• Thursday , 21 September 2017

14 facts about Newton, OpenStack's 14th release

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Last week the OpenStack community celebrated its 14th release, Newton. Packed with new features, fixes, and improvements, Newton offers substantial upgrades in a number of areas. The official software project page includes more detailed information about the specific changes with individual components. While it may take some time to see individual distributions of OpenStack sync their codebase with Newton, some, like the RDO project, are already ready to go.

To celebrate the 14th release, let’s take a look at 14 facts and figures about the Newton release and the ecosystem of developers behind it.

  • The name: Each OpenStack release is named after the place where its design summit took place. The last design summit occurred in Austin, Texas, and OpenStack Newton bears the name of the Newton House, a historic property in Austin. Other names considered but ultimately not chosen included Nameless, Nix, and Null.

  • The contributors: OpenStack wouldn’t be possible without the literally thousands of individuals who help contribute to the project. 2,581 developers helped make OpenStack Newton possible, and they are each thanked by name on the latest release page.

  • The companies: Most of the contributors to OpenStack do so with the support of an employer who is working with OpenStack. According to Stackalytics, as measured by code commits, there were 183 companies with employees contributing to OpenStack in the Newton release cycle, with the top 5 being Red Hat, Mirantis, HPE, Rackspace, and IBM.

  • The roadmap: Up to this point, OpenStack has been on a roughly six-month release cycle. Newton was released on October 6, approximately 25 weeks after the release of Mitaka, 23 weeks after the Newton design summit, 18 weeks after the first milestone and 12 weeks after the second, and just 5 weeks after the project’s feature freeze. Hitting each of these deadlines is an impressive challenge.

  • The projects: How many projects make up OpenStack now? You may be familiar with many of the larger ones, like Nova for compute, Neutron for networking, and Cinder for block storage. But there are countless others.The official release announcement includes 32 service projects, 78 more projects that are a part of the official libraries, and there are another 35 projects listed that trail the official release. This doesn’t include the vast ecosystem of related projects outside of the official upstream. In short: it’s a huge undertaking!

  • The emails: And you think you get a lot of email. Aside from IRC and the code committing and review process, email is the primary way OpenStack’s worldwide development community talks to one another. Between the start of development on Newton and its release last week, over 13,000 emails crossed the openstack-dev list.

  • The Summit: If you’ve never been to an OpenStack Summit, they are huge events. So huge, in fact, that the original purpose of bringing developers together to plan each release has nearly been eclipsed by all of the related events, leading an upcoming change in the OpenStack release cycle to make aligning developer time easier. The Austin Summit where Newton was planned attracted over 6,000 attendees, and the Barcelona Summit later this month will likely rival those numbers as attendees choose from over 800 event slots on the agenda.

  • The code: It’s hard to say exactly how big the codebase for OpenStack is; much like counting the number of projects, it depends a bit on what you count. Black Duck’s Open HUB put the count at 4,022,374 lines of code, but that’s a number that’s now at least a couple of months old. A different way of measuring is to look at lines of code contributed over all time, which Stackalytics puts at 35,422,381, although the projects included here are broader, and new contributions are often replacing, rather than adding to, older code. Regardless of how you count, it’s safe to say OpenStack is millions upon millions of lines of community-contributed code.

  • The community: OpenStack’s community is becoming increasingly diverse, although like many tech projects there is still much more work to be done in areas like gender diversity. We’ll learn more about Newton’s contributors at the Barcelona Summit, but looking back at work done by Bitergia and presented earlier this year, approximately 10.6% of technical contributors to OpenStack are women, but the raw number of female contributors to OpenStack seems to be continuing to grow thanks to efforts like the Women of OpenStack and Outreachy.

  • The followers: OpenStack has grown to have over 125,000 followers on Twitter at the time of Newton’s release, a 150% increase number held just a couple of years ago when we last checked in.

  • The users: With Newton so recently released, it will be a while before we learn much about the companies and other organizations using Newton. But looking back at the last user survey results, it won’t be surprising if we continued growth in many of the key numbers. The percentage of surveyed users who are using OpenStack in production has grown from 32% in 2013, to 46% in 2014, 59% in 2015, and 65% earlier this year.

  • The governance: The upstream OpenStack project which produced the Newton release is governed by a variety of members elected by the community of OpenStack users, contributors, and foundation members; including a 13 member Technical Committee; a 24 member Board of Directors representing equally the platinum, gold, and individual members of the foundation; and a user committee representing the 75+ user groups around the globe.

  • The future: The next release will be with us even sooner, with Ocata currently scheduled for a release in February of 2017, following the Barcelona Summit. Beyond Ocata, named after a beach in Spain, the next two releases Pike and Queens will follow after, based on locations of the next two summits scheduled for Boston and Sydney.

  • The next contributor: It could be you. OpenStack is always looking for new contributors. A great way to get started is by checking out the OpenStack Wiki’s guide to contributing. Your work could easily add to any of these numbers for the next release, so why not get started today?


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