SIM-Cloud upgrade to 3.0

SIM-Cloud upgrade to 3.0


In Q1 2018, SIM-Networks has introduced a number of planned improvements into SIM-Cloud, the company’s flagship cloud product. Some scheduled enhancements that add up to this list were deployed in the production environment early April. All of those put us in a position to announce an upgrade to a new base SIM-Cloud 3.0 version.

«In the world where new technological products come up every day, it is extremely challenging to find effective tools at an affordable price.

We develop SIM-Cloud with clear vision of our clients getting a product that possesses enough functionality, robustness and good value for money. As of now, our cloud solution has all the toolset necessary for most of our users. To achieve that, we used the best and the most stable functions offered by OpenStack platform.», Yury Bonar, CTO at SIM-Networks, said about the new release.


What’s new in SIM-Cloud 3.0, a high-availability fault-tolerant public cloud, and which capabilities are now available for its users:

1. OpenStack Platform

SIM-Cloud, a cloud-based IaaS, is still built around OpenStack, a continuously evolving set of projects. In version SIM-Cloud 3.0, the Newton release was substituted with Ocata. Generally, the goals of developing a new version of OpenStack were pretty conventional – to prevent potential vulnerabilities and to boost security of cloud operations. The Ocata release pays special attention to OpenStack’s resilience and development of its microservices:

  • Nova – hypervisor management tools – to support Cells v2 enabling scalability;
  • Neutron (a network infrastructure management tool);
  • Cinder – a block storage to refactor the API for managing (turning on/off) volumes, serves as a basis for the multi-attach feature (to connect drives to multiple virtual machines simultaneously);
  • Keystone – an identification service – serves as a basis to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA rules).


OpenStack Services: Cinder, Keystone, Neutron, Nova


2. UPDATED QEMU-KVM HYPERVISOR

Key improvements added to the new QEMU v. 2.10:

  • virtio-blk devices now support multi-queue operations;
  • virtio-net/vhost-net devices now support polling (recurrent status poll), which helps to decrease load by avoiding interrupt generation;
  • connection to a failure handler in guest systems is now supported, which enables to solve some issues instantly (with no abnormal termination of a guest system using an error message).


OpenStack Floating IP


3. NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR CLIENTS WHEN DEPLOYING A VIRTUAL NETWORK IN SIM-CLOUD

3.1 If a virtual machine has a fixed IP address assigned to it and this machine fails, it can get settings of another IP address and become unavailable (in some cases) upon its image recovery. Previously, to restore the right configuration, a client would have to turn to the technical support. SIM-Cloud 3.0 solves this problem – a client can rent any available floating IP address from a pool of providers for his virtual machine. In case of failure, the client can re-assign this IP address to another of his virtual machine (an operational backup machine) by himself and proceed with an operation with minimal downtime. If a client no longer needs a floating IP address, he can ‘release’ it and return it to the provider’s pool.


SIM-Cloud 3.0 transition from fixed to floating IP addresses forms new opportunities for users:

  • an optional unit order for fixed subsequent IPv4 addresses of public subnets to be used in their private networks;
  • client’s networks auto-configuration in the cloud using a DHCP mechanism.


Note: DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (a network protocol for dynamic node relocation that allows computers to instantly get an IP address and other parameters required to operate in a TCP/IP network).


OpenStack - Linux Cloud-Init


3.2 During the SIM-Cloud 3.0 upgrade, Linux contributors have provided their new distributives with script templates (cloud-init) for deployment automation (introducing designated settings, searching for software updates and other recurrent activities in accordance with the deployment scenario):

  • CentOS-6-x86_64-GenericCloud-1802
  • CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud-1802
  • debian-9-openstack-amd64
  • Fedora-Atomic-27-20180226.0.x86_64
  • Fedora-Cloud-Base-27-1.6.x86_64
  • xenial-server-cloudimg-amd64


3.3 To make things more convenient for users, some useful changes have been applied to SIM-Cloud Dashboard – a dashboard for managing a client’s cloud infrastructure:

  • the tool for managing security groups has moved to the ‘Network’ section;
  • the ‘Computational resource’ section has been subdivided into two sections:
    Key pairs – setting up secure authentication to the instances using ssh-keys;
    Access to the API – contains the access credentials for the cloud API to provide more flexible management and access to the settings that are not yet featured in the web interface of the SIM-Cloud Dashboard

4. RELIABLE DATA STORAGE

Same as before, SIM-Cloud 3.0 uses a high-speed network called Infiniband 56 Gbit with FAT TREE topology from Mellanox to exchange data with a storage. The data storage system is based on Ceph with fault tolerance thanks to data replication and data set rebalancing mechanisms when nodes fail (are removed) or when new nodes are added (recovered).

5. UPGRADED BAAS SERVICE IN SIM-CLOUD

5.1 The speed of drive recover from backup copies has been improved significantly (2-3 times). We have managed to achieve such productivity boost by optimizing the data storage configuration. Same as before, the service for data backup in the cloud is only available for the projects hosted at SIM-Cloud.


5.2 The new release enables you to manage metadata from the drives effectively.


OpenStack Backup as a Service


5.3 There are new options a user can choose: apart from the popular BaaS service catering for data storage in a remote data center, we offer an alternative BaaS local option – a service for storing backup data locally (within the same data center where the client’s virtual machines are deployed). Obviously, operational images from a local storage can be recovered much quicker compared to those delivered from the outside via communication channels.


On the other hand, remote backup data storage is disaster-proof and considered a safer option. It is up to a client to choose from one of the BaaS options powered by SIM-Cloud.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT

OpenStack platform constantly evolves, and so does SIM-Cloud. Our flagship product is based on the continuous delivery principle, which defines the speed, the quality and the continuity of the upgrades we deliver. In other words, when announcing the SIM-Cloud 3.0 upgrade, we are already working on the subsequent releases of the new and updated existing functions in the cloud. Take a look at the SIM-Cloud upgrades and stay tuned for further announcements!

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