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Announcing Openstack Havana packages
Openstack Havana packages are available NOW! (as of Thursday, 4th of april, which is the same date as upstream relase)

To install Openstack Havana in a Wheezy server, simply add the below Debian repositories (choose the closest mirror):

Malaysiadeb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Singaporedeb havana openstack main
deb havana-backports main
Seattledeb havana openstack main
deb havana-backports main
Atlantadeb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Atlanta (ipv6)deb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Londondeb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Parisdeb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Barcelonadeb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Zurichdeb havana main
deb havana-backports main
Haifa (Israel)deb havana main
deb havana-backports main

Then, for a quick setup, simply do:

apt-get update
apt-get install openstack-proxy-node
apt-get install openstack-compute-node
Note that the OpenStack official documentation now contains all the bits for Debian, and that is the document you should follow from now on.

GPLHost Openstack packaging in Debian: full details

GPLHost involvment in the Openstack packaging

Since the very begining of the Openstack project, GPLHost has been involved in packaging Openstack cloud software in Debian. We are the initiator of the Debian packaging group on Alioth.

As of the Folsom release, in October 2012, a much bigger packaging effort has been started. And since the Havana release, Debian packages are now available at the same time as the upstream release (or few hours later), every 6 months.

Openstack wasn't easy to install

Openstack is a very nice and feature full cloud software. Though, it has many packages, and every normally component needs to be setup by hand, one by one. This means that the below needed to be processed by hand:
  • Install and configure each dependency packages like rabbit-mq, memcached, MySQL server, etc.
  • Configure the auth token for keystone
  • Configure MySQL to create a database and grant credentials to it
  • Configure each package for using that database
  • Register endpoints in the Keystone service catalog for all Openstack components
Because of that, a lot of companies are proposing their services to install Openstack for you. Most of the time, they use scripts and tools like puppet, chef, crowbar and the like. At GPLHost we believe that, with good packaging, this isn't needed. All this is error prone and takes too much time.

Automation provided through Debconf

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to just do apt-get install openstack and have everything up and running? Well, that's exactly what we did, and bring that for everyone to use!

The Debian packages maintained by GPLHost avoid doing all of this manually, automating the process through debconf and dbconfig-common. Internally, there is a unified script called openstack-pkg-tools which every Openstack package uses. It provides:
  • db management through dbconfig-common (db creation, access rights and Openstack "db sync" at setup time)
  • Service + endpoint creation for all the API packages (nova-api, cinder-api, glance-api, quantum-server, keystone, etc.).
  • Keystone admin auth token configuration
  • And a lot more time waster configuration options
Many of these are just guessed (like IP addresses).

Meta packages

Simply because there are too many packages to install and setup, it was too complicated. So we provide meta-packages which contains dependencies, so that you can install everything at once:
  • apt-get install openstack-proxy-node will install the "controler" server
  • apt-get install openstack-compute-node will setup what is needed on every compute hardware
So that's basically it, you just install that, answer to the debconf questions, and everything should work automagically!

Pre-seeding scripts: fully automated install

Everything can be scripted using what we call in Debian as "pre-seeding". This in fact is a way to pre-fill the Debian system with answers so that you wont have to manually reply to all the questions the Debian blue screens will ask. This pre-seeding script is of course available for everyone to use (it is in the openstack-auto-builder Git repository on Alioth).

End result

Nearly half of all the install howtos which you may find online can simply be trashed, since a huge part of the job is automated. Openstack proxy or compute nodes can be installed within minutes. What used to be part of the documentation is now hard-wired into scripts, which leaves less opportunities for mistakes.

Differences with Ubuntu packaging

The Debian packages started as a contribution for the Cactus release, in 2011. They are now a complete fork and development is unfornately a bit separated. Here are major differences (not including the above Debconf work):
  • Works on top of Debian Wheezy, not Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Full Wheezy backport repository available
  • Packaging fully Git based (using git-buildpackage and such), using upstream Git repositories directly (from Github).
  • More respect of the Debian policy manual packaging rules, with simply a lower lintian error count.
  • Includes more software, like heat, FTPCloudFS and SFTPCloudFS
Note that at no point, the purpose is to make a competition between Ubuntu and Debian. The fact that we are doing the packaging separately is in fact a shame, and we really hope that we will be able to stop all this waste of human hours, and work closely together (which has already started). Hopefully, this will happen for the Havana release.

Work sponsored by eNovance

It is to be noted that all this work wouldn't have been made possible without the help of eNovance who funded this project, and provided extensive testing and feedback.

What can GPLHost bring you as a service provider?

First of all, we offer a service for setting-up Openstack on your own hardware, even if you decide to not host it on GPLHost platform. This means that if you wish to install Openstack directly in your company, we may help. If you are a hosting company and need to run Openstack for your customers, we may help.

Now, if you wish to run a private cloud, GPLHost can set that up for you directly in one of our data center, using our dedicated server offering. If you decide to go for this option, then please make sure you get in touch with our billing department, as we can make special pricing, since you will need more than one dedicated server.