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Bexar, Mitaka, Newton: Behind OpenStack release names

Mitaka is not only the latest release of the OpenStack cloud infrastructure service; it’s also a city in Japan.

In a webinar Thursday detailing the 13th version of the open source platform, Brad Topol, IBM engineer and a member of OpenStack’s worldwide project team, explained that OpenStack release names are typically related to the cities the planning conferences are held in. Releases come out every six months, ahead of the semiannual meetups.

The conference before the current release was in Tokyo, in October. Mitaka is in the Japanese capital’s metro area, 8.6 miles from the city proper. Fans of Hayao Miyazaki, director of Spirited Away and other animation fantasies, may know the city as home to the Ghibli Museum, which displays the work of film company Studio Ghibli.

“It’s always a fun exercise trying to get everyone excited and look up the places and things that are nearby,” said Davanum Srinavas, a software engineer at Mirantis, which develops and supports OpenStack. In the webinar, Srinavas ticked off technical details of the Mitaka release, which has a wealth of new features designed to make the cloud software easier to install and manage.

Names are suggested by OpenStack community members, who help plan and design new versions of the cloud infrastructure, then voted on and given legal clearance, Topol said.

OpenStack release names are alphabetical, so they started with Austin, named for the location of the first conference, in Texas’ capital, in 2010. They went on in 2011 to Bexar, the county where the second conference city, San Antonio, is situated, and in fall 2015 made it all the way to Mitaka. The next release will be called Newton. That’s the name of a historical home in Austin, where the OpenStack gathering was held a second time, in late April.

The OpenStack folks may have done better to name the next version, due in October, Navasota. The town, 115 miles from Austin, has an exotic-sounding name — and it’s home to the star of the übermensch Internet meme, actor Chuck Norris.

I hope he’s not offended.

Read details about OpenStack’s newest release, Mitaka.