4.12 Features: Show Me The Money!

In 4.12 we have introduced showback features. This toolset generates cost reports that can be integrated with chargeback and billing platforms.

Now each VM Template can optionally define a cost, in undefined units. The cost is defined as cost per cpu per hour, and cost per memory MB per hour. There is also a default cost that can be applied to all VM Templates.

showback_template_wizard

OpenNebula will then calculate monthly reports that are nicely presented to both the administrators and the end users.

vdcadmin_vdc_showback

And, of course, the raw data can also be retrieved in xml, json or csv from the command line. For more information, go to the 4.12 development documentation.

New OpenNebula Community Forum

Good news everyone! Starting today, the brand new community forum is open!

After an ongoing problem with the current mailing lists hosting, we decided to replace them with a Discourse forum. The new forum will help us to have more dynamic conversations, and provide a much better place for newcomers to find answers in previous threads.

 

This forum is for anything OpenNebula related -community support, events, announcements, development-. Go ahead and sign up now! It will only take a few seconds, and it’s going to be worth it.

The current mailing lists will be taken down in 2 weeks, but the archives will be still accessible. But there’s no need to feel nostalgic about the emails, the new platform can be also used replying from your inbox.

4.12 Features: Virtual Data Center Redesign

In this post I’ll share with you one of the new 4.12 features we are working on: Virtual Data Centers. Well, it’s not entirely new, because OpenNebula already had VDCs, but we have redesigned them to be more powerful.

Let’s start refreshing what Clusters and VDCs are:

  • Cluster: Group of physical resources (Hosts, Virtual Networks and Datastores) that share common characteristics or configurations. For example, you can have the “kvm” and “vmware” Clusters, or “kvm-ceph” and “kvm-gluster”.
  • Virtual Data Center (VDC): Defines a assignment of one or several Groups to a pool of Physical Resources. This pool of Physical Resources consists of resources from one or several Clusters that could belong to different Zones, or public external clouds for hybrid cloud computing.

The following image shows three VDCs (in blue, red and green) and the resources assigned to three Groups. As you can see, the red VDC assigns the Human Resources Group to resources from two different Zones (individual data centers), and a public cloud provider.

vdc_organization

In OpenNebula 4.6 the terms Virtual Data Center (VDC) and Resource Providers were introduced. A Resource Provider was not a separate entity, it was the way we called a Cluster assigned to a Group. The term VDC was used to name a Group with Resource Providers (Clusters) assigned, but was not a separate entity either.

Starting with OpenNebula 4.12, VDCs are a new kind of OpenNebula resource with its own ID, name, etc. and the term Resource Provider disappears. Making VDCs a separate resource has several advantages over the previous Group/VDC concept.

Now that VDCs are a separate entity, they can have one or more Groups added to them. This gives the Cloud Admin greater resource assignment flexibility. For example, you may have the Group Web Development added to the ‘low-performance’ VDC, and Big Data to the ‘high-performance’ VDC. If the Web Development requirements change for a few days, the Group can be additionally added to the ‘high-performance’ VDC. In previous versions, this single operation would require you to write down which resources were added to the Group, to undo it later.

create_vdc

From the resource assignment perspective, the new VDC approach allows to create more advanced scenarios. In previous versions, the Group’s Resource Providers were whole Clusters. This had some limitations, since Clusters define the topology of your physical infrastructure in a fixed way. The Admin could not assign arbitrary resources to a Group, he had to choose from those fixed Clusters.

The new VDCs contain a list of Clusters, just like before, but they can also have individual Hosts, Virtual Networks, and Datastores. This means that a VDC can create logical groups of physical resources, that don’t have to resemble the real configuration of the physical infrastructure.

For example, you may have one ceph Datastore and 10 Hosts inside a Cluster, and now you can assign one individual Host to a VDC whereas before you had to assign the whole Cluster, or create smaller Clusters. The latter option was not very practical, because Datastores can only be in one Cluster at a time, so you would need to split your storage between the Clusters.

We are quite pleased with how everything fits together, and this is because the requirements for this improvement of the VDC model came from our users. Hopefully you’ll find it useful too, we are looking forward to your feedback.

Videos from OpenNebulaConf 2014

Last week we celebrated the OpenNebulaConf 2014, an event where the community comes together to share their experiences and new ideas around OpenNebula. If you were there, go ahead and take a look at the photos in the conference page to check if we caught a flattering pic of you.

The OpenNebulaConf 2014 was a great event, and certainly our speakers deserve most of the credit for it. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

If you missed the conference, now you have a chance to listen to the talks in our YouTube channel, and download the slides from the slideshare account. Enjoy.

 

Technical Notes from OpenNebulaConf 2014

One of the best things about getting together for the conference is that our community always comes with plenty of new ideas and useful feedback to shape the project’s roadmap.

This year’s OpenNebulaConf was full of interesting talks with lots of thoughtful feedback, but we also had many productive discussions in the hacking session, the coffee breaks, and the evening get-togethers.

In this post we will try to summarize the main requests we gathered during the OpenNebulaConf. Feel free to join the discussion in the development portal or in the mailing lists.

And remember, you are always welcome to add new tickets, don’t be shy! We appreciate it when you open new requests, it’s always better to develop with real needs and use cases in mind.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for showing up in Berlin and making the conference awesome. See you next year!

 

Resource Management


New Integrations


Quotas & Accounting


Administration


Authentication & Authorization


Sunstone


OpenNebula 4.8: The Cloud View Gets OneFlow Services

OpenNebula has had the OneFlow component for quite some time. For 4.8, we have made it even easier to use for end users, integrating it with the intuitive Sunstone Cloud View.

OneFlow allows users and administrators to define, execute and manage multi-tiered applications, or services composed of interconnected Virtual Machines with deployment dependencies between them. These groups of Virtual Machines are deployed and managed as a single entity.

One of the new features in 4.8 is the definition of dynamic networks for OneFlow Services. This allows you to create more generic Service Templates. For example, the same Service Template can be used by users of different VDC’s that may have access to different Virtual Networks.

The following diagram shows a sample Service with two roles, Master and Slave. The Slave role contains 3 VMs, and must be deployed after the Master role VM is running. There are two networks, “Internal” and “Public”.

flow-diagram

The Service Template must be defined by the cloud administrator, and it looks like this in Sunstone:

flow-wizard-1 flow-wizard-2

As you can see, the Public and Internal networks are defined in the Service Template. These networks are not attached to any specific OpenNebula Virtual Network yet, that will happen when the users instantiate the Service.

The slave role has a VM Template defined to start the 3 VMs. The VM Templates can be configured with user inputs, another new feature of OpenNebula 4.8. This will help you to create a customized instance each time a new Service is created. In this example, we will ask the user for a couple of configuration attributes in the master role VM Template:

template-wizard

Now everything is ready to be published. This is how the Service Template will look for the end users:

flow-cloud-1 flow-cloud-2 flow-cloud-3

After the Service creation, the users will get a nice interface that hides most of the complexity behind it:

flow-cloud-4

We hope that you find these new features useful to prepare complex deployments for your users. You can read more in our documentation, and see more new features in our screencasts. If you can’t upgrade to 4.8 yet, give it a try in your laptop with one of our sandbox machines.

CloudCatalyst Survey about Cloud Computing Trends

CloudCatalystLogo1-1
The EU CloudCatalyst initiative invites you to participate in a survey about cloud computing trends. You can influence over the CloudCatalyst project by collaborating on the identification of existing challenges for Cloud expansion as well as on the definition of new market opportunities. The survey will produce detailed information about the main barriers to cloud adoption in order to help entrepreneurs, researchers, and software developers create value-added Cloud solutions and services.

To take the survey, click the link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3GHCM9K

The results of the survey will be shared (for free) with all the respondents.

Cloud Catalyst is an initiative funded by the European Commission that aims to provide useful tools to foster the adoption of Cloud Computing in Europe. CloudCatalyst will set up a cross-border advice and support service targeting two main groups:

  1. Software developers, researchers, start-ups, and other Cloud entrepreneurs interested in accelerating the development and deployment of Cloud Computing and internet services
  2. End-users from large industries, SMEs, and public entities interested in knowing how to benefit from the implementation of Cloud solutions.

On behalf of the CloudCatalyst Team,

Thank you in advance for your participation!

CloudCatalyst.eu

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EGI Community Forum 2014 Aftermath

Last week was the EGI Community Forum 2014 in Helsinki.

The OpenNebula in Science/HPC workshop was full of interesting talks about OpenNebula clouds for HPC. Thanks to all the speakers for sharing their use case and their feedback.

One of the most commented areas where OpenNebula is still a bit short in features is accounting. Currently people need to parse the accounting output to generate their own reports, but this is precisely something we are already working on. You can try the accounting widget right now in release 4.6.1, which we will continue improving for the next 4.8 version.

On Friday we held the tutorial to build an OCCI-compatible OpenNebula cloud. The attendants were happy to have a more technically oriented session, and all of them were able to build their small cloud in their laptops.

You can download the slides from the workshop here and for the tutorial here.

Come Meet us at EGI CF 2014

Next week we will be at the EGI Community Forum 2014 in Helsinki, Finland.

On Thursday you will have the chance to gain insight about high performance computing OpenNebula clouds. The workshop, titled “OpenNebula in Science/HPC and Cloud Federation“, will serve as a meeting point for users, operators, and researchers of OpenNebula clouds in Science and HPC. It will also present a unique opportunity for discussion and collaboration with related projects and federated cloud e-infrastructures. This event will focus on:

  • Presenting use cases and deployment experiences
  • Introducing new integrations and developments
  • Discussing limitations and potential enhancements
  • Collaborating with other projects and communities

And on Friday we have prepared a tutorial where you will install an OCCI-compatible OpenNebula cloud in your own laptop. If you are a devop or system administrator interested in a private cloud solution, don’t miss it! No prior knowledge of OpenNebula is required, although you should be familiar with Unix/Linux and virtualization. Even if you are already using OpenNebula, you might be interested in this tutorial since it will showcase the latest cloud provisioning portal introduced in 4.6, and the integration with OCCI.

 

See you there.

OpenNebula at Cloud Expo Europe 2014

A few days ago we were at the Cloud Expo Europe 2014 event in London. As part of the Open Cloud Forum sessions about open source cloud solutions, there was an OpenNebula tutorial.

Now, this is a hands-on tutorial where attendees are supposed to follow the slides and build their own small OpenNebula installation in a virtual environment, and the people that showed up were not really interested in replicating the tutorial in their laptops… But after the initial let-down, it turns out this was a very engaged audience that showed a great interest! Because the introduction and basic configuration tutorial was done fairly quickly, we had time to continue with a question & answer session that lasted more than the tutorial itself.

Bhe1npzIIAElCkQ

There were some common questions we get from time to time:

“It looks far better that I expected for what I thought was a research-only project”. Well, OpenNebula is a solid product, and it has been ready to be used in production for quite some time. Take a look at the featured users page.

“But what if I need a level of support that an open source community cannot guarantee?” Good news! C12G Labs, the company behind OpenNebula, has you covered. The best thing is that the commercial support is offered for the same open source packages available to anyone.

“Is the VMware support on par with the other hypervisors?” Absolutely! All the features are supported. You can even use a heterogeneous environment with the VMware hosts grouped into a cluster, working alongside a KVM or Xen cluster.

We also had time to talk about advanced OpenNebula features. Our documentation is quite big and reading all of it is definitely not appealing, but if you are starting with OpenNebula I recommend you to at least skim through all the sections. You may find out that you have several storage options, that OpenNebula can manage groups of VMs and has auto scaling features, or that VM guests can report back to ONE.

People were also very interested in the customization capabilities of OpenNebula. Besides the powerful driver mechanism that allows administrators to tailor the exact behaviour of OpenNebula, you can also customize the way it looks. The CLI output can be tweaked in the etc configuration files, and Sunstone can adjusted down to which buttons are shown with the Sunstone Views.

Thanks to the engaged audience for their great interest and their feedback. See you next year!