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Release Policy

Tino V谩zquez edited this page Sep 17, 2020 · 50 revisions

20 July 2020

OpenNebula provides this Release Cycle Policy in order for customers and partners to effectively plan, deploy, and support their infrastructure. OpenNebula publishes this Policy in an effort to provide as much transparency as possible, but please be aware that we might have to make exceptions to these plans should circumstances so require.

OpenNebula follows a rapid release cycle to improve user satisfaction by rapidly delivering new features and innovations based on their requirements and feedback. In other words, giving our users and customers what they need more quickly, in smaller increments, while regularly increasing the product鈥檚 overall technical quality. At the same time, for those looking for a slower, more steady pace of change, without intermittent minor enhancements, OpenNebula provides long-term support (LTS) releases.

OpenNebula Releases

OpenNebula publishes major, minor and maintenance releases:

  • Each major release of OpenNebula is denoted by a single major number (i.e. OpenNebula 5). A new major release typically comes with significant additions that may involve changes in the interfaces, core or database, and so may require a complex upgrade process for production environments.
  • Each minor release of OpenNebula is denoted by a major and a minor number (i.e. OpenNebula 5.12). A new minor release typically involves enhancements, optimizations and bug fixes that may bring along small changes to the core and database, and so allow a seamless update process for production environments following a pre-defined migration path.
  • Maintenance releases of OpenNebula are denoted by a major, a minor and an incremental number (i.e. OpenNebula 5.12.1). A maintenance release typically includes only bug fixes and minor enhancements, and its upgrade is straightforward. Major and minor releases are defined as 鈥渕ain releases鈥. Exceptionally, the project may deliver patch releases (i.e. OpenNebula 5.12.0.1) with critical bug fixes.

Four weeks before an official major or minor release date, there is a beta release series. This beta series marks the feature-freeze for the release. Development efforts are then mainly devoted to bug fixing and polishing. A release candidate version is usually published one week before an official major or minor release date.

We aim to produce:

  • A new major release of OpenNebula approximately every 3-5 years.
  • 6-10 minor releases for each major version, approximately one every 6 months.

OpenNebula Editions

OpenNebula releases two software editions:

  • Community Edition (CE): A fully-featured version of OpenNebula that is publicly released.
  • Enterprise Edition (EE): A more tested, hardened, and production-ready version of OpenNebula for enterprise use that incorporates additional bug fixes and software patches with minor features developed by OpenNebula Systems.

In major and minor releases, both editions share the same numbering鈥攕o, for example, OpenNebula 5.12.0 is distributed in both editions.

OpenNebula Community Edition

The Community Edition of OpenNebula and its binary packages are distributed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. The Community Edition of OpenNebula is updated and released every 6 months and is maintained through the Community Forum. The OpenNebula Project does not produce maintenance releases of the Community Edition, only patch releases with critical bug fixes (i.e. OpenNebula 5.12.0.1).


Figure 1. Community Edition Life Cycle

OpenNebula Enterprise Edition

While the source code of the Enterprise Edition of OpenNebula is distributed under the Apache License, Version 2.0, the binary packages of the Enterprise Edition with the production-ready version of OpenNebula are distributed under a commercial license governed by the OpenNebula Subscription Agreement. The Enterprise Edition of OpenNebula is updated and released every 6 months and is maintained through the Customer Portal for Corporate Users with an active OpenNebula Subscription. Customers also have access to exclusive Enterprise Tools to simplify upgrades and the maintenance of OpenNebula clouds in production environments.

OpenNebula Systems releases regular maintenance versions with minor features and bug fixes for the Enterprise Edition, as well as LTS versions to reduce the risk, expense, and disruption of software deployment. Approximately every 6 months, each OpenNebula major or minor version can be either LTS (Long Term Support) or STS (Short Term Support). In principle there will be an LTS release every three main releases, but this frequency may be lower.

  • An STS version will be maintained and technically supported for a period of 7 months. This incorporates the 6 months until the next main version (LTS or STS) is available, plus an additional month thereafter. These are production-quality releases that serve as a proving ground for new capabilities by customers interested in adopting new major features and are able to perform upgrades multiple times a year.

  • An LTS version will be maintained and technically supported for a period of at least 27 months. This incorporates the time until the next LTS is available (which is at least for 18 months, but could be for longer), plus an additional 9 months thereafter. LTS releases are the 鈥渆nterprise grade鈥 releases of OpenNebula and are intended to be utilized primarily in production environments by customers interested in a release family with an extended support cycle. LTS releases are intended to be utilized primarily in production environments by customers interested in a release family with an extended support cycle. There is also a support extension for Extended Life Support.


Figure 2. Enterprise Edition Life Cycle

From its 7th month, the LTS releases enter into 鈥淢aintenance Support鈥 in which they will receive only critical and compatible fixes throughout their lifecycle, (no additional minor enhancements). And the last 3 months of an LTS release support overlaps with the beginning of 鈥淢aintenance Support鈥 for the subsequent LTS release. This provides a simple way for customers who are averse to too many changes to remain in the maintenance and extended support phases with no minor features across two LTS releases.

The lifetime of each main (major/minor) release may include the following phases:

  • Mainstream Support (STS/LTS), regular maintenance versions with bug fixing and minor enhancements, and technical support.
  • Maintenance Support (LTS only), regular maintenance versions with bug fixing, and technical support.
  • Extended Support (STS/LTS), critical bug fixing and technical support. During this phase, customers are expected to upgrade to the next release.

Synchronization between Community and Enterprise

For each new major or minor release, OpenNebula Systems contributes to the Community Edition all bug fixes and software patches with minor enhancements that have been developed and incorporated into an Enterprise Edition version during the previous maintenance cycle.


Figure 3. Synchronization between Community and Enterprise

Our software is thoroughly tested through an internal Quality Assurance process before its release. Although our Community Edition is a full-featured version of OpenNebula, the Enterprise Edition provides a more tested, hardened, and production-ready version of OpenNebula that incorporates additional bug fixes developed by OpenNebula Systems and software patches with minor enhancements (except for LTS versions), along with a series of Enterprise Tools to simplify upgrades and the maintenance of OpenNebula clouds in production environments.

Once the QA process is completed, we prepare packages of all releases for the most common Linux distributions. Only those created for the Community Edition are made public. Packages for the Enterprise Edition are private and only available through the Customer Portal. During the entire life cycle, we make reasonable efforts to maintain compatibility for the core and database across all minor and maintenance releases, but sometimes we have to make exceptions to this general compatibility goal due to critical impact or other significant issues.

Users of OpenNebula Community Edition can obtain support from fellow users through our Community Forum. Corporate Users with an active OpenNebula Subscription have access not only to the Enterprise Edition and its private maintenance releases, but also to exclusive Enterprise Tools and technical contents, SLA-based support and Professional Services via the Customer Portal.