These last years, LAL has developed, deploy and maintain a StratusLab-based cloud platform.
At the same time, the cloud ecosystem has evolved significantly and at the end of last year, we decided that it was time to migrate from StratusLab to a more feature-rich platform, OpenStack, which is the main open-source cloud middleware. Today we are pleased to announce that the new platform is open an accessible to users previously registered on our StratusLab platform.
StratusLab was initially a European project, started in 2010 with the objective of delivering a complete open-source cloud middleware that was easy to use, easy to install and easy to administer. At this time, very few open-source cloud distributions were available and building a cloud often required glueing together different software. This project was successful on delivering on its promises and was once adopted by several tens of sites looking to provide cloud services.
StratusLab has been a major investment for LAL since 2010, both in terms of development and deployment. Along with the SixSq company, LAL has been the major contributor to the StratusLab architecture and development effort. In addition, LAL has been running a production cloud open to many different users, mainly across Europe.
The cloud ecosystem evolved significantly in the last two years. In particular, OpenStack, which also started in 2010 to develop an open-source cloud distribution, emerged as the major open-source cloud middleware since 2013, with both the support of a large part of the computing industry and the adoption by a significant fraction of the academic world. In addition, new versions of OpenStack, in the last years, have delivered a major improvement with respect to one of the mentioned problem with OpenStack, the difficulty to install and manage it. This was one of the distinctive advantage of StratusLab, that was reduced a lot by OpenStack improvements.
The Decision and its Benefits
In Fall 2015, as some major partners resigned from developing and supporting StratusLab, LAL decided to stop its investment in this middleware and to rebuild its cloud based on OpenStack middleware. The main advantage is that OpenStack current architecture has significant interesting features needed by modern cloud platform. This removes the need of a significant effort by LAL to make the integration possible and this will allow us to focus on more productive developments for the medium/long term.
We believe that this change will be beneficial for users too. OpenStack brings many user-oriented tools, including dashboard, that were lacking in StratusLab. It supports all of the services that StratusLab was providing, in addition to more advanced network services, support for containers, a proper accounting etc.
The new platform has been opened to production at the beginning of April 2016. Every user registered in our StratusLab platform should be able to access the new platform.
User impact should be limited but we cannot provide a completely transparent migration. There are two main aspects involved in the migration:
- The user commands to interact with the cloud. We’ll provide shortly a Quick Start guide with the OpenStack commands matching the StratusLab ones for the most common operations. Syntax is different but this is not more complicated. Another approach is to use our SlipStream instance, .
- VM images: depending on the exact features used, it may be necessary to adapt slightly the image. We are also preparing some recipes based on our early experience. Most of the time the changes should be very limited and mainly related to the contextualization part. The same contextualization can be achieved but it may be necessary to update the contextualization scripts in the image.
The registration page is available at https://cloud.lal.stratuslab.eu/register
The platform is available at https://keystone.lal.in2p3.fr
The WordPress is available at https://openstack.lal.in2p3.fr
The cloud ecosystem evolution made Stratuslab evolution challenging, with some important features missing. Most of the StratusLab sites having already moved to something else, it became difficult and unreasonable to spend efforts maintaining on a cloud middleware and platform with a limited future.
Based on this LAL migrated its IaaS platform to OpenStack, a feature rich open-source cloud platform that is a better foundation and offers a better potential. The current OpenStack platform has already more resources than the StratusLab one. StratusLab users are welcome to try the new platform, now ready for production, and to contact us for the issue they could face.
We’ll keep the StratusLab platform running for a few additional months but you should not plan to rely on it after the summer 2016. As soon as users will migrate, we’ll shrink the resources in the StratusLab cloud and move them to the new cloud.