About How OpenNebula is Enabling Business in the Cloud

This week we gave an invited talk in the open-source cloud session at Future Internet Assembly 2014. Its aim was to show how OpenNebula is driving innovation in cloud computing, impacting the adoption of private cloud, and enabling business in the cloud.

We covered the following scenarios:

  • First, most organizations adopt cloud to optimize their IT investment, to improve existing services or to support new business and service models. In this scenario, OpenNebula lowers the barriers for new organizations to build their private cloud.
  • Second, many organizations like the fact that open source allows great customization to meet individual requirements. They can build a differentiated cloud service to meet customers needs or to offer new cloud provision models for a specific market segment or geography.
  • Third, open-source also encourages and supports innovation in the development of new cloud products. We have seen many examples of how its use lowers the barriers for new ICT players to create their own cloud offerings.

We wanted to present experiences from users, so we included some details about how OpenNebula is being used by four Europe companies. Big thanks to Armin Deliomini (Runtastic), Stefan Kooman (BIT.nl), Carlo Daffara (CloudWeabers) and Bernd Erk (Netways)!.
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Balance between User Base and Community in OpenStack and OpenNebula

In our last post “OpenNebula vs. OpenStack: User Needs vs. Vendor Driven” we stated that “OpenStack penetration in the market is relatively small compared with the investment made by vendors and VCs”. We have received several emails from people asking for the numbers that support this statement. This conclusion arises from the comparison between OpenNebula and OpenStack user base, a well as between the resources invested in development and marketing by each of them.

User Base

OpenStack is experiencing explosive growth in the number of developers, with more than 200 companies contributing code, 15,000 people and 850 companies involved according to its web site, and almost 1,000 developers involved in its latest release. However, the number of users and the size of the deployments are not that impressive, at least compared with this software development force.

Let us compare the user base of OpenNebula and OpenStack by using their latest surveys:

  • According to the most recent OpenStack user survey (November 2013), they received 827 responses, and 387 were deployments. In the 80% of these deployments the number of nodes was below 100, and only 11 deployments with more than 1,000 nodes (hypervisors).
  • On the other hand, in the latest OpenNebula survey (November 2012), OpenNebula received 2,500 responses, 820 of these were deployments. In the 70% of these deployments the number of nodes was below 100 nodes, and 99 deployments have more than 500 nodes (hypervisors).

nodes

We avoid giving references to featured users, both projects could put on the table good references of large-scale cloud deployments. The surveys show that OpenNebula and OpenStack are achieving a similar level of deployment. However, OpenStack presents a ratio 1/40 between deployments in the survey and number of people involved, a ratio 1/3 between deployments and developers, and a ratio 1/2 between deployments and companies involved. Not every company contributed to the survey?.

We could also use the volume of web searches according to Google Trends to compare the impact of both projects. The ratio in the number of searchers between OpenNebula and OpenStack during the last 12 years is 1/20. This mainly reflects the successful marketing of OpenStack. OpenNebula mainly invests its resources in developing technology and serving its users, being really vendor agnostic and free of marketing.

There is also a quarterly comparative analysis of the community activity (mailing lists traffic mostly) of the four main open-source cloud management platforms: OpenStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and CloudStack. The number of threads and participants in OpenStack is one order of magnitude higher than in OpenNebula. This mostly reflects a higher number of developers. Moreover, it is also worth noting that development coordination in OpenNebula is done through a redmine portal and not through a mailing list.

Resources Invested

We conservatively estimate the investment in OpenStack is approximately $300 million per year:

  • OpenStack Havana involved 950 developers almost completely hired by vendors. This is approximately $150 Million per year
  • OpenStack Foundation budget is approximately $10 Million per year
  • Marketing costs, i.e. marketing staff and external marketing programs, can be estimated in tens of millions per year
  • Just seven of the many start-ups involved in OpenStack have raised $120 million from VC. Assuming this is for 3 years. This is approximately $40 million per year
  • There are other direct costs from other many companies, there are almost 1,000 companies involved, that are also allocating resources to development, training, documentation,…, a big overhead in indirect costs, and of course opportunity costs

So $300 million per year is a good conservative estimate. We have seen other estimations above $0.5 billion per year, some reaching to $1 billion per year. In any case, over a few years, it’s billions. Will these companies ever get their money back?. I see VC’s starting to ask “Where’s our future money?”. Summarizing, a relatively small user base, and so penetration in the market, compared with the investment made by vendors and VCs. OpenNebula, with a budget at least two orders of magnitude lower, is achieving a similar user base. You can draw your own conclusions.

A New Cloud Provisioning Model: vDCs as a Service

Three years ago, driven by the needs of some of our larger users, we incorporated support for Virtual Data Centers (vDCs) and multiple Zones into OpenNebula 3.0. Since that time, this innovative vDC functionality has helped many IT organizations to make the transition towards the next generation of cloud infrastructures supporting on-demand provisioning of multiple fully-isolated vDCs. Thanks to the feedback received by many of these organizations during the last years, we have improved this functionality and its integration with the rest of subsystems. This post describes the new cloud provisioning model based on vDCs that is brought by OpenNebula 4.6. The new model offers an integrated and comprehensive framework for resource allocation and isolation in federated data centers and hybrid cloud deployments.

The Infrastructure Perspective

Common large IT shops have multiple Data Centers (DCs), each one of them consisting of several physical Clusters of infrastructure resources (hosts, networks and storage). These Clusters could present different architectures and software/hardware execution environments to fulfill the needs of different workload profiles. Moreover, many organizations have access to external public clouds to build hybrid cloud scenarios where the private capacity of the Data Centers is supplemented with resources from external clouds to address peaks of demand. Sysadmins need a single comprehensive framework to dynamically allocate all these available resources to the multiple groups of users.

For example, you could have two Data Centers in different geographic locations, Europe and USA West Coast, and an agreement for cloudbursting with two cloud providers, Amazon and SoftLayer. Each Data Center runs its own full OpenNebula deployment.

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The Organizational Perspective

Users are organized in Groups (also called Projects, Domains, Tenants…). A Group is an authorization boundary that can be seen as a business unit if you are considering it as private cloud or as a complete new company if it is public cloud. A powerful, configurable ACL system is needed to enable different authorization scenarios, from the definition of group Admins to the privileges of the users that can deploy virtual machines. Each Group can execute different types of workload profiles with different performance and security requirements.

For example, you can think Web Development, Human Resources, and Big Data Analysis as business units represented by Groups in OpenNebula.

Groups

The following are common enterprise use cases in large cloud computing deployments:

  • On-premise Private Clouds Serving Multiple Projects, Departments, Units or Organizations. On-premise private clouds in large organizations require powerful and flexible mechanisms to manage the access privileges to the virtual and physical infrastructure and to dynamically allocate the available resources. In these scenarios, the Cloud Administrator would define a Group for each Department, dynamically allocating resources according to their needs, and delegating the internal administration of the Group to the Department IT Administrator.
  • Cloud Providers Offering Virtual Private Cloud Computing. Cloud providers providing customers with a fully-configurable and isolated environment where they have full control and capacity to administer its users and resources. This combines a public cloud with the control usually seen in a personal private cloud system.

A New Cloud Provisioning Model Based on vDCs

A Group is simply a boundary, you need to populate resources into the Group which can be consumed by the users of the Group. These resources are obtained from Resource Providers that can be located in different Data Centers, ending up with the creation of a vDC. A Resource Provider is a Cluster of infrastructure resources (physical hosts, networks, datastores and external clouds).

For example, you could create three different vDCs:

  • BLUE: Allocation of (ClusterA@DC_West_Coast + Cloudbursting) to Web Development
  • RED: Allocation of (ClusterB@DC_West_Coast + ClusterA@DC_Europe + Cloudbursting) to Human Resources
  • GREEN: Allocation of (ClusterC@DC_West_Coast + ClusterB@DC_Europe) to Big Data Analysis

vdcs
A vDC is a fully-isolated virtual infrastructure environment where a Group of users, under the control of the vDC admin, can create and manage compute, storage and networking capacity. The users in the vDC, including the vDC administrator, would only see the virtual resources and not the underlying physical infrastructure. The physical resources allocated by the cloud administrator to the vDC can be completely dedicated to the vDC, providing isolation at the physical level too.

The privileges of the vDC users and the administrator regarding the operations over the virtual resources created by other users can be configured. In a typical scenario the vDC administrator can create virtual networks, upload and create images and templates, and monitor other users virtual resources, while the users can only instantiate virtual machines and virtual networks to create their services. The administrators of the vDC have full control over resources and can also create new users in the vDC.

UsersVDCs
Users can then access their vDC through any of the existing OpenNebula interfaces, such as the CLI, Sunstone, OCA, or the OCCI and AWS APIs. vDC administrators can manage their vDCs through the CLI or the vDC admin view in Sunstone. Cloud Administrators can manage the vDCs through the CLI or Sunstone.

The Cloud provisioning model based on vDCs enables an integrated, comprehensive framework to dynamically provision the infrastructure resources in large multi-datacenter environments to different customers, business units or groups. This brings several benefits:

  • Partitioning of cloud physical resources between Groups of users
  • Complete isolation of users, organizations or workloads
  • Allocation of Clusters with different levels of security, performance or high availability
  • Containers for the execution of software-defined data centers
  • Way of hiding physical resources from Group members
  • Simple federation, scalability and cloudbursting of private cloud infrastructures beyond a single cloud instance and data center

Want to Try?

The Beta release of OpenNebula 4.6 will be available in few days. In the meantime you can enjoy this screencast about partitioning clouds with vDCs.

We are looking forward to your feedback!.

OpenNebula vs. OpenStack: User Needs vs. Vendor Driven

We’ve crafted this post to answer a recurring question we’ve been hearing lately, specially from organizations planning to build their own private cloud:

How do you compare OpenNebula with OpenStack?…

This is indeed a complex question. There is no single answer because open-source projects and technologies present several dimensions. But we are far from afraid to answer it: the short, tl;dr version would be that they represent two different open-source models. While OpenNebula is an open-source effort focused on user needs, OpenStack is a vendor-driven effort.

This is neither a question of one being better than the other, they simply represent different approaches. Let us compare both open source options based on the following criteria: internal organization, governance model, roadmap definition, contributor profile, target user, product, and market competition. Obviously this comparison is biased (no way around that), but we have tried to be as neutral as possible.

A. Different Open-source Project Models

Both projects release code under the liberal Apache 2.0 license, follow a transparent development process with a public roadmap, and have the same license agreement for new contributions. They present significant differences though, specially in:

  • Internal Organization. While OpenStack comprises many different subprojects (14 at the time of writing this post) aimed at building the different subsystems in a cloud infrastructure, OpenNebula offers a single integrated, comprehensive management platform for all cloud subsystems.
  • Governance Model. The main difference between both projects is in their governance model, mainly for the definition of the architecture, the release cycle and the roadmap. While OpenStack is controlled by a Foundation driven by vendors, OpenNebula follows a centralized, “Benevolent Dictator” approach. OpenNebula is managed by a single organization that focuses on the interest of the project and strategically leads it to ensure that meets users needs.
  • Roadmap Definition. OpenNebula roadmap is completely driven by users needs with features that meet real demands, and not features that result from an agreement among the different vendors participating in the management board of the project.
  • Contributor Profile. While in OpenNebula most of contributions come from the users of the software, the contributors to OpenStack are mostly vendors building their own OpenStack-based cloud product. Since we started OpenNebula six years ago, we wanted users to have a voice in the project and not to privilege contributors over users.

Now the question is,

Why is OpenNebula following a “Benevolent Dictator” management model?.

In our view, OpenStack is governed by a consortium of competitors, trying to create its own product or to provide compatibility for its particular device. The mixture of vendor motivations makes it increasingly difficult for a foundation to meet both the needs of the project and the monetization goals of each vendor. It is also interesting to remark that many of these vendors are also offering commercial products that directly compete with OpenStack components.

Traditionally, multi-vendor industrial consortiums are the best approach to commoditize a core component in the long term, mainly when there exists solid base software, but not to bring to market a complete enterprise-ready solution from scratch in the short term. In these situations the addition of more developers and members slows the project down, and the well-known Brooks law (The Mythical Man-Month) applies both at development and governance levels. OpenStack is reaching a point where the consensus based approach has limited the competitiveness of the project.

We believe that a centralized model with a strong individual leadership is the best way to quickly build a production-ready enterprise-class open-source product, mainly in the early stages of a fast growing market. Please do not pin this on us being control freaks; we do so because we want to create a great product and we want to take responsibility for the entire product and need to be responsive to our users. Benevolent dictator governance is the model followed by other successful open-source projects like Android or Linux Kernel, and, in our view, it is the most effective way to focus on engineering quality, to prioritize user needs, and also to ensure long term support.

The above reasons are the foundation of this claim: OpenNebula is made for users by users, OpenStack is made for vendors by vendors. This may seem like a daring statement, but we have been following this path for years, and haven’t observed anything that proves this wrong.

B. Different Cloud Models

Although there are as many ways to understand cloud computing as there are organizations planning to build a cloud, they mostly fall between two extreme cloud models:

  • Enterprise Cloud Model (Datacenter Virtualization): On one side, there are businesses that understand cloud as an extension of virtualization in the datacenter; hence looking for a VMware vCloud-like infrastructure automation tool to orchestrate and simplify the management of the virtualized resources.
  • Public Cloud Model (Infrastructure Provision): On the other side, there are businesses that understand cloud as an AWS-like cloud on-premise; hence looking for a provisioning tool to supply virtualized resources on-demand.

CloudModels

Although OpenStack now tries to be everything for everyone, it was created as an open-source effort to compete against Amazon Web Services (AWS). Therefore while OpenStack is addressing the Infrastructure Provision segment; OpenNebula better meets the needs of Enterprise Cloud Computing. Since both tools enable infrastructure cloud computing, there is some overlap in the features they provide. However, each cloud model presents different architectural constraints and requires specialized interfaces, management capabilities and integration support. OpenNebula and OpenStack serve different needs and implement completely different philosophies.

C. Different Product Views

OpenNebula is a single enterprise-ready open-source product, easy to install and operate, with a single installing and updating process, a one-stop community and a long-term commercial support. Any organization can use the open-source distribution to build a production cloud, and receive best-effort support through the community mailing list. Additionally, any organization can purchase commercial support directly from the developers. The important aspect is that we do not deliver enterprise editions of the software, we commercially support the community software.

Architectures

On the other hand, OpenStack comprises many subprojects with different levels maturity that require complex integration to achieve a functional cloud infrastructure. A growing number of components and subprojects is making even more difficult their integration and coordination, and the delivery of a single coherent solution. No update path is provided if you want to install a new version, and there is not commercial support. Any organization interested in using OpenStack, and requiring commercial support and enterprise maturity, is recommended (by the vendors running the project) to deploy any of the several enterprise distributions.

ValueChain

From a business perspective, OpenNebula does not compete with OpenStack but with the many existing vendor “stacks” based on OpenStack, mainly with those by HP, Red Hat and IBM. These enterprise-grade distributions incorporate different versions of the OpenStack components with extended features, custom enhancements and integrations that may erode their compatibility and interoperability. Moreover many of them include proprietary components and exhibit significant differences in the implementation of critical underlying functionality.

So the organization that chooses OpenStack is actually using proprietary software based on OpenStack, and is locked into that specific distribution given that the vendor only supports its own stack, not the community version. Even worse, there is no way to migrate to another vendor distribution. In other words, these distributions do not offer the main benefits of open-source: low-cost, no lock-in, flexibility and interoperability.

D. A Look To the Future

We expect OpenStack to further fragment into more vendor specific “stacks” with narrow test matrices and extended proprietary features that lock customers in and don’t interoperate well. OpenStack’s biggest success is marketing. These vendor “stacks” and cloud providers will continue marketing “OpenStack” as the primary and, in most cases only, differentiator.

However OpenStack penetration in the market is relatively small compared with the investment made by vendors and VCs. These vendor specific “stacks” are not only competing with OpenNebula, other open-source cloud management platforms like CloudStack and Eucalyptus, and proprietary incumbents, they are also competing between them and with the open source community itselfAll vendors claim they are the OpenStack leader because it’s a winner-take-all game. Only one of the OpenStack distributions will gain critical mass on public and private clouds. Red Hat, now the dominant contributor to OpenStack, is in our view the only plausible winner

Don’t get us wrong, OpenStack is an open-source project with excellent developers, and some of its components are great from a technology point of view. Because a single cloud management platform can not be all things to all people, we will see an open-source cloud space with several offerings focused on different environments and/or industries. This will be the natural evolution, the same happened in other markets. OpenNebula and OpenStack will coexist and, in some cases, work together in a broad open cloud ecosystem. In the meantime, we will continue with our focus on solving real user needs in innovative ways, and getting our users involved in a fully vendor-agnostic project.

OpenNebula TechDays – Call for Hosts

Besides our annual OpenNebula Conference, we are planning to organize Technology Day events in multiple cities globally.

The OpenNebula TechDays are full day events to learn about OpenNebula with a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop, and presentations from community members and users that will focus on:

  • Sharing cloud use cases and deployment experiences
  • Introducing new integrations and ecosystem developments
  • Describing other related cloud open-source projects and tools

The OpenNebula TechDay events are targeted at Cloud Architects, Data Center Admins, Systems Admins, Systems Integrators, DevOps Architects, and Solutions Architect.

In the shorter term we would like to organize TechDays in USA (East and West coasts) and Europe.

Please send us an email at contact@opennebula.org if you are interested in hosting a TechDays event or in providing support.

We look forward to your answers,

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OpenNebula 2013: Year in Review

It’s been an amazing year in cloud computing in general and in OpenNebula in particular. We are excited to keep the momentum going. The number of downloads, users, and contributors has continued doubling each year and we have been able to offer more than we ever thought possible. Moreover, 2013 was a landmark year for our project with the celebration of the first ever OpenNebula conference.

With 2013 coming quickly to a close, we’d like to review what this year has meant for the OpenNebula project and give you a peek at what you can expect from us in 2014. You have all the details about the great progress that we have seen for the OpenNebula project in our monthly newsletters.

Technology

During 2013, we have worked very hard to continue delivering the most solid, powerful and flexible open-source management platform to build and manage Enterprise Clouds. We have continued focusing on solving real user needs in innovative ways with the involvement of the users in a really vendor-agnostic project. Our project has released 3 updates of the software4.0 Eagle4.2 Flame and 4.4 Retina, and 5 maintenance releases within a rapid release cycle aimed at accelerating the transfer of innovation to the market. The roadmap of these releases was completely driven by users needs with features that meet real demands, and not features that resulted from an agreement between IT vendors planning to create their own proprietary cloud solution.

significant number of cool new features were included in OpenNebula: a highly-scalable monitoring system, an enhanced EC2/EBS implementation, an extended cloud bursting functionality, storage load balancing, multiple group support, multiple system datastore support, high availability, a revamped Sunstone with a new cloud view, multi-VM application management with auto-scaling, a whole new set of operations for VMs like system and disk snapshoting and dynamic capacity re-sizing, programmable VM actions, IPv6… There are some new drivers also, like Ceph, as well as many improvements for VMware, KVM and Xen.

After the Christmas break, we will organize a IRC meeting to discuss the requests for new features and for extending existing features. This valuable input will be used to create the short-term roadmap for OpenNebula 4.6 (due in March 2014).

The mechanisms offered to try out OpenNebula have been extended. Besides the existing Sandboxes with OpenNebula preinstalled (for VirtualBox, KVM, VMware ESX and Amazon EC2), an effort was carried out to develop simple how-to guides describing the step-by-step process to deploy OpenNebula in the most common linux and hypervisor combinations. Currently there are guides for CentOS/Xen, CentOS/VMware, CentOS/KVM and Ubuntu/KVM. In order to ease the installation of OpenNebula, we have also created package repositories for CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and openSUSE to make the installation and upgrade even easier.

Moreover, the documentation system has been changed from DokuWiki to Sphinx, and it is now backed in Github. This allows to improve readability, create better PDF guides, and improve collaboration. We know that the documentation is as important as the code, so we want the community to be involved, guaranteeing its high quality.

We  prepared two articles to briefly describe our view and experience about the different types of cloud models, how the main open-source cloud management platforms (namely Eucalyptus, CloudStack, OpenStack and OpenNebula) are targeting their needs, and the different perspectives of openness. We also had an invited post comparing the simplicity of OpenNebula with that of the Russian SoyuzWe completely agree, it is important to stay in focus to deliver a quality product. Way to go!

Community

Many people and organizations have contributed in different ways, from the expertise and dedication of our core committers and hundreds of contributors to the valuable feedback of our thousands of users. Contributors are users of the software, like CentOS, ChinaMobile, Cisco, Deutsch Post, Blackberry, Produban, FermiLab, Akamai…, who are willing to contribute new innovative features from their production environments. During 2013, we have received great contributions: Linux Containers (LXC) drivers,  Clustered Xen Manager (CXM) driversecone metadata serverRex.io plugin,  Ceph drivers,  LVM shared drivers, NetApp filers driver, InfiniBand supportVirtualBox driversperl binding for OpenNebula’s native xmlrpc interfaceOpenNebula over SSD disksOpenNebula Puppet module

We welcomed  new partners like NetWaysInovexLMDviApps and Terradue, who are providing value-added integration and consulting services around OpenNebula. These new partnerships underpin the confidence of these companies have in OpenNebula and C12G Labs.

Besides, this year marked the creation of multiple OpenNebula User Groups in Germany, France, Italy, USA, Spain, Hungary, Cuba, Egypt…

Last, and not least, the new OpenNebula add-ons program was born as well this last november. Not being mature enough to be included in OpenNebula, these new add-ons would now have  support for their enhancement and coordinated development to avoid redundant work. This initiative has been well received by the community, we are glad you liked it, we are looking forward for your contributions.

Outreach

We are  very proud to have contributed to the European Roadmap for Cloud Technologies under H2020, and for the attention OpenNebula gets by the European Commission“OpenNebula has played an important role in driving and supporting the transition to cloud computing and thus accelerating the pace of innovation in Europe”

During the year, members of the OpenNebula team or people deeply familiar with the technology spoke in many eventsFOSDEMCeBITFlossUKLinux Open Admin DaysLinuxTagCentOS DojoOSDCIrish Free Software Organisation,  Xen HackathonISC Cloud’13Ceph Community DayEGI Technical Forum, Cloud Interoperability Week, CentOS Dojo, Bucharest, Cloud Interoperability Guide and EGI Technical ForumJornadas Técnicas RedIris

Awesome speakers render awesome talks, like the ones held at the OpenNebulaConf 2013. If you want to remember the great ambience of the conference, or if you haven’t got a chance to attend, here is your opportunity to (re)visit the knowledge shared in the conference in the form of recordings of the keynotes and talks. Also, you can check out the presentations of the speakers if you want to consult a particular detail that you do not quite remember. And, to make the experience even more immersive, scout through the conference pictures. Next year’s OpenNebula Conference will be held in Berlin as well, 2-4 of December, 2014. If you want to repeat or find out how it is for yourself, save the date!.

Last month C12G hosted the CentOS Dojo in its HQ in Madrid. It started with a OpenNebula tutorial, given the previous day, and it displayed an array of very interesting talks, covering technical aspects related to OpenNebula and CentOS. Thanks a lot to the attendees to help render such a productive event!

During 2013, a series of public training courses on OpenNebula Fundamentals, aimed to cloud administrators and operators, was given by members of the OpenNebula Team in the C12G headquarters in Madrid. The courses covered the process of installing, configuring and operating private and hybrid clouds using OpenNebula. Additionally the programs briefly addressed the integration of OpenNebula with other components in the data center. If you are interested in future public training courses, please check the C12G training web page.

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Looking back, it is inspiring the distance that we have come together since our first release of OpenNebula six years ago. And that is nothing compared to what is planned for the future. We are looking forward to another year of great running memories.

Reached this point, we want to give a huge THANKS! to our community. No, seriously guys, you rock big time. OpenNebula wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is today without all of you.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you health, happiness and prosperity in 2014 to you and your loved ones!.

On behalf of the OpenNebula Project.

OpenNebula Celebrates its 6 Year Anniversary!

Time flies, and we are once again celebrating our anniversary. Let me take advantage of this opportunity to describe the progress of the project during the last 6 years by using the slides of the opening talk “Unleashing the Future of Open-source Enterprise Cloud Computing” in the first OpenNebula Conference held in Berlin one month ago.

Our Vision: Flexible Enterprise Cloud Made Simple

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, Leonardo da Vinci

When the OpenNebula project started in 2008, we intended to create an open solution to make Enterprise Cloud simple. From the beginning, we understood enterprise cloud computing as an evolution of data center virtualization to host both cloud-aware and traditional applications. So we aimed to combine existing virtualization technologies with multi-tenancy, automatic provision and elasticity, following a bottom-up approach driven by the real-life needs of sysadmins and devops, and the following main principles:

  • Flexibility: Easy customization to fit into any datacenter
  • SysAdmin-centrism: Complete control over the cloud
  • Simplicity: Easy to deploy, update, operate and use
  • Lightness: Highly efficient
  • Enterprise-readiness: Delivered as a single production-proven, packaged product

Our History: From Research Project to Enterprise Product

OpenNebula started as a research project more than 8 years ago, in November 2007 we created the OpenNebula open-source project. Since then OpenNebula has evolved from a research project into an enterprise-ready product matured through many release cycles. OpenNebula was originally funded by the European Commission in the context of flagship projects in cloud computing research and innovation, and it is now mainly sustained by C12G Labs thanks to customer support subscriptions and Fund a Feature projects.

Our Community: A Traditional Open-source Project

We are extremely happy with the organic growth of the project. Many people and organizations contribute in different ways, from the expertise and dedication of our core committers and hundreds of contributors to the valuable feedback of our thousands of users. Most of our contributors are users of the software that are willing to contribute new innovative features from their production environments,  not developers hired by vendors to contribute to the project. OpenNebula is really vendor-neutral, there is no hype, just a focus on real-life needs, developing the best technology, and serving our users.

We are 1,400 registered users at our support mailing list, 650 registered users at our dev portal… What’s more interesting behind these figures is the quality of our active and engaged community. One month ago we celebrated our first OpenNebula Conference with the active participation of leading organizations such as Produban – Bank Santander, Akamai, FermiLab, European Space Agency, CentOS, BBC, CloudWeavers, Terradue, Inovex, Netways, INRIA, viApps, CESCA, SARA Supercomputing, CESNET, SZTAKI…

Next year’s OpenNebula Conference will be held in Berlin as well, 2-4 of December, 2014. If you want to repeat or find out how it is for yourself, save the date!.

Our Users: A Widely-used Cloud Management Platform

The number of downloads from our repositories is doubling each year. There are tens of thousands of deployments around the globe and OpenNebula is parked in some of the biggest organizations out there including Industry and Research leaders building enterprise private clouds, cloud services, and clouds for HPC and Science. We have recently collected some user stories in our web site.

Our Technology: Solving Real User Needs in Innovative Ways

OpenNebula has released 18 stable versions in a rapid release cycle to accelerate the transfer of innovation to the market. We leverage the power of user-driven development. OpenNebula’s roadmap is completely driven by users needs with features that meet real demands, not features that result from an agreement between IT vendors planning to create their own proprietary cloud solution.

OpenNebula has been pioneer in many different aspects. For example OpenNebula has been the first cloud management platform to offer cloudbursting, on-demand provision of Virtual Data Centers, advanced and flexible scheduling policies for virtual resources placement, a public marketplace, support for multi-VM applications with automatic scaling…

Its All About You!

An active and engaged community, along with our focus on solving real user needs in innovative ways and the involvement of the users in a really vendor-agnostic project, constitute the OpenNebula’s recipe to success. We continue to focus on making sure OpenNebula continues to be the most solid, powerful and flexible open-source management platform to build and manage Enterprise Clouds. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out all of the new features of OpenNebula 4.4. The stable version will be out in few days.

Let me end the post with one of my favourite quotes.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction”, Albert Einstein

Thanks to all of you and happy anniversary!

On behalf of the OpenNebula Project.

New Code Contribution Processes for OpenNebula

OpenNebula is an awesome cloud manager because of  great contributions made to it by community members like you. This is the reason why one of the most important discussions in the Open Session of our first OpenNebulaConf in Berlin was focused on bringing more visibility to the different ways you can help with in the development of OpenNebula.

We have used this feedback as an opportunity to innovate and improve the processes that allow you to take an active role in making OpenNebula even better. The Contribute Code page has been updated to describe the general processes of code contributions to OpenNebula:

  • How to report a bug
  • How to make a feature request
  • How to contribute bug and feature patches
  • How to contribute new functional components

Our aim has been to make processes more simple, transparent and collaborative, and set clear expectations.

Moreover we have created a new developers mailing list for OpenNebula integrators and developers, with the following attributions:

  • Send feature requests and ideas for next releases
  • Discuss new developments
  • Converse about missing components, solutions and deployment scenarios
  • Discuss about interoperability, portability and open standards implementation in OpenNebula
  • Make questions about integrating the software and OpenNebula interfaces
  • Announce new add-ons and ecosystem components

Last, but not least, during the last years many organizations have created new tools, interfaces and drivers that enlarge the platform technologies and services that OpenNebula can interface with. Not being mature enough to be included in OpenNebula, these new add-ons would have required support for their enhancement and coordinated development to avoid redundant work. The new Add-on Catalog consists of tools, interfaces and drivers:

These collaborative development tools will provide contributors with an environment to introduce and give visibility to new add-ons, and to reach new developers and early adopters that can help shape and test these new components.

We invite you all to join the new developers mailing list and to submit your add-ons to the new catalog!

OpenNebula at ISC Cloud 2013

Next week, just before our first OpenNebulaConf in Berlin, we will be busy at ISC Cloud 2013 in Heidelberg. This conference brings together developers, users, managers and decision makers from industry,research, and development to give them the opportunity to find out about the newest trends in Cloud Computing, and participate in intensive and valuable discussions. The event will address currently popular topics such as High Performance Computing (HPC) as a service, industrial and scientific application software in the Cloud, new software licence models, security in the Cloud, computing power and data protection.

We will participate with a hands-on tutorial and an invited talk:

  • The tutorial “Building your Cloud for HPC, here and now, in 3 hours!” will cover the process of building a private cloud using OpenNebula with a special focus on configuring and operating the cloud instances for the execution of virtualized computing services. The attendees will build, configure and operate their own OpenNebula cloud!.
  • The invited talk “Cloud Architectures for HPC – Industry Case Studies” will describe the most demanded features for building HPC and science clouds, and will illustrate using real-life case studies from leading research and industry organizations how OpenNebula effectively addresses these challenges of cloud usage, scheduling, security, networking and storage. .
C12G Labs is sponsoring ISC Cloud 2013. It would be great to see you in Heidelberg on Monday!

HPC Cloud Computing with OpenNebula at ISC Cloud 2013

The OpenNebula Project is organizing a 3-hour hands-on tutorial and giving an invited talk at ISC Cloud 2013.

  • The tutorial “Building your Cloud for HPC, here and now, in 3 hours!” will cover the process of building a private cloud using OpenNebula with a special focus on configuring and operating the cloud instances for the execution of virtualized computing services. The attendees will build, configure and operate their own OpenNebula cloud!.
  • The invited talk “Cloud Architectures for HPC – Case Studies” will describe the most demanded features for building HPC and science clouds, and will illustrate using real-life case studies from leading research and industry organizations how OpenNebula effectively addresses these challenges of cloud usage, scheduling, security, networking and storage.
It would be great to see you in Heidelberg on the 23-24 of September!

C12G Labs is sponsoring ISC Cloud 2013.