OpenNebula is 7 Years Old!

Yes, time flies, and it is now time to celebrate the 7th anniversary of OpenNebula.org. In the post we wrote last year to celebrate our sixth anniversary we described the progress of the project in terms of its community, adoption and innovation. We are really proud to confirm that those figures are growing at the same rate.

This year we would like to focus on our commitment to the open cloud. We think it is important to clearly state what “open”, “simple”, “scalable”, and “flexible” mean for us. Mostly because, as you well know, terms like “open-” and “open-source” are used by many vendors as a marketing tool to lock you into their own version or distribution of a hyped open-source software. Well, I think you know what we mean.

  • Openness means you can run production-ready software that is fully open-source without proprietary extensions that lock you in. Yes, this means that OpenNebula does not need enterprise extensions. Yes, OpenNebula is not a limited version of an enterprise software… There is one and only one OpenNebula distribution, and it is truly open-source, Apache licensed, and enterprise-ready. There is no fragmentation.  As recently stated by one of our users:

“Other open-source cloud management platforms do not work out of the box, you need to go through a vendor – they are open source but vendor-based and brings proprietary components”

  • Simplicity means that you do not need an army of administrators to build and maintain your cloud. OpenNebula is a product and not a toolkit of components that you have to integrate to build something functional. Moreover your cloud will run for years with little maintain. As recently stated by one of our users:

“It is easy to bring existing sysadmins to handle OpenNebula since it is just standard components that is used”

  • Flexibility means that you can easily build a cloud to fit into your data center and policies. Because no two data centers are the same, we do not think there’s a one-size-fits-all in the cloud, and we do not try to impose requirements on data center infrastructure. We try to make cloud an evolution by leveraging existing IT infrastructure, protecting your investments, and avoiding vendor lock-in. As recently stated by one of our users:

“OpenNebula captured my interest for several technical reasons besides the fact that it is truly open. It’s architecture is very elegant; it has C++ bones, ruby muscles and bash tendons. It’s extensible and understandable”

  • Scalability means that you can easily grow the size of each zone and the number of zones. Some of our main users have reported infrastructures with tens of zones distributed worldwide that have executed several hundreds of thousands of virtual machines. As recently stated by one of our users:

“Very simple to use, implement and deploy, but yet, you guys make it very scalable and reliable”

Fully embedded in our commitment to the open-source world, we are immersed in a disruptive move, building a bridge between the proprietary virtualization field dominated by VMware and the open source cloud arena. We are doing so with an integration between OpenNebula and vCenter, easy to use and to deploy, bringing cloud features on top of production virtualized infrastructures. VMware users can take a step toward liberating their stack from vendor lock-in. Being OpenNebula a platform independent software, they can gradually migrate to open virtualization platforms.

Looking back, it is inspiring the distance that we have come together. And that is nothing compared to what is planned for the future. We look forward to meeting you in a few days in Berlin in our second OpenNebula Conference, we have a lot to celebrate.

Thanks to all of you and happy anniversary!

On behalf of the OpenNebula Project

OpenNebulaConf2014: Practical experiences with OpenNebula for cloudifying a SaaS by Deloitte’s Tim Verhoeven

Tim Verhoeven, lead architect for a Business Intelligence and Analytics SaaS cloud platform at Deloitte Consultin, will give a keynote entitled “Practical experiences with OpenNebula for cloudifying a SaaS” in the upcoming OpenNebulaConf 2014 to be held in Berlin on the 2-4 of December.

Tim will speak about how his team manages a SaaS platform for Business Intelligence and Analytics applications using a diverse set of middleware (mostly IBM). However the original setup of this platform was not done using a cloud architecture. In this talk they describe the reasons for selecting OpenNebula. The architecture of the new setup. The process of migrating to that new setup and the lessons they learned during that process and in the daily operation of the platform. And finally this talk will also cover their vision for the next step which is to move towards a hybrid cloud setup.

Tim currently works for Deloitte Consulting in Belgium as the lead architect for a Business Intelligence and Analytics SaaS cloud platform. Tim Verhoeven is been involved in IT Infrastructure for more then 10 years and in these years gathered experience with Linux, networking, servers, storage and the tools and processes to deploy, manage and monitor these infrastructures.
Do not miss this talk, register now, only a few seats are left!

Building Clouds on vSphere: vOneCloud vs vCloud Competitive Pricing Review

This case study assumes you want to build a private cloud on top of an existing virtualized datacenter composed of multiple hosts running vSphere and managed by one or several instances of vCenter. It is understood that you do not want to abandon your investment in VMware by retooling the entire stack. You want to continue managing your infrastructure with already familiar and powerful VMware tools, such as vSphere and vCenter Operations Manager. Your goal is to create a self-service cloud environment on top of your vSphere infrastructure to provide your users with a simple cloud interface featuring elasticity, multi-tenancy and self-service provisioning.

This post compares the pricing of two different approaches to build this cloud environment, the deployment of vOneCloud (an open-source replacement for vCloud based on OpenNebula) on your existing vSphere/vCenter environment versus the adoption of VMware vCloud Suite:

  • The latest version of the vCloud Suite (5.8) brings all the components needed to build and manage a vSphere-based private cloud. The three product editions, Standard, Advanced and Enterprise, include vSphere Enterprise Plus and vCloud Director. According to VMware’s official price list, the average cost (including license and support) per server (2 processors) and year (license cost prorated in three years) of vCloud Standard is €4,883.41 and € 5,243.13 for basic and production support level respectively.
  • vOneCloud requires vSphere (Standard edition is enough) and vCenter Standard. According to VMware’s official price list, the average cost (including license and support) per server (2 processors) and year (license cost prorated in three years) of vSphere Standard is €1,087.35 and €1,177.27 for basic and production support level respectively. If we add the cost of vCenter Standard (we consider a cloud consisting of 10 hosts), the overall cost per server and year is €1,331.52 and €1,439.44 for basic and production support level respectively. vOneCloud is free, open-source software, and the cost of an enterprise support subscription per server and year is between €300 and €900 for basic and premium support.

This case study reveals savings of more than €3,000 per server and year using vOneCloud over vSphere/vCenter to build the cloud. This difference is much higher if you are using servers with more than 2 processors, given that VMware licensing/support costs are per processor while vOneCloud support costs are per server. For example, in infrastructures with 4-CPU servers, savings would be more than €6,000 per server and year.

vCloud defenders will argue that vCloud suite incorporates more features than vOneCloud on top of vSphere/vCenter. However the same arguments could be used in favor of vOneCloud, which offers features for hybrid cloud or federation that are not offered by the vCloud suite (your would require vRealize). In any case, the right cloud tool depends on your specific needs, our experience is that vOneCloud exceeds the cloud management requirements of most users.

The main advantage of vOneCloud is the strategic path to openness as you move beyond virtualization toward a private cloud. Adopting vOneCloud, you take a step toward liberating your stack from vendor lock-in. Being platform independent software, you can gradually migrate to other virtualization platforms. vOneCloud can leverage your existing VMware infrastructure, protecting IT investments, and at the same time avoid future vendor lock-in, strengthening the negotiating position of your company.

Why not give it a try?. The vOneCloud appliance does not interfere in existing vSphere configurations, procedures and workflows. This means that you can try it and if you decide not to adopt it, you can just delete it.

vOneCloud: The Simplest Alternative to vCloud

We are glad to announce the Beta release of vOneCloud, a CentOS Linux virtual appliance for vSphere that contains all required OpenNebula services optimized to work on existing VMware vCenter deployments. vOneCloud is for companies that want to create a self-service cloud environment on top of their VMware infrastructure without having to abandon their investment in VMware and retool the entire stack. vOneCloud deploys an enterprise-ready OpenNebula cloud just in a few minutes where the infrastructure is managed by already familiar VMware tools, such as vSphere and vCenter Operations Manager, and the provisioning, elasticity and multi-tenancy cloud features are offered by OpenNebula.

vOneCloud is our answer to those companies looking for alternatives to VMware vCloud. They usually report that:

  • vCloud is not an easy to use solution
  • vCloud is mostly suited for vSphere and public clouds running VMware
  • vCloud cannot be adapted to their needs
  • Last, but not least, VMware announced in september 2013 that vCloud Director was approaching end of life for enterprises with its functionality being split into vCenter and vCloud Automation Center

vone

 

vOneCloud is for companies that want to keep VMware management tools, procedures and workflows. vOneCloud seamlessly integrates running vCenter virtualized infrastructures so leveraging the advanced features such as vMotion, HA or DRS scheduling provided by the VMware vSphere product family. On top of it, OpenNebula exposes a multi-tenant, cloud-like provisioning layer, including features like virtual data centers, datacenter federation or hybrid cloud computing to connect in-house vCenter infrastructures with public clouds. You also take a step toward liberating your stack from vendor lock-in.

It is all about simplicity. vOneCloud is extremely simple to install, adopt, update and use. Why do not you give a try to vOneCloud to manage your VMware environment?. We look forward to your feedback.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.13.03 PM

2014 OpenNebula Cloud Architecture Survey Results

Executive Summary

The results of this survey were collected during July and August of 2014 from the OpenNebula open source cloud management platform community with regards to the type of cloud deployment and its main architectural components. The aim of the survey is to acquire information in order to improve the support for the most demanded infrastructure platforms and deployments.

Since the foundation of the open-source project in November 2007, OpenNebula has been downloaded more than 200,000 times from the project site (120,000 times since our last survey in September 2012), not including other software repositories or third-party distributions.

Regarding the use of OpenNebula, the Survey shows that 42% of the deployments are in Industry and 14% in Research Centers. 74% of the organizations are in Europe, Russia or USA. 88% of the respondents use OpenNebula to build a private cloud. When asked about the type of workload, 62% said that they use OpenNebula for running production workloads.

Regarding the size of the clouds, 10% of the deployments have more 500 physical nodes. 44% of the deployments consist of more than one OpenNebula zone and 4% are running more than 10 zones. One of the companies reported a workload of 200,000 VMs. Among the advanced components offered by OpenNebula, High Availability, with 67%, is the most widely used or planned to use, which is closely aligned with the top usage of OpenNebula in production environments.

Regarding the building blocks of the cloud, KVM at 48% and VMware at 30% are the dominant hypervisors, and CentOS at 46% and Ubuntu at 36% are the most widely used linux distributions for OpenNebula clouds. The preferred choices for the storage back-ends are shared FS and SSH with a 52% and 36% ratio respectively. The most widely used Configuration Management Systems are Puppet and Ansible with a 37% and 14% respectively. Regarding networking, most of the deployments, a 49%, use the Standard Linux Bridge for network configuration, 38% use Open vSwitch, and 30% use 802.1Q.

In comparison to the previous survey findings in 2012, the relevant changes are that CentOS has displaced Ubuntu as the most widely linux distribution to build OpenNebula clouds, and a growth in the number of production deployments from 42% to 62% and in the number of public clouds that has doubled from 21% to 40%.

Although more than 2,000 users took part of the survey, we have only included in the analysis those respondents using OpenNebula 4.x (latest series) and who we deem reliable because they have provided identification details that allow us to verify the answers of the survey. This is important given that our main aim is to have accurate and useful information about OpenNebula deployments.

Last, but not least, when asked about what you like most about OpenNebula, most users, a 76%, answered because of its simplicity, and 69% and 65% answered because of its flexibility and openness. These results are aligned with our our mission — to become the simplest cloud enabling platform — and our purpose — to bring simplicity to the private and hybrid enterprise cloud. OpenNebula exists to help companies build simple, cost-effective, reliable, open enterprise clouds on existing IT infrastructure.

BIG THANKS to all the organizations that have contributed to the survey!

A. About the Organization

42% of the respondents indicated that they work for industry, while 14% work for research centers.

Type_of_OrganizationType of Organization

 

54% of the deployments are in Europe and Russia. This means a small increase compared with previous survey where the number of deployments in Europe and Russia was 49%. 80% of the respondents are located in Europe, Russia, North America, China, Japan or Korea.

2_Geographic_RegionGeographic Region

 

63% of the organizations are small companies with fewer than 100 employees, and only 5% has more than 10,000 employees.

3_EmployeesNumber of Employees in the Organization

B. About the Cloud

88% of the respondents are running a private cloud for internal operations, while 40% are running a public cloud to offer utility services. Compared with 2012, the number of public clouds has doubled from 21%. This is aligned with the quickly growing number of hosting companies that are adopting OpenNebula to offer cloud services.

4_Cloud_TypeType of Cloud (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

76% of the respondents are running a non-critical environment or peripheral installations for running testing or development applications, while 62% are using the cloud for running production workloads. The number of production deployments has grown from 42% in 2012.

5_Workload_TypeType of Workload (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

The number of users in most of the clouds, a 71%, is fewer than 100. Many of these deployments use OpenNebula as virtual data center infrastructure manager and not as a cloud provisioning platform.

6_Number_of_UsersNumber of Users

C. About the Cloud Architecture

52% of the OpenNebula deployments have more than 10 nodes, and 10% of the deployments have more than 500 physical nodes. The number of very large-scale deployments has slightly fallen from 13% achieved in 2012.

6_Number_of_UsersNumber of Nodes

 

44% of the deployments consist of more than one OpenNebula zone, and 4% are running more than 10 zones.

8_Number_of_ZonesNumber of Zones

 

KVM at 48% and VMware at 28% are the most widely used hypervisors. Next one is Xen at 11%. Hyper-V and Xen Cloud Platform usage has fallen from a 11% in 2012 to a 4%, mostly because these two hypervisors are not supported by the OpenNebula distribution. They can be used through community plugins.

9_HypervisorsHypervisor  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

52% of the OpenNebula deployments use a shared file system; 36% of users use the ssh datastore; 30% use VMware FS; and 42% of the users use a block device architecture based on LVM or iSCSI. GlusterFS and Ceph are used by 18% and 17% of the organizations respectively.

10_StorageStorage Configuration  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

Most of the deployments, a 49%, use the Standard Linux Bridge for network configuration; 38% uses Open vSwitch; and 30% uses 802.1Q.

11_NetworkNetwork Configuration  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

92% of the clouds use the monitoring system provided by OpenNebula, and 37% use a third-party monitoring system.

12_MonitoringMonitoring Configuration  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

Regarding authentication, most of the organizations, a 65%, are using the built-in user/password system, while SSH and LDAP, with 43% and 27%, are the more popular external authentication systems.

13_AuthenticationAuthentication Configuration  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

CentOS at 46% and Ubuntu at 36% are the most widely used linux distributions for building OpenNebula clouds. In the previous survey in 2012, Ubuntu was the most widely used with a 31%. Notice that in this last survey we allowed respondents to select more than one operating system.

14_Operating_SystemOperating System  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

Puppet is used by 37% of the OpenNebula users. 37% have reported that they do not use any Configuration Management Systems (CMS) as the existing OpenNebula contextualization system and cloud-init support meet their needs. Ansible ,with a 14%, is the next popular CMS within the OpenNebula community.

15_CMS

Configuration Management System  (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

Among the advanced components offered by OpenNebula, High Availability, with a 67%, is the most widely used or planned to use. Flow multi-VM and DC federation are the next features with a 46%.

16_Advanced_ComponentsAdvanced Components (people may select more than one checkbox)

D. Why OpenNebula

Basically OpenNebula is used for its simplicity, flexibility, and openness.

17_Why_OpenNebulaWhy OpenNebula (people may select more than one checkbox)

 

OpenNebula Integrates with Azure to Build Hybrid Clouds

Today we are sharing exciting news about the expansion of the number of public clouds supported by OpenNebula to build hybrid cloud deployments. As a result of the collaboration between OpenNebula and Microsoft, a new set of plug-ins to support Microsoft Azure has been included in OpenNebula. This partnership has been announced today by Microsoft Open Technologies at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON).

“With this set of plug-ins, IT pros and system integrations can use OpenNebula’s rich set of infrastructure management tools to manage cloud deployments across Microsoft’s private, public and hosted cloud platforms.”

The Beta version of  OpenNebula 4.8 bringing the new drivers was released today and is available for testing. The integration has been carried out using the Microsoft Azure SDK for Ruby, which interacts with the Azure REST API, enabling a complete control of the lifecycle of Virtual Machines in a transparent way within an OpenNebula cloud. Thanks to these new plug-ins, private resources can be easily supplemented with resources from Azure to meet fluctuating demands.

So far the only public cloud officially supported by OpenNebula to build hybrid cloud deployments was Amazon AWS. Supporting multiple public cloud providers opens the possibility of defining pre-determined schedule or performance-based policies for the execution of applications in different clouds, that can be fine tuned to achieve an optimal placement in terms of performance and cost. This new support also enables the ability to meet services constraints regarding special functionality offered by a subset of the supported public cloud providers, like for instance high availability.

Need more information? You are welcome to use the OpenNebula community instruments to ask around (for instance, the users mailing list is a good place to pose your questions).

As always, we value your feedback and contributions to this new feature!

New User Survey: Please Help Us Meet Your Needs!

We have created a new user survey that will take you only 5 minutes to complete. As an open-source community, it is very important for us to have information about your deployment. Doing so you will have influence over the project and software direction, and will help us improve the support for most demanded infrastructure platforms and configurations.

All of the information you provide is confidential. We will not share organization-specific or personal information. We will only report aggregate, non-personally identifiable data.

The results from our last survey  (2012) are available here. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

 

Thanks for completing the survey!

About Simplicity, Openness, Reliability and Flexibility in Private Cloud Computing

We feel it’s time to remind our vision of a world that won’t be dominated by a single cloud management platform. We’re moving into a world of open cloud — where each organization can find the right cloud for its unique needs. A single cloud management platform can not be all things to all people, there will be a cloud space with several offerings focused on different environments and/or industries. This is the natural evolution, same happened in other markets like relational databases or the web servers.

Our commitment to the open cloud flows directly out of our mission — to become the simplest cloud enabling platform — and our purpose — to bring simplicity to the private and hybrid enterprise cloud. OpenNebula exists to help companies build simple, cost-effective, reliable, open enterprise clouds on existing IT infrastructure, where:

Simplicity means …

… you do not need an army of administrators to build and maintain your cloud.

Openness means …

… you will run production-ready software that is fully open-source without proprietary extensions that lock you in.

Reliability means …

… your cloud will run for years with little maintain.

Flexibility means …

… you can easily build a cloud to fit into your data center and policies.

 

Looking for Alternatives to vCloud for your VMware Infrastructure?

Many companies contact us because they are looking for alternatives to VMware vCloud. They usually report that:

  • vCloud is not an easy to use solution
  • vCloud is mostly suited for vSphere and public clouds running VMware
  • vCloud can no be adapted to their needs
  • Last, but not least, VMware announced in september 2013 that vCloud Director was approaching end of life for enterprises with its functionality being split into vCenter and vCloud Automation Center

Because it is completely hypervisor agnostic, fully supports VMware, and is easy to install, maintain and use within existing VMware environments, OpenNebula is widely used as an open alternative to VMware vCloud at significantly lower costs. Some of our users also see OpenNebula as a migration tool that allows them to perform a smooth transition from VMware to more open hypervisor alternatives like KVM. In other words OpenNebula leverages existing VMware infrastructure, protecting IT investments, and at the same time avoids future vendor lock-in, strengthening the negotiating position of the enterprise.

Companies usually evaluate other alternatives, like some of the OpenStack-based products, Red Hat’s mainly. In these cases, we suggest the company to:

  • Compare features and see which product is closer to vCloud in terms of enterprise cloud features
  • Ask the other providers if they offer enterprise support for both VMware and KVM (or any other open-source hypervisor)
  • Check if the other products are really open-source or a proprietary extension of a open-source software

Finally, companies need to develop a hybrid cloud strategy. We understand private cloud as a complement to public cloud, and this is why we provide unique features to build hybrid cloud deployments. OpenNebula offers a single management interface for internal and remote cloud resources.

So before starting the migration from vCloud to vCAC, why do not you give a try to OpenNebula to manage your cloud platform?. Our community is willing to help you.

OpenNebula Collaborates with IBM Softlayer in Hybrid Cloud Computing

OpenNebula features unique functionality for virtualization of the datacenter. Among them, it is worth highlighting its support to build cloud bursting architectures where private cloud resources can be easily supplemented with resources from a remote public cloud to meet fluctuating demands. The reason behind this uniqueness is the transparency to use and maintain the cloud bursting functionality for both end users and cloud administrators.

The latest version of OpenNebula, Carina, offers a simple but comprehensive framework that enables resource allocation to different groups of users in federated data centers and hybrid cloud deployments. OpenNebula offers a single management point for both local private and remote public cloud resources, with an end user self-service portal (Cloud View) that enables the consumption of hybrid virtual machine templates. These hybrid templates are intended to define identical virtual machines -in terms of provided service- whether they get deployed in the local infrastructure using local resources, or if the scheduler decides to deploy them remotely in a public cloud provider.

So far the only public cloud officially supported by OpenNebula to build hybrid cloud deployments is Amazon AWS. During the last months, several of our main users have demanded support for other commercial providers to be able to manage workloads across different clouds. Driven by this user demand, we have started discussions with the main public cloud providers in order to collaborate with them in their integration with OpenNebula. Supporting multiple public cloud providers would open the possibility of defining pre-determined schedule or performance-based policies for the execution of applications in different clouds, that can be fine tuned to achieve an optimal placement in terms of performance and cost. This support will also enable the ability to meet services constraints regarding special functionality offered by a subset of the supported public cloud providers, like for instance high availability.

 

Hybrid Cloud Computing with OpenNebula and SoftLayer

Hybrid Cloud Computing with OpenNebula and SoftLayer

We are really excited to announce that C12G Labs has started a collaboration with IBM in order to develop a new hybrid plugin for the Softlayer cloud. IBM Softlayer is providing support and technical guidance to OpenNebula open-source project to add and maintain Softlayer in the list of officially supported public clouds. Softlayer adoption is rising fast and its support to build OpenNebula-based hybrid clouds is highly demanded by some of our biggest users. The results of this collaboration will be incorporated into the OpenNebula distribution under the Apache license and, as such, it will be available freely to the public. The OpenNebula team will start forging the integration in a few days and are planning to incorporate a first version of the integration in the next release of OpenNebula scheduled for July 2014.

This collaboration consolidates OpenNebula’s position as the open-source platform of choice in the converged data centre, providing a simple, albeit flexible and powerful, cloud manager that supports traditional IT features such as fault tolerance and failover; the dynamic provisioning, elasticity and multi-tenancy of modern enterprise clouds; and connectors for external clouds.

Need more information? You are welcome to use the OpenNebula community instruments to ask around (for instance, the users mailing list is a good place to pose your questions). Moreover, if you are in the US this June, you can register in the upcoming OpenNebula TechDay events in Boca Raton, Florida, on June 19th, hosted by TransUnion|TLOxp -global leader in information and risk management- and in Fremont, California, on June 24th, hosted by Hyve Solutions, a leader in providing large scale deployments and an original Open Compute solutions provider.

This is excellent news for the community!