Re-Implementation of our Cloud Control Panel

Sometimes, fundamental improvements happen in the background and are therefore almost invisible to end users. We went through a full code change (including switching programming languages) over the last couple of months. A natural next step if you look at the broader context:

Where it all began

Creating a new product is all about priorities. In our case: Harness the available technology and turn it into a self-service cloud offering which is powerful yet easy to use. With a small team and a clear vision of the end result, we focused on delivering what we had promised as quickly as possible.

While our main building blocks, OpenStack and Ceph, were determined quickly, we had to follow a pragmatic approach when it came to implementing our unique cloud control panel. Using the existing knowledge we had on the team was key and therefore the release in January ended up being written in Lua.

Why we decided it was time for a change

Having reached GA, one of the most important milestones in the history of a start-up, it was now time for a re-evaluation. It quickly became clear to us that there was no better way to take full advantage of OpenStack and its evolving ecosystem than to switch to Python ourselves.

With more and more software developers working on our control panel, we decided to establish new processes: Test-driven development helps us move fast while ensuring high quality. Continuous delivery with multiple deployments per day allows you to take advantage of improvements and new features on a regular basis. Using Python and its surrounding frameworks we were able to leverage the power of agile software development.

What benefits you can expect

Following our improved processes, we managed to replace our entire code base without our users even noticing – a seamless rollout. Using newly gained synergies, we are making headway with new features even faster. In about a month's time we will provide full IPv6 support for your virtual machines. And private networks are just a little further down the road, with even more cool stuff in the pipeline to be released this summer.

In retrospect, re-implementing our code base was the right thing to do at this stage. After releasing an initial product and getting positive feedback from our customers, we are now ready to bring it to the next level.

Get ready for (much) more!
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