Services, our consulting team. Whether you need a team to help you get your OpenStack or Ceph installations up and running quickly, ongoing management of them, on-site engineers or more, we’re here to help.

At the SUSECON event in Nashville earlier in the year, Jiri Suchomel gave a great presentation that took a deep dive into the upgrade process for OpenStack. Simon Briggs presented separately on a similar topic, explaining how SUSE can take the strain of upgrading OpenStack away from you, giving a description of the steps required as well as some hints and tips. If upgrading OpenStack is on your mind, then these two presentations may give you food for thought.

In Dublin’s fair city

You may have already heard the news, but SUSECON is coming to Dublin, Ireland from the 23rd to 27th March 2020. While registration hasn’t opened yet, this will be a fantastic opportunity to meet the SUSE team, hear from not just us, but also experts from across the industry on the latest happenings in the world of open source, technical workshops, Q&A sessions and much more (including a live performance from the legendary SUSE Band). Keep an eye out for more announcements about registration as well as the call for presentations – your chance to submit a proposal for a presentation at SUSECON.

And remember, if you have a problem, if no-one else can help, maybe you can hire SUSE Global Services.


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Matthew Johns I have over 20 years' experience in the IT, cloud and hosting industry gained in a variety of roles spanning project management to product release and product marketing. I’m responsible for product marketing for SUSE OpenStack Cloud, and have been working with OpenStack since it was released in 2010. Outside of work, I enjoy running, cycling, great beer (craft, cask, keg - call it what you like as long as it tastes good), spending time with my family, playing the piano and charity fundraising – I’ve been supporting the Movember Foundation since 2006, and have run multiple races, climbed mountains and cycled around the UK for many charities over the years.