OpenNebula Newsletter – March 2014

We want to let you know about what we are up to with the main news from the last month regarding the OpenNebula project, including what you can expect in the following months.

Technology

With OpenNebula 4.6 Beta released, the team is working full throttle ironing out wrinkles: fixing bugs, polishing the interface, prepping the documentation, updating related components and applications, etc. It is a lot of work, but we want our users to experience a migration as smooth as possible.

One of the main contributions of this new release is a big boost to the provisioning model. Besides the Sunstone interface facelift, including tweaks to help the user workflow, there has been a number of provisioning ideas developed in this release. For instance, Sunstone integration with marketplace has also been improved in order to support the new AppMarket version, which makes even easier for a user to get a virtual application up and running. Moreover, the provisioning model has been greatly simplify by supplementing user groups with resource providers. This extended model, the Virtual Data Center, offers an integrated and comprehensive framework for resource allocation and isolation.

The latest addition to the provisioning model improvement is the new provisioning view for cloud end users. This view ensures a minimal and utterly simple portal to consume cloud resources. All the clutter is out of the way to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Give it a spin!

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The other significant features that will be present in OpenNebula 4.6 includes the ability to achieve a federation using OpenNebulas (yes, plural is coming!) at different datacenters. Check out the screencast on partitioning clouds with vDCs to get a feel on this new functionality. Also, 4.6 will feature the ability to import OVAs into OpenNebula via AppMarket, and will be a complete translation and import of all the resources defined in the OVA: disks, capacity, network, etc. Other aspects that are being revisited are storage backends, virtual networking, datastore, image and VM management and Sunstone. You can find a comprehensive list here.

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Some of the above features have been sponsored by Produban in the context of the Fund a Feature program.
Another technology contribution by OpenNebula members is summarise in this post about integrating puppet and OpenNebula: Automatic configuration of VMs with Puppet. Moreover, integration with GlusterFS (a distributed filesystem with replica and storage distribution features that come really handy for virtualization), was also addressed in the Native GlusterFS Image Access for KVM Drivers post.

Community

This month the community was as engaged as ever. We would like to give a big “thank you” to all the OpenNebula users that gave as feedback about the beta version of OpenNebula 4.6. The final release will be more robust due to you!

Our friends at BIT (this month they hosted the very first OpenNebula TechDay, check the Outreach section of this newsletter ;) ) wrote a very long and flattering (cheers!) post stating their experiences with OpenNebula. We would like to highlight in this newsletter the following excerpt:

The OpenNebula way of developing software is open, and user focused, The “voice” of the community really matters. The cliche “software made with and for the community” really applies here. If users get (positive) feedback about their input they feel appreciated and be more “connected” to the project. The “atmosphere” on the mailing list is friendly and open. No flame wars, or negativism here, so it keeps users “in” instead of pushing them away.

So we blush! We are glad that our users feel this atmosphere, which is the main driver of the OpenNebula project ;)

Folks at CloudWeavers build this slick portable DC based on OpenNebula. Awesomely pretty!

Outreach

As usual, first things first, this 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!

Following last month series of comparing OpenNebula with other similar projects, we published a new post comparing the balance between user base and community in both the OpenStack and OpenNebula projects. Check it out, it is an interesting read.

We are setting up a number of OpenNebula TechDays around the world. These events are designed to learn about OpenNebula with a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop, and presentations from community members and users. If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring one, let us know!. The first TechDay happened in Ede, Netherlands, and was hosted by BIT, a dutch internet service provider. You can read about the aftermath here.

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There will be two OpenNebula TechDays in the upcoming months in the USA, covering both the east and the west coast. The one in Florida will take place in Boca Raton the 19th of June, hosted by TransUnion, whereas the west coast will be covered by the Bay Area Techday the 24th of June, hosted by Hyve, which includes an exciting tour around the manufacturing plant of Facebook production racks.

This month, the OpenNebula team participated in the Cloud Expo Europe 2014. As part of the Open Cloud Forum sessions about open source cloud solutions, there was an OpenNebula tutorial. Also, OpenNebula was present at the biggest IT fair in the world, the CeBIT 2014, were we hanged out the Netways booth. Our partners, Netways, represented OpenNebula in the FLOSS UK 2014.

And, last but not least, our project director travelled to Greece for the Future Internet Assembly 2014, with a presentation aiming to show how OpenNebula is driving innovation in cloud computing, impacting the adoption of private cloud, and enabling business in the cloud.

The following events are happening this month, with the participation of an OpenNebula team member:

During the following months, members of the OpenNebula team will be speaking in the following events:

Remember that you can see slides and resources from past events in our Events page. We have also created a Slideshare account where you can see the slides from some of our recent presentations.

There are still available seats for the LOADays in Belgium, register now!.

Experiences at CeBIT 2014

Last week we participated at CeBIT 2014. In the unlikely case you are not familiar with CeBIT, it is the world’s largest and most international computer expo (wikipedia’s words, not ours ;) ). We were demoing the latest features in OpenNebula 4.6, as well as hanging around the booth of the active and community engaged Netways, we would like to thank them for the support. We’ve also featured a talk in the Open Source Park, about the history of the OpenNebula project.

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All in all, a very good experience. CeBIT is a very interesting place to meet with people who are looking for what you offer, so if you are planning to attend next year and need for an outstanding Cloud Management Platform (aka OpenNebula), see you in Hannover!

OpenNebula Newsletter – February 2014

We want to let you know about what we are up to with the main news from the last month regarding the OpenNebula project, including what you can expect in the following months.

Technology

As part of our commitment to solve bugs reported by the OpenNebula community, a new maintenance release for 4.4 Retina, 4.4.1  was released. This release only includes bug fixes and is a recommended update for everyone running any 3.x or 4.x version of OpenNebula, whom for any particular reason do not want to upgrade their cloud manager to the latest available OpenNebula version.

OpenNebula 4.6 is just around the corner, with the beta release just days away. The team is now deep into the testing and certification process, and finishing some wrinkles in the new features.

The Sunstone interface is getting a facelift, with various JS & CSS components being updated. Hard work, but it pays off with a modern and cleaner interface. Check out the pic!

 

The other significant features that will be present in OpenNebula 4.6 includes the ability to achieve a federation using OpenNebulas (yes, plural is coming!) at different datacenters. The replication would be performed at the DB level, sharing the users, groups, ACLs and zone pools, while the other information would be kept locally and represent local resources. Groups would be able to have Resource Providers (basically, clusters in one local or remote zone) to conform Virtual Datacenters, thus allowing a cloud partition to enable real and isolated multi-tenancy. Check out the screencast on partitioning clouds with vDCs to get a feel on this new functionality.

Another cool feature that will be present in 4.6 is the ability to import OVAs into OpenNebula. The functionality is being implemented in AppMarket, and will be a complete translation and import of all the resources defined in the OVA: disks, capacity, network… even with the ability to change the disks format.

The AppMarket component has been updated to extend its functionality to enable the management and processing of OVA files. A new component AppMarket Worker is introduced, which handles the OVA package treatment (download, unpack, OVF parsing) and image format conversion. The release also features a new API and a new AppMarket interface via Sunstone.
Other aspects that are being revisited are storage backends, virtual networking, datastore, image and VM management and Sunstone. You can find a comprehensive list here.

Some of the above features have been sponsored by Produban  in the context of the Fund a Feature program.

Community

The OpenNebula community is as vibrant and active as ever. We want to highlight the great user story told by the people behind runtastic, the popular fitness app. The story is about the migration from a huge german webhoster to private cloud run by them, with the ability to burst their peaks into a public cloud like Amazon EC2. It makes an interesting read.

There has been a lot of feedback on the development portal, suggesting new features and reporting bugs. We want to thank you all for this, we really appreciate it. This is what makes OpenNebula a great software, it won’t be the same without you!

Outreach

First things first, this 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!

There are two articles posted this month comparing OpenNebula with other similar projects which we think are worth reading. First one compares OpenNebula vs OpenStack, while the second extends the comparison with VMware and Ganeti.

We are setting up a number of OpenNebula TechDays around the world. These events are designed to learn about OpenNebula with a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop, and presentations from community members and users. If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring one, let us know!.

The first TechDay is happening in Ede, Netherlands, and it is hosted by BIT, a dutch internet service provider. The call for sponsors and for speakers is not closed yet so if you are interested drop us a line. Upcoming TechDays will be held in Boca Raton, Chicago, Palo Alto (USA), Aveiro (Portugal), Barcelona (Spain), Munich (Germany), Lyon (France) and Timisoara (Romania).

Throughout february the OpenNebula team was present at the CentOS Dojo and Fosdem, with great feedback and exciting comments including a productive talk with folks from the GlusterFS project. It was present also at CloudScape VI in Brussels and the Cloud Expo Europe in London, with a thoroughly engaged audience in the configuration tutorial, showing great interest and giving excepcional feedback.

The following events are happening this month, with the participation of an OpenNebula team member:

During the following months, members of the OpenNebula team will be speaking in the following events:

Remember that you can see slides and resources from past events in our Events page. We have also created a Slideshare account where you can see the slides from some of our recent presentations.

Partitioning Clouds with Virtual Data Centers (vDCs)

OpenNebula 4.6 is slowly cooking, getting ready to get out of the oven and being spun around the certification carrousel. We’ve created a screencast to show on of the most interesting features that will be available in the next, shiny new release: the ability to manage Virtual Data Centers natively in OpenNebula, via Sunstone or the CLI.

First, let’s define some concepts. In OpenNebula, a Group (of users) is the authorization boundary. Authorization comes using ACLs  built in OpenNebula. ACLs model can be used to control who can manage the Group (that is, the Group admin) and who can deploy virtual machines. A Group can be seen as business unit if you are considering it as private cloud and complete new company if it is public cloud. You can think Human Resources, Marketing and Sales as business units represented by Groups in OpenNebula. Moreover, a Resource Provider is a OpenNebula Cluster of infrastructure resources (aggregation of physical hosts, virtual networks and datastores).

Combining the two above, OpenNebula can handle Virtual Data Centers (vDCs). vDCs are containers for the execution of virtual machines and a way of hiding physical resources from Group members. A Group is simply a boundary, you need to populate resources within the Group which can be consumed by the users of the Group. These resources are obtained from Resource Providers, ending up with the creation of a vDC by combining a Group and one or more Resource Providers. These Resource Providers can reside in other other datacenters, thus achieving a DC federation. But this a story for another screencast ;)

For other interesting screencasts, please take a look to the screencasts page.

This new feature is funded by Produban in the context of the Fund a Feature Program.

First OpenNebula TechDay at Ede, Netherlands, 26 March 2014

The OpenNebula Project is proud to announce the first OpenNebula TechDays, to be held in Ede, Netherlands, next 26th March. This event will be hosted by BIT.nl , an internet service provider with a strong relation with the open source community.

The agenda of this first TechDay includes a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop. This workshop will give an overview of how OpenNebula is used to build and operate private clouds, and it is targeting devops and system administrators interested in deploying a private cloud solution. The attendees will build, configure and operate their own OpenNebula cloud. Moreover, the event includes presentations from OpenNebula community members and users.

If you are interested in giving a talk in the TechDays, let us know by email. The talk should be oriented towards sharing cloud use cases and deployment experiences, introducing new integrations and ecosystem developments and/or describing other related cloud open-source projects and tools. Also, there are sponsorship opportunities available. This is a not for profit event, all funds raised are used for OpenNebula promotion and for further OpenNebula TechDay Events. If interested, let us know.

Registrations are running via EventBrite with a nominal price of €25.00. Registration cost includes refreshments and lunch on the day. The number of seats is limited  to ensure there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to interact. We encourage everyone to register as early as possible.

This is the first event of a series of OpenNebula TechDays to be held all around the globe, stay tuned since we will announce shortly other events and one of them might be next door!

OpenNebula Retina 4.4.1 Released

The OpenNebula Project announces the general availability of a Retina maintenance release, OpenNebula 4.4.1.

This is a maintenance release that fixes bugs reported by the community after OpenNebula 4.4 was released.

This release only includes bug fixes and is a recommended update for everyone running any 3.x or 4.x version of OpenNebula, whom for any particular reason do not want to upgrade their cloud manager to the latest available OpenNebula version.

OpenNebula Newsletter – January 2014

We are dwelling deep into 2014 now, we want to let you know about what we are up to in this new year with the main news from the last month regarding the OpenNebula project, including what you can expect in the following months.

Technology

The OpenNebula team is currently carefully crafting the next release of OpenNebula. As 4.6 is in the oven, we want to share with you some of the new features we are implementing for this new release. Probably the most stunning highlight would be the deprecation of the oZones component, with all its features being now implemented directly in OpenNebula, being them in the core or in Sunstone. This is a twofold process.

First, the VDC functionality is being assimilated within groups. Administrators would have the ability to assign Resource Providers (clusters, in essence) to certain groups, so its members will only have access to the resources defined in a certain cluster (or clusters). This feature will come with the ability to define an administrator group, with members able to create users within the regular group. Permissions of the regular and administrator group can be finely tuned at the time of creation.

The second aspect of oZones that is being embedded into OpenNebula is zone management. An OpenNebula Zone is basically an OpenNebula instance. We are taking this management a step further in this release, with the ability to set up a OpenNebula federation. This federation will be at the user and permission level, and will allow users to log in into their local Sunstones and being redirected to another zone if they are in a group with a Resource Provider added from that zone. Pretty neat, right?

Another cool feature that will be present in 4.6 is the ability to import OVAs into OpenNebula. The functionality is being implemented in AppMarket, and will be a complete translation and import of all the resources defined in the OVA: disks, capacity, network… even with the ability to change the disks format. There are a myriad of bug fixes and other minor features being worked upon as well. Other aspects that are being revisited are storage backends, virtual networking, datastore and image management, VM management and Sunstone. You can find a comprehensive list here.

Community

The OpenNebula community is relentless. During this few days of 2014, we have received a good deal of feedback in the mailing list which was very useful to define our roadmap. Check out the feedback in case you want to help defined the roadmap of future releases, OpenNebula’s features are driven by its users needs, which ensures its wide functionality and also working quality.

The addon catalog has a new neighbour: VDC store – caching storage infrastructure, by Gareth Bult. This module provides an interface to VDC-Store which is an alternative storage infrastructure for OpenNebula, providing a shared platform with support for local SSD caching, replication, live migration, snapshots and compression. There is also an ongoing integration between OpenNebula and IBM’s Softlayer. This is good news for OpenNebula users interested in building a hybrid cloud to extend their private data center with Softlayer resources.

We are also glad to know that OpenNebula is widely used in Spain. This kind of contradicts the otherwise universal truth: “The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot.” It is very interested to know as well, via Carlo Daffara, that “Half the real estates agencies of Italy use back end services powered by @opennebula”. He says, and he indeed knows.

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OpenNebula use in the Spanish RedIris Community

OpenNebula web page has been completely redefined, in order to make it more community oriented (and, of course, more visually appealing!). The documentation has been also migrated to a sphinx, and the code uploaded to a public repository on GitHub, easing community contributions to a key component of OpenNebula. There are other contributions (like this networking hack) which makes our community awesome. Lots of kudos to you, keep up the good work, we will hold on tight to our end!

Outreach

First things first, 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! We are setting up a number of OpenNebula TechDays around the world. These events are designed to learn about OpenNebula with a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop, and presentations from community members and users. If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring one, let us know!. Stay tuned for the first TechDays announcement, it’s happening soon. The following event is happening today, with the participation of an OpenNebula team member:

During the following months, members of the OpenNebula team will be speaking in the following events:

Remember that you can see slides and resources from past events in our Events page. We have also created a Slideshare account where you can see the slides from some of our recent presentations.

OpenNebula Newsletter – December 2013

Christmas is just around the corner, and we wanted to wish you happy holidays, as well as let you know about the main news from the last month regarding the OpenNebula project, including what you can expect in the coming months.

This last month was OpenNebula’s 6th anniversary. It’s good to know that after the long way, your favourite cloud platform has evolved and turn into a mature and proven solution.

Technology

After two beta versions and one release candidate, where OpenNebula underwent all the tests defined in the release process, OpenNebula 4.4 Retina was released.

A significant number of cool new features were included in the end in OpenNebula 4.4. Retina. Probably the feature with the biggest impact on OpenNebula scalability is the new monitoring driver, which changes the traditional polling mechanism for a pushing one. This enables OpenNebula to monitor 25,000 VMs every two minutes! Check out more details here.

Another area that underwent significant improvements in the cloud bursting model, which in OpenNebula is tied to transparency to both end users and cloud administrators to use and maintain the cloud bursting functionality. Cloud bursting drivers have been vastly improved, the underlying technology being shifted from using Amazon API Toos to the new AWS SDK for Ruby. Functionality is also richer i, with support to define EBS optimized VMs, to define VM tagging, etc. Read more here.

The EC2 interface offered by OpenNebula to deploy public clouds has also been enhanced in OpenNebula 4.4 Retina. For instance, instance types are based on OpenNebula templates instead of files, EBS support has been extended, etc. More details in the blog.

Probably one of the most interesting feature for cloud administrators present in OpenNebula Retina is the ability to use multiple system datastores with storage load balancing. This allows to add a second backend to start deploying new VMs when the system datastore is running out of space. Details in this post.

And last, but not least, the multiple groups functionality is also present in OpenNebula 4.4 Retina, with the introduction of secondary groups. These work in similar way to unix groups: users have a primary group and optionally several secondary groups.

The team is now working to define the roadmap for OpenNebula 4.6. Stay tuned for new features!

Community

An interesting post was contributed by Gareth Bult, and it is a compulsory read for anyone interested in running OpenNebula over SSD disks. An interesting alternative was suggested, to “cache your storage on a local SSD, but hold your working copy on a remote server, or indeed servers.”

An amazing contribution by Deutsch Post in the form of an opennebula puppet module was published also last month in Github. This module allows to install and manage your OpenNebula cloud using the puppet platform.

We want to highlight the excellent contribution made by Terradue, in the form of an OpenNebula add-on. The jclouds4one driver implements new capacities for hybrid Cloud Computing, expanding OpenNebula’s support for Cloud Bursting, with the ability to work with a variety of up to 30 cloud providers & cloud software stacks, including Amazon, Azure, GoGrid, Ninefold, OpenStack, Rackspace, and vCloud. More information on this post created in our blog by the Terradue folks.

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 (via fork & pull request). We know that the documentation is as important as the code, so we want the community to be involved, guaranteeing its high quality.

Outreach

Awesome speakers render awesome talks, like the ones held at the OpenNebulaConf 2013 last September in Berlin. 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.

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!

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!

This last month, 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, public 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.

Remember that you can see slides and resources from past events in our Events page. We have also created a Slideshare account where you can see the slides from some of our recent presentations.

OpenNebula 4.4 Retina is Out!

The OpenNebula team is pleased to approach winter with the immediate availability of the final version of OpenNebula 4.4, codename Retina. As a project driven by user needs, this release includes important features that meet real demands from production environments, with a focus on optimization of storage, monitoring, cloud bursting, and public cloud interfaces.

OpenNebula Retina includes support for multiple system datastores, which enables a much more efficient usage of the storage resources for running Virtual Machines. This feature ships with different scheduling policies for storage load balancing, intended to instruct OpenNebula to spread the running Virtual Machines across different storage mediums to optimize their use. This translates in the ability to define more than one disk (or other backend) to hold running VMs in a particular cluster. Monitoring subsystem in OpenNebula underwent a major redesign as well, effectively switching from a pulling mechanism to a pushing model, with the implications in scalability improvements.

An important effort has been made in the hybrid cloud model (cloud bursting). Using the AWS API tools have been deprecated in favor of the new Ruby SDK released, which allows the support of new AWS mechanisms like for instance IAM. Also, now is possible to fully support hybrid VM templates. Moreover, the AWS public cloud interface implemented by OpenNebula has been revisited and extended to support new functionality, as well as improved so the instance types are offered to the end user from OpenNebula templates.

This is a stable release and so a recommended update that incorporates several bug fixes since 4.4 RC. We’ve done our best to keep compatibility with OpenNebula 4.2, so any application developed for previous versions should work without effort. In any case, be sure to check the compatibility and upgrade guides. We invite you to download it and to check the QuickStart guides, as well as to browse the documentation, which has also been properly updated.

As usual OpenNebula releases are named after a Nebula. The Retina Nebula (IC 4406) is a planetary nebula near the western border of the constellation Lupus, the Wolf. It has dust clouds and has the shape of a torus.

Thanks to all people and organizations that have contributed to OpenNebula 4.4!

Relevant Links

OpenNebula 4.4 RC (4.3.90) is Out For Testing!

Nov 22h, 2013. After the release and evaluation of the second beta of OpenNebula 4.4 (4.3.85) Retina, the OpenNebula project announces the immediate availability of the release candidate of OpenNebula 4.4 Retina.

Several improvements have been made to the cloud bursting model, including better scheduler support, better storage management (ie, prolog and epilog bypassing when cloud bursting) and improved AWS EC2 functionality support (broader monitoring, drop CLI for Ruby SDK, etc).

We are now set to basically bug-fixing and feature-freeze. Note that this is a beta release aimed at testers and developers to try the new features, and send a more than welcomed feedback for the final release.

As usual OpenNebula releases are named after a Nebula. The Retina Nebula (IC 4406) is a planetary nebula near the western border of the constellation Lupus, the Wolf. It has dust clouds and has the shape of a torus.

Relevant Links