An Introduction to Fast Forward Upgrades in Red Hat OpenStack Platform

OpenStack momentum continues to grow as an important component of hybrid cloud, particularly among enterprise and telco. At Red Hat, we continue to seek ways to make it easier to consume. We offer extensive, industry-leading training, an easy to use installation and lifecycle management tool, and the advantage of being able to support the deployment from the app layer to the OS layer.

One area that some of our customers ask about is the rapid release cycle of OpenStack. And while this speed can be advantageous in getting key features to market faster, it can also be quite challenging to follow for customers looking for stability.

With the release of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 in December 2016, we introduced a solution to this challenge – we call it the Long Life release. This type of release includes support for a single OpenStack release for a minimum of three years plus an option to extend another two full years. We offer this via an ELS (Extended Life Support) allowing our customers to remain on a supported, production-grade OpenStack code base for far longer than the usual 6 month upstream release cycle. Then, when it’s time to upgrade, they can upgrade in-place and without additional hardware to the next Long Life release. We aim to designate a Long Life release every third release, starting with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 (Newton).

Now, with the upcoming release of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 (Queens), we are introducing our second Long Life release. This means we can, finally and with great excitement, introduce the world to our latest new feature: the fast forward upgrade.

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 9.33.50 am

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Using Software Factory to manage Red Hat OpenStack Platform lifecycle

by Nicolas Hicher, Senior Software Engineer – Continuous Integration and Delivery


Software-Factory is a collection of services that provides a powerful platform to build software. It enables the same workflow used to develop OpenStack: using Gerrit for code reviews, Zuul/Nodepool/Jenkins as a CI system, and Storyboard for stories and issues tracker. Also, it ensures a reproducible test environment with ephemeral Jenkins slaves.

In this video, Nicolas Hicher will demonstrate how to use Software-Factory to manage a Red Hat OpenStack Platform 9 lifecycle. We will do a deployment and an update on a virtual environment (within an OpenStack tenant).

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Who is Testing Your Cloud?

Co-Authored with Dan Sheppard, Product Manager, Rackspace


With test driven development, continuous integration/continuous deployment and devops practices now the norm, most organizations understand the importance of testing their applications.

But what about the cloud those applications are going to live on? Too many companies miss this critical step, leading to gaps in their operations, which can lead to production issues, API outages, inability to upgrade, problems when trying to upgrade and general instability of the cloud.

It all begs the question: “Do you even test?”

At Rackspace, our industry leading support teams use a proactive approach to operations, and that begins with detailed and comprehensive testing, so that not only your applications but your cloud is ready for your production workload.

Critical Collaboration

For Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Red Hat, we collaborate closely with Red Hat; we test the upstream OpenStack code as well as the open sourced projects we leverage for our deployment, such as Ceph and Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director. This is done in a variety of ways, like sharing test cases upstream with the community via Tempest, creating and tracking bugs, and creating bug fixes upstream.

Continue reading “Who is Testing Your Cloud?”