Now that Eucalyptus 3.1 is out at last and we all get to wade through tons of announcements and blog posts, I thought I would mention a few of the changes that have happened since Eucalyptus 2 that you aren’t likely to see in marketing materials.
Why Eucalyptus 2? Most of us don’t get to use Eucalyptus 3.0, so comparing against that wouldn’t exactly be fair, would it? ;-)
The documentation for Eucalyptus 2 was strewn about the Eucalyptus website on a number of wiki pages. You had to read all of them to have any hope of ending up with a working cloud.
Eucalyptus 3’s documentation comes in the form of front-to-back PDFs. HTML documentation is forthcoming. You still need to read it all, but it is now in one place so you don’t have to go digging to find it.
The documentation’s source (in DITA format, if you find that sort of thing interesting) is also up on github, so there is now a way to fix errors: just send a pull request.
A new database
Eucalyptus 3.1 switches from HSQLDB to PostgreSQL. Given the number of Eucalyptus users I have seen over time who have experienced problems with HSQLDB’s behavior in the face of faults, I suspect this will make a lot of people happy.
The RPM and DEB packages for Eucalyptus 2 fail to list a number of important things they depend upon, making the software needlessly complicated to install. In fact, this was so complicated that the popular FastStart distribution became the method of choice for getting started with a new Eucalyptus cloud.
This is no longer the case. Installation now consists of adding package repositories and telling one’s package manager to install a component. No more “install these dependencies first.” No more “download these packages separately and install them.” In fact, short of a script that writes Eucalyptus’s configuration for you, this completely obviates the need for FastStart.
RHEL 6 support
Eucalyptus 2 is supported only on CentOS 5. It also works on RHEL 5, but users of RHEL 6 and friends couldn’t even compile the stuff. That is now fixed; those operating systems now have full support.
A more usable configuration file
Eucalyptus 2’s configuration file jams everything into one huge list. Nothing gives any indication what Eucalyptus components actually care about each option. There is also no indication how options were affected by one’s choice of networking mode.
Eucalyptus 3’s configuration file and documentation break options down by component. For networking-related options, they also list the networking modes in which they apply.
Eucalyptus 3 fixes bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. So many bugs that release notes cannot possibly list them all. In the future this will be easier, as every future bug report will now go through a new JIRA tracker.
Those are some of my favorites, but there are lots of other little improvements all over the place. Try Eucalyptus 3 out and see what you think. You may be pleasantly surprised.