OpenNebula 2015: Year in Review

This has been a very interesting year in the Cloud Computing field in general, and in OpenNebula in particular. It looks like the field is consolidating, and we are past the Peak of Inflated Expectations slowly moving into the Plateau of Productivity. This can be inferred from the increasing number of enterprises that are implementing their in-house private clouds and offloading their computing needs to public cloud providers, showing that the paradigm did take off and it’s soaring towards computing efficiency.

In this regard, we are proud that OpenNebula celebrated this year its 8th anniversary, showing a degree of maturity fit for the most demanding production environments. The OpenNebula project is proud to deliver a truly open, vendor-free, user-driven software to build private and hybrid clouds, with design principles that focus on simplicity and flexibility. Our philosophy is not to break with the previous outstanding work in datacenters, but rather extending its functionality to take advantage of the cloud computing benefits. We think this is a unique vision in the field, and OpenNebula is the product of this believe.

With 2015 coming quickly to a close, we’d like to review what this year has meant for the OpenNebula project. You have all the details about the great progress that we have seen for the OpenNebula project in our monthly newsletters.

Solving Real User Needs in Innovative Ways

Two major releases were published this year: 4.12 Cotton Candy and 4.14 Great A’Tuin. Moreover, three maintenance versions were released to fix bugs and polish features. Several maintenance versions of AppMarket were also released.

4.12 Cotton Candy shipped with several improvements in different subsystems and components. For the first time, OpenNebula introduced the ability to generate cost reports that can be integrated with chargeback and billing platforms, and also presented to both the administrators and the end users. Each VM Template defined by the Cloud administrator can define a cost per cpu and per memory per hour. Extensively used features like SPICE, Security Groups and VXLAN were firstly seen in Cotton Candy

One of the main focus of 4.14 Great A’Tuin has been the Sunstone interface, which has been completely refactored for maintenance and performance reasons. However Great A’Tuin is probably the release of OpenNebula to date that features more new functionality. GPU support is a great addition to support HPC oriented infrastructures, importing existing running VMs into OpenNebula for all supported hypervisors (including the public ones), fully supported disk snapshots for Ceph and qcow2, image resizing, ability to ability to save VMs into VM Templates for later use, flexible context definition of network attributes, the list goes on and on. We feel this is the most mature and rich OpenNebula version, but we are not stopping here since work towards 5.0 has already started.

Moreover, four major releases of vOneCloud were released this year. Thanks to the amazing user feedback, the a virtual appliance for vSphere that transforms an existing vCenter deployment into an automated, self-service private cloud in a few minutes, is quickly growing its feature set to deliver a reliable, robust and mature product. vOneCloud exposes a multi-tenant, cloud-like provisioning layer, including features like 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 virtualized infrastructures, and can be set up if a few minutes and import the existing infrastructure resources, including running VMs.

We would like to thank the community members that have contributed with patches, documentation and feedback to the matureness of OpenNebula. Also, to the various organizations that have contributed to enhance OpenNebula through the Fund a Feature program: Blackberry, Echelon, Unity, BIT.nl, SURFsara and the Université Catholique de Louvain. We look forward to your contributions to code development!.

An Engaged Community of Users

The OpenNebula community is as healthy as ever, and fastly growing. The contributions to the software and its roadmap are vast, and cannot be briefly mentioned. We wanted to highlight a few integrations and feature extensions though, like one onesnooper, StorPool, Vagrant, LXC, nodejs binding, Saturnring, Kerberos, Chef, CloudVAMP, Docker, ZFS, and many many more. We are proud of our very much alive, proactive and engage community!

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. OpenNebula roadmap is defined by its users needs. We just performed a survey to require input for the list of features that will be tackled for the next major update, OpenNebula 5.0.

2015 also marked the end of the distribution mailing list as the main mechanism of communication with our community, in favour of the new online forum, to keep this communication agile and fruitful.

We would like to thank all our users! It is out of scope to name all new users, but we want to give a wholeheartedly warm welcome to those new users that shared their experiences through our blog: Unity, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, PTisp, Avalon, China Mobile, Rentalia and BIT.nl. If you are using OpenNebula, you are very welcome to contribute your integrations and experiences by writing a post in our blog or submitting your integration to the OpenNebula Add-on Catalog.

Spreading the Word

Spreading the OpenNebula word is of the uttermost importance for the project. The brightest highlight is, as usual, the OpenNebulaConf 2015. This year it was held in slick hotel Barcelo Sants in Barcelona and featured very interesting talks by relevant users: Runtastic, Unity, Citrix, RedHat, Fermilab, … Check out the videos, slides and pictures to get a glimpse of what you missed. A lot of new ideas for features and collaborations were fostered in this event, so expect a great and fruitful 2016.

In 2015 members of the OpenNebula team participated in several around the world. We want to highlight the VMworld Europe 2015 in Barcelona, Cloud Expo Europe in London and the Open Cloud Day in Bern. These events are great opportunities to evangelize people into what we think is the greatest Cloud Management Platform.

A number of high quality OpenNebula TechDays, full day events to learn about OpenNebula with a hands-on cloud installation and operation workshop and presentations from community, were held this year. Check out the agendas of the Prague, Boston, Paris and Ontario TechDays.

We want to thank all organizations that hosted a TechDay in 2015 for their hospitality. We are organizing the schedule of TechDays for future months, send us an email or send it to the community discuss mailing list if you are interested in hosting a TechDay event. We also look forward to proposals to create a user group in your area. In a few days we will announce OpenNebulaConf 2016.

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We are thrilled to have a community as vibrant and engaged as the OpenNebula one. Two thumbs up to you all for helping us building a great cloud management platform that solves real world problems.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you happiness and prosperity in 2016 to you and your loved ones!

– The OpenNebula Team

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