OpenNebula Newsletter – July 2015

This Newsletter contains the most worthy developments and events of the OpenNebula project and the community during this last month of July, and the plans for the upcoming months.

We want to remind our users that OpenNebula Systems, the company behind the OpenNebula Project and vOneCloud, has established a new subsidiary to oversee all business operations and to support the OpenNebula community in the U.S. If you are interested in supporting the OpenNebula community in the US, let us know.

Technology

The team has released the first Beta of OpenNebula 4.14 ‘Great A’Tuin’. We hope you enjoy using it as much as we did developing it. The new features and usability improvements present in this new release couldn’t have been without our community support and feedback. We want to thank you all for your contributions to make OpenNebula as mature and reliable as it is today. Every little helps!

One of the most interesting new features for cloud users and administrators is the ability to create and maintain a tree of VM disks snapshots, for Ceph an Qcow2 backends. Also important, the ability to save VMs into VM Templates for later use greatly improves the usability of OpenNebula based clouds, to which also adds the much better state management of VMs for recovery from failures.

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There are many other improvements in 4.14, like a more flexible context definition of network attributes; the ability to import running VMs not launched by OpenNebula from all the supported hypervisors (including the hybrid ones, for instance now it is possible to manage through OpenNebula Azure, SoftLayer and EC2 VMs launched through their respective management portals);the possibility to cold attach disks and network interfaces to powered off machines (which complements the hot attach functionality); improvements in accounting to keep track of disk usage; better logging in several areas; the ability to pass scripts to VMs for guest OS customization; and many others. A great effort was put in this release to help build and maintain robust private, hybrid and public clouds with OpenNebula.

There are some features the team is still polishing and decided not to include in the Beta1- For instance another major feature is the ability to resize an existing disk for all the supported OpenNebula backends. If your VM needs more disk space than the one provided by the images used for its disk, you can now set a new size prior to instantiate the VM, OpenNebula will grow the disk and the guest OS will adapt the filesystem to the now bigger disk at boot time. The disk space won’t be an issue anymore. To support this feature, a new set of context packages has already been released so you can start preparing your images for disk resizing.

Another huge feature to support HPC oriented infrastructures is the consumption of raw GPU devices existing on a physical host from a Virtual Machine. A new type of consumable has been defined in OpenNebula and taken into account by the scheduler. VMs can now request a GPU, and if OpenNebula finds one free resource of type GPU available, it will set up the VM with PCI passthrough access to the GPU resource.

Channels to help people try out OpenNebula is a hassle-free way are key to foster adoption of OpenNebula. The OpenNebula project is well aware of this, so it has teamed up with Microsoft to offer a new OpenNebula Sandbox in the Azure Marketplace. Currently you can try out 4.12.1, but we will update as usual all the SandBoxes to Great A’Tuin as soon as the stable version is out.

Community

Summer is upon us, and this does not prevent the OpenNebula community to keep contributing to the rich ecosystem. Since the Beta1 is out, we want to make a call for feedback. Please install in a test environment Great A’Tuin, and let us know through the community forum. It is your feedback what makes OpenNebula user friendly, so thanks in advance!.

For the team working in the cloud trenches, comments like this one are like a blow of fresh air that keep us going, stronger, towards cloud excellence. Thanks!
Contributions to the OpenNebula ecosystem are always great news, to enable integrations with new components, develop new functionality and ease the day to day cloud operation. But if they are maintained such as this nodejs binding for the OpenNebula API, then we are talking about quality ecosystem. Excellent contribution.
Extensions to the OpenNebula contextualization system are also always good news, like this new contextualization package for Gentoo written as an Ansible playbook.

Another great contribution enables OpenNebula to manage LXC containers. LXC is a userspace interface for the Linux kernel containment features. It lets Linux users easily create and manage system or application containers. With this amazing contribution OpenNebula can deploy LXCs with the intrinsic improvements in performance. The new addon includes motorization and virtualization drivers, kudos to Sergio Vega and José Manuel de la Fé for their contribution.

Outreach

The upcoming third edition of the OpenNebulaConf will be held in Barcelona this October 2015. The Conference is a great opportunity to meetup and share your OpenNebula experiences with the community. Your company may be interested in the sponsorship opportunities for OpenNebulaConf 2015. If you are interested, you can apply with this form. StorPool just joined as Platinum Sponsor. We would like to take this opportunity to also thank our Platinum Sponsor PTisp; Gold Sponsors ungleich, Xen Server and NodeWeaver; and Silver Sponsors Runtastic and No Limit Network.

The agenda for the OpenNebulaConf 2015 is available, check out the high quality speakers. The agenda includes two keynote speakers:

July was a hectic month in terms of OpenNebula TechDays:

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You can read more details about the presentations here. If you want to host a TechDay in your area, let us know.

An excellent event was also carried out in France, the SophiaConf2015. Check out the OpenNebula presentation given by members of TAS Group France on why they chose OpenNebula for their infrastructure, very interesting (warning: you need to understand french!).
During the following months, members of the OpenNebula team will be speaking in the following events:

If you are interested in receiving OpenNebula training, check the schedule for 2015 public classes at OpenNebula Headquarters. Next public OpenNebula training will take place next 15th of September in Madrid. Please contact us if your would like to request training near you.

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 4.14 ‘Great A’Tuin’ Beta 1 released!

The OpenNebula project is proud to announce the availability of OpenNebula 4.14 ‘Great A’Tuin’ Beta1. This release ships with several improvements in different subsystems and components. The Sunstone interface has been completely refactored, for maintenance and performance reasons. Expect major improvements in Sunstone from now on. Also, we are sure you will like the subtle changes in the look and feel.

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Several major features have been introduced in Great A’Tuin. One of the most interesting for cloud users and administrators is the ability to create and maintain a tree of VM disks snapshots. Now VM disks can be reverted to a previous state at any given time, and they are preserved in the image if it is persistent in the image datastore. For instance, you can attach a disk to a VM, create a snapshot, detach it and attach it to a new VM, and revert to a previous state. Very handy, for instance, to keep a working history of datablocks that can contain dockerized applications.

 

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Also, in 4.14 snapshots are taken into account for quotas, accounting and showback, so cloud admins can keep track of disk usage in their infrastructure.

The ability to save VMs into VM Templates for later use is another feature that must be highlighted in this release. This new operation is accessible both from the cloud view and the admin Sunstone view. Of course, also from the command line interface.

One great improvement for cloud admins is a much better state management of VMs. It is now possible to recover VMs from failed state instructing OpenNebula to take the last action as success, to retry it or to make it fail gracefully, to recover for instance from failed migrations.

There are many other improvements in 4.14 (check the full list of changes in the development portal):

  • flexible context definition of network attributes
  • ability to import running VMs not launched by OpenNebula from all the supported hypervisors (including the hybrid ones, for instance now it is possible to manage through OpenNebula Azure, SoftLayer and EC2 VMs launched through their respective management portals)
  • the possibility to cold attach disks and network interfaces to powered off machines (which complement the hot attach functionality)
  • improvements in accounting to keep track of disk usage
  • better logging in several areas
  • the ability to pass scripts to VMs for guest OS customization

Overall, a great effort was put in this release to help build and maintain robust private, hybrid and public clouds with OpenNebula.

This OpenNebula release is named after Great A’Tuin,  the Giant Star Turtle (of the fictional species Chelys galactica) who travels through the Discworld universe’s space, carrying four giant elephants who in turn carry the Discworld. Allegedly, it is “the only turtle ever to feature on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram.”

The OpenNebula team is now set to bug-fixing mode. Note that this is a beta release aimed at testers and developers to try these new features (not production environments) and send a more than welcomed feedback for the final release. There are a number of very interesting features that will make their appearance in the final release but not present in the Beta1, like for instance better support for Qcow2 for live snapshotting and GPU support for VMs.

Disk snapshots with Ceph backend was funded by Unity in the context of the Fund a Feature Program. Qcow2 snapshots implementation was funded by BIT.nl in the context of the Fund a Feature Program. GPU devices support was funded by SURFsara in the context of the Fund a Feature Program. Flexible network attributes definition in contextualization was funded by Université Catholique de Louvain in the context of the Fund a Feature Program.

Relevant Links

Closed Agendas for Paris and Ontario TechDays

As you may know, next week (6th of July) members OpenNebula team will be on the road to participate in two very interesting Cloud Technology Days. TechDays are full day events to learn about OpenNebula with workshops, and presentations from community members. In both TechDays, core developers of OpenNebula will unveil and demo juicy features that will make their appearance in OpenNebula 4.14, Dark Horse.

The OpenNebula Cloud Tech Day on the 8th of July in Paris, France, is being organized by IPPON Hosting (thanks a lot!) in their premises. Check the agenda for more details, the highlights are presentations by Jimmy Goffaux from IPPON Hosting sharing their use of OpenNebula self-service interface and several other nifty features, and by Daniel Dehennin, who will let us know about the use of OpenNebula by two french ministries.

logo_ippon_hosting_HDIf you are in Paris next 8th and want to learn more about OpenNebula, heard community experiences and share your own, don’t think about it any longer!

The Ontario TechDay is being hosted by BlackBerry (kudos to you!) in one of their premises in Waterloo, ON, Canada. BlackBerry staff Chris Johnston, Principal Platform Architect in the Cloud Team; and Khoder Shamy, Principal Technical Lead in the Cloud Team, will present the use-case of OpenNebula at BlackBerry that facilitated building a large multi-regional and multi-tenant private cloud for internal service loads. See the full agenda for more details and the other contents of the TechDay.

BB_TechDayIf you are on Waterloo on the 10th, don’t think about it and register for this event to learn how OpenNebula is being used in a massive scale deployment. We hope to see you there!

PTISP and OpenNebula, a Success Tale.

PTISP, one of the largest hosting provider and domain registrars in Portugal, is honoured to announce another strategic partnership, OpenNebula, the shared vision of an enterprise-class cloud data center management sealed this joint venture. The pursuit of a more efficient way to manage the companies IaaS cloud solution led PTISP to deploy OpenNebula in its infrastructure and commercial offer.

PTISP is a Portuguese based company that sets the trend of innovation and development. Established in 2001, PTISP is one of the biggest .PT registrars, managing two data centers in Portugal, with 700+ servers installed and 27.000+ websites hosted. PTISP is a reference company insuring the trust and loyalty of International and Portuguese companies from several areas using mainstream and custom solutions, insured by state of the art hardware, continuous improvement policies, and a multi-disciplinary tech team that is available 24/7/365 to their customers.

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OpenNebula ensures a enterprise-ready solution, widely used in research and industry (such as ESA, Unity, Akamai, BlackBerry, and many others), to build and manage clouds and virtualized data centers, and a powerful open platform for innovation, used in many international projects to research the challenges that arise in enterprise cloud and data center management.

PTISP chose OpenNebula due to its unique features, revealed to be a trustworthy partner, enabling a custom solution that integrated with all the multiple technologies that are a part of PTISP’s universe.

PTISP will be present as a Platinum Sponsor on the OpenNebulaConf 2015, next October at Barcelona. Drop by our booth to visit us and exchange all the experiences around OpenNebula and PTISP. Check out our CTO’s, Pedro Dias, presentation on our partnership and experience named “An OpenNebula Tale” that will take place on the 21st of October at Hall A, between 10:40 and 11:00.

Cloud TechDay in Waterloo, ON Canada, by BlackBerry

We are excited to announce that BlackBerry will host our first ever Cloud TechDay in Canada. The TechDay will be held on the 10th of July in the BlackBerry Offices in Waterloo, Ontario Canada.

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The TechDay will be a full day event to learn about OpenNebula with a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop, and presentations from community members and users. Chris Johnston, Principal Platform Architect in the Cloud Team at BlackBerry Limited, and Khoder Shamy, Principal Technical Lead in the Cloud Team at BlackBerry Limited, will present the use-case of OpenNebula at BlackBerry that facilitated building a large multi-regional and multi-tenant private cloud for internal service loads. See the Agenda for more details.

If you want to actively participate in this event, share your experience with OpenNebula or describe other related cloud open-source projects and tools, send us your talk proposal at events@opennebula.org.

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.

Register for this Event

We hope to see you there, and a big thanks to BlackBerry!

Other Upcoming Cloud Techdays

OpenNebula Cloud Tech Day on the 29th of June in Cambridge, MA, at the Microsoft New England R&D Center, organized by the HPC & GPU Supercomputing Group of Boston and sponsored by Microway.

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OpenNebula Cloud Tech Day on the 8th of July in Paris, France, organized by IPPON Hosting.

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vOneCloud 1.6 Released! Ease vSphere Provisioning

We want you to know that OpenNebula Systems has just announced the availability of vOneCloud version 1.6.

This new release of the appliance, tailored to ease the provisioning of resources from vSphere based infrastructures, comes packed with exciting new features.

  • In vOneCloud 1.6 is now possible to define virtual machine capacity, in terms of CPU and Memory presented to the guest OS, changing this value from the vCenter Template at the time of cloning a new Virtual Machine.
  • Along this line, it is also possible to resize the capacity of a Virtual Machine after deployment.
  • Moreover, it is also possible to confine vOneCloud users on a particular vCenter Resource Pool, making it possible to enforce company security policies by reducing the rights of the needed credentials by the appliance and also offering to vOneCloud users a subset of all the available hardware resources controlled by vCenter.
  • In order to facilitate the customization of Virtual Machines, in terms of configuring software packages and perform any generic administration task at guest OS boot time, vOneCloud introduces the ability to run any script at boot time, using a new set of contextualization packages.
  • Improvements are also offered in the VNC connection capabilities, to accommodate foreign keyboards.

The above features and components add to the already present ability to expose a multi-tenant cloud-like provisioning layer through the use of virtual data centers, self-service portal, or hybrid cloud computing to connect in-house vCenter infrastructures with public clouds. vOneCloud seamlessly integrates with running vCenter virtualised infrastructures, leveraging advanced features such as vMotion, HA or DRS scheduling provided by the VMware vSphere product family.

vOneCloud is zero intrusive (although it fully manages the life cycle of VMs), try it out without the need to commit to it. If you happen (as strange at that may be!) to don’t like it  you can just remove the appliance.

Relevant Links

Upcoming Cloud TechDays in Chicago, Boston and Paris

Besides our annual OpenNebula Conference, we are organizing Cloud Technology Day events in multiple cities globally in the next two months.

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 first OpenNebula Cloud Tech Day will be held on the 24th of June in Chicago, IL, at the Illinois Institute of Technology and with the collaboration of FermiLab.

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The second OpenNebula Cloud Tech Day will be held on the 29th of June in Cambridge, MA, at the Microsoft New England R&D Center, organized by the HPC & GPU Supercomputing Group of Boston and sponsored by Microway.

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The third OpenNebula Cloud Tech Day will be held on the 8th of July in Paris, France, organized by IPPON Hosting.

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If you want to actively participate in any of these events, share your experience with OpenNebula or describe other related cloud open-source projects and tools, send us your talk proposal at events@opennebula.org.

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.

For more information on past events, please visit the Cloud Technology Days page

We hope to see you there! and a big thanks to the organizers of these events.

Please send us an email at events@opennebula.org if you are interested in hosting a TechDays event.

We look forward to your answers

OpenNebula Has a New Base in the U.S.

We are pleased to announce that OpenNebula Systems, the company behind the OpenNebula Project and vOneCloud, has established a new subsidiary to oversee all business operations and to support the OpenNebula community in the U.S. The new subsidiary in Cambridge Mass. will serve as a training, consulting and support facility for the quickly growing number of OpenNebula and vOneCloud users in the area.

This is great news for our open-source Project because this new company will help support the community, spread its word, and strengthen its user base in the U.S. We are organizing Cloud Technology Day events in Boston and Chicago at the end of June.

Contact us if you would like to help us organize a Cloud TechDay.

More details in the Today’s Press Release by OpenNebula Systems.

Unity Builds its Federated Cloud with OpenNebula

Unity Technologies is shaping a booming global games market. The Unity engine is far and away the dominant global game development software. More games are made with Unity than with any other game technology! And guess what? Unity uses OpenNebula to run their IaaS infrastructure to support their development services, among other things.

Unity Technologies contacted OpenNebula Systems, the company behind OpenNebula, due to its expert knowledge of OpenNebula, to jointly design and deploy Unity cloud infrastructure, dubbed uCloud. OpenNebula Systems offers this service through the Jumpstart packages, on their Basic and Advanced modalities, based on the different Open Cloud Reference Architecture corresponding types.

The basic principle that Unity applies to their infrastructure is the KISS approach, which is very much aligned with the OpenNebula design principle.

The Requirements

Unity Technologies offers its services globally, and as such required to deploy a cloud across three different data centers to serve EMEA, US and ASIA Unity users. The data centers were to be based on SoftLayer bare metal servers, and the users of the Cloud were expected to be able to access resources across these different data centers.

Regarding networking, a certain degree of federation was expected, particularly the ability to interconnect virtual machines from different data centers in different virtual networks. Unity Technologies suggested the use of network gateways to manage this interconnections, so the challenge was to integrate them in the OpenNebula workflow.

Other requirements were the use of Active Directory to authenticate users, and also to have a complete isolation between groups of users (that is, the workloads of one group of users should not affect the others), as well as hybrid access to public cloud providers, in particular SoftLayer and Amazon EC2, to be able to cloud burst Virtual Machine to them in case the allocated bare metal in SoftLayer cannot cope with the fluctuating demands.

The Design

OpenNebula Systems and Unity got to work right away, to deliver the best possible OpenNebula cloud design taking into account the requirements. Take a look at the picture to get a glimpse of the final design of uCloud.

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The use of Ceph was a no brainer, Unity used Ceph internally and OpenNebula Systems agreed right away since this cloud is expected to grow to a medium to large scale. This is aligned with the OpenNebula Advanced Reference Architecture, intended for clouds of this magnitude. Also, Ubuntu was preferred by Unity sysadmins, and given OpenNebula full support for it; the decision was arrived to easily enough as well.

Using OpenNebula federation capabilities solved right away the need to federate at the authentication level the different datacenters. The SoftLayer dedicated link low latency allowed the several instances of OpenNebula (one per data center) to communicate quickly enough to keep them synchronized and provide a top-notch user experience.

The need of serving different groups of people, with different needs in terms of physical and virtual resources, was also solved using the powerful OpenNebula provisioning model, by assigning physical resources to Virtual Data Centers, and providing access to them via Groups of users, to which virtual resources can be assigned.

Networking was trickier. The limitations of using only traffic encapsulated within VLANs imposed the use of VXLAN, which OpenNebula fully supports. Special integrations were made into OpenNebula to operate the Gateways as soon as a new virtual network is created; so new routes are created dynamically enabling the interconnection of different data centers virtual networks on demand. The OpenNebula flexible architecture proved that it is a great asset to solve complex designs.

Cgroups was the technology picked up for workload isolation, so VMs from one groups of users cannot eat up all the CPU resources if they are needed by another VMs. For memory, not allowing for over commitment was the decision.

The Result

uCloud is a state of the art cloud, with authentication and network federation, prepared to scale to support thousands and even millions of users as Unity Technology requires. Unity Technologies can arguably be given the credit of making the right call, contacting OpenNebula Systems, the creators of the technology, to push it to its limits to create a cloud infrastructure ahead of its time.

“We engaged OpenNebula Systems to verify our design thoughts and to speed up the deployment phase of our uCloud project.”, said Karsten Nielsen, IT Manager at Unity Technologies. “OpenNebula Systems is very professional and executed within the tight death-line the project was under. I am very pleased with the process and the result of the project.”


Karsten Nielsen will give a keynote about the uCloud infrastructure and OpenNebula at OpenNebulaConf2015 (Barcelona, October 20-22 2015). Register asap and save with very early Bird discount!.

OpenNebula Newsletter – April 2015

This Newsletter contains the most worthy developments and events of the OpenNebula project and the community during this last month, and the plans for the upcoming months.

Technology

An important milestone was reached this month with the publication of the Open Cloud Reference Architecture for Basic and Advanced cloud deployments. This Reference Architecture has been created from the collective information and experiences from hundreds of users and cloud client engagements. Besides main logical components and interrelationships, the document describes software products, configurations, and requirements of infrastructure platforms recommended for a smooth OpenNebula installation.

A maintenance release for Cotton Candy,4.12.1, was released this month by the OpenNebula Team. This release comes with several bug fixes found after the 4.12 release. These bug fixes covers different OpenNebula components, like for instance the scheduler, the Cloud View self service portal, Sunstone web interface, OpenNebula Core and several drivers (VM, Auth, Network). Besides the bug fixes mentioned above, 4.12.1 includes several improvements, like the ability to have VNC capabilities imported from vCenter VMs, a logrotate script for OpenNebula logs and, specially, the scheduler has been revisited to cope with large XML files. Now OpenNebula instances are able to manage even more VMs!

Also April saw the release of a new stable version of vOneCloud, the open replacement of vCloud to cloudify vSphere infrastructures. vOneCloud 1.4 comes with outstanding new features for vCenter resource management, like for instance the inclusion of Showback capabilities. The VDC model has been revisited to enable resource sharing easily among different groups, as well as the interfaces, in order to smooth the workflow of importing vCenter resources. The main highlight though is the addition of multi-vm management capabilities, enabling the management of services, including the ability to set up elasticity rules to automatically increase or decrease the number of nodes composing a service. vOneCloud is zero intrusive, try it out with without the need to commit to it!

Community

Technical posts are definitely our sort of thing. And if they come as detailed and rounded as this amazing piece showing how to install OpenNebula on HA with Ceph and IPoIB in CentOS, the better. Check it out for a awesome script laying out all the steps needed to reproduce this setup. Another example is this excellent post about securing noVNC connections for Sunstone, with detailed explanation on how to create your own CA for VNC connections.

In depth analysis of the OpenNebula technology by third parties is a great way to promote OpenNebula, giving users leeway to choose among the IaaS technology that better fit their needs. This blog post by OlinData is a great example.

Our community is always giving back, and that is the spirit of open source. For instance, people sharing his work to make other people’s life easier, is a great example of the health of OpenNebula community. This new addon enabling the integration of OpenNebula and StorPool broads the integration capabilities of OpenNebula. Also important this example of a nodejs boilerplate to interact with OpenNebula. Thanks!

As you may know, OpenNebula is participating in the BEACON project, flagship European project in federated cloud networking. You can check the profile of OpenNebula Systems in the project blog.

We run on feedback. Seriously, it is never enough. If you are doing an OpenNebula deployment we want to hear from you! As they say, through thick and thin. Have you just installed a Windows 10 VM using OpenNebula?. We want to hear from you!

Outreach

The upcoming third edition of the OpenNebulaConf will be held in Barcelona this October 2015.You are still in time for getting a good price deal for tickets. Also, your company may be interested in the sponsorship opportunities for OpenNebulaConf 2015.

We have two Cloud Technology Days planned for US, in Chicago and Boston, for the end of June. We will publish the details in a few days. If there is anyone interested to host a TechDay in the east coast (in particular, we are looking for hosts in New York), drop us a line.

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

If you are interested in receiving OpenNebula training, check the schedule for 2015 public classes at OpenNebula Headquarters. Please contact us if your would like to request training near you.

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.