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An Overview of the New Features of OpenNebula 3.0

A couple of months have passed since the release of OpenNebula 2.2 (Cat’s Eye) and we have been quite active since then. The next release of OpenNebula is getting in shape fast and a significant amount of new features are already in the repository.

Let’s start reviewing the not-so-glamorous new features. One of the main themes for the next release is database refactoring. The new DB backend of OpenNebula features a schema free (document-oriented) implementation of the data model on top of a SQL DB. This will give us enough flexibility to easily extend the attributes and resources managed by OpenNebula at no performance cost. Also, the next release includes DB versioning and a tool to upgrade from previous versions of OpenNebula.

Another important area of work has been networking. We have evolved the network manager component to provide out-of-the-box integration with typical VLAN technologies. In particular, you’ll be able to choose from 802.1Q VLAN tagging, Open vSwitch and simple isolation based on ebtables filters. You’ll also be able to set up simple firewalling rules for each VM specifying black/white TCP/UDP port settings.

The next release will also feature important improvements in VM management. Virtual Machine templates can now be stored in OpenNebula so you can easily instantiate pre-defined configurations, and share them with other users. This new VM Template pool along with the existing Network and Image will give users and administrators a very flexible and simple way to define and instantiate virtual infrastructures.

We have also re-factored the Image Repository to adopt a pluggable architecture that can integrate any storage backend, with a filesystem-based repository provided in the next release. The Image Repository can be now further integrated with external catalogs. The next release will also showcase a preview of this hybrid cloud storage, that integrates Amazon S3 and OpenNebula, to download, contextualize and integrate S3 images in your local Image Repository.

Sunstone has also received some attention from the team, being extended to accommodate all the new features and some rough edges have been polished. We have also added support for plug-ins, enabling the easy customization of the control panel.  There is also a couple of new specific features for the interface: VNC access to VM instances through the web browser using noVNC; and graphical information about the health of your cloud.

And last but not least, the multi-tenancy support for OpenNebula has been considerably improved with the addition of groups and access control lists (ACLs). This will provide great flexibility to share resources among users and to define user roles. Grounded in this new functionality, you’ll be also able to experiment with the new Virtual Data Center (VDC) manager. Using a muti-tier architecture you’ll be able to aggregate multiple OpenNebula’s (zones) and define within them multiple, isolated VDCs.

Finally as you my have noticed from the title, there are so many new features (as well as changes in the database and internal API’s) that we have decided to upgrade the major versioning number of OpenNebula to 3. The changes in the public APIs are minimal and we expect that current applications will run without modifications on top of OpenNebula 3.0.

OpenNebula 3.0 also includes contributions from several members of our community, such as CERN, FermiLab, and Harvard University’s SEAS.

A beta version of OpenNebula 3.0 (codename Iris) will be ready for testing by the end of June and its stable release is scheduled on July 20th. As usual, OpenNebula releases are named after a Nebula. The Iris Nebula (NGC 7023, Caldwell 4) is a reflection nebula in the constellation of Cepheus.

We will appreciate your feedback on these new features. Thanks!

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Ruben S. Montero

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