UCLouvain Case Study – VDI for 37,000 students with OpenNebula

Universities are nowadays facing the challenge of adapting themselves to a new generation of students, the so-called Millennial generation, for whom technological devices are essential tools to carry out their daily tasks.

At the Université Catholique de Louvain, we wanted to be aligned with the new technological trends and thus be able to embrace BYOD in order to give our students the possibility to use their own devices to access the same software as if they were in the standard computer classrooms from anywhere and anytime.

VDI was the key to meet our needs, and we were clear that we wanted the OpenNebula orchestrator to be the cornerstone of our virtual desktop infrastructure. The UDS Enterprise VDI & vApp connection broker, which is fully compatible with OpenNebula, was the missing component.

Thanks to OpenNebula + UDS Enterprise VDI joint solution, we are progressively giving our 37,000 students access to Windows or Linux standard environments from outside the classrooms. Teachers now have a teaching environment independent from their own computer and researchers can access software on demand and with better calculation performance, thanks to remote applications.

All with a high availability VDI infrastructure, very easy to access and manage, and with lower costs for students and the IT Department.

If you’d like to know how our VDI infrastructure was built, the different components used and their role in the platform, and how the IT staff deploys and manages the virtual desktops, don’t miss our talk in the next OpenNebula Conf 2018 in Amsterdam: “UCLouvain Case Study – VDI for 37,000 students with OpenNebula.

There, we will also explain how we are extending the use of OpenNebula to remote applications and what high availability infrastructure we are now implementing to guarantee a 24/7 available service.

Hope to see you next Tuesday, November 13 in Amsterdam!

Focusing on IaC with OpenNebula

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is changing the way that we’re doing things. Some people think that it’s the motorway that we have to follow and be aligned with business, as a resume they want us to be agile.

The arrival of tools such as Ansible, Puppet, SaltStack, and Chef, have enabled sysadmins to maintain modular, automatable infrastructure. This time I would like to introduce the Terraform tool.

Terraform is a provisioning declarative tool that is based on the Infrastructure as Code paradigm. Terraform is a multipurpose composition tool: it composes multiple tiers (SaaS/PaaS/IaaS).

Terraform is not a cloud agnostic tool, but in combination with OpenNebula, it can be amazing. By taking advantage of the template concept it will allow us to deploy vm’s agnostically in different cloud providers, such as AWS, Azure or on premise cloud infrastructure.

From the OpenNebula community we can observe several Terraform providers that have been developed. The first example is the project started by the Runstatic team that has recently been enhanced by Blackberry.

After this little introduction about Terraform, let’s go with a tutorial where a PaaS Rancher platform is deployed in an automated way with Terraform and RKE.

Deploy Rancher HA in OpenNebula with Terraform and RKE

Install Terraform

To install Terraform, find the appropriate package for your system and download it

$ curl -O https://releases.hashicorp.com/terraform/0.11.10/terraform_0.11.10_linux_amd64.zip

After downloading Terraform, unzip the package

$ sudo mkdir /bin/terraform
$ sudo unzip terraform_0.11.10_linux_amd64.zip -d /bin/terraform

After installing Terraform, verify the installation worked by opening a new terminal session and checking that Terraform is available.

$ export PATH=$PATH:/bin/terraform
$ terraform --version
Add Terraform providers for Opennebula and RKE

You need to install go first: https://golang.org/doc/install

After go is installed and set up, just type:

$ go get github.com/blackberry/terraform-provider-opennebula
$ go install github.com/blackberry/terraform-provider-opennebula 

Copy your terraform-provider-opennebula binary in a folder, like /usr/local/bin, and write this in ~/.terraformrc:

providers {
opennebula = "/usr/local/bin/terraform-provider-opennebula"
}

providers {
rke = "/usr/local/bin/terraform-provider-rke"
}

For RKE provider, download the binary and copy in the same folder:

$ wget https://github.com/yamamoto-febc/terraform-provider-rke/releases/download/0.5.0/terraform-provider-rke_0.5.0_linux-amd64.zip 
$ sudo unzip terraform-provider-rke_0.5.0_linux-amd64.zip -d /usr/local/bin/terraform-provider-rke

Install Rancher

Clone this repo:
$ git clone https://github.com/CSUC/terraform-rke-paas.git
Create infrastructure

First we have to initialize Terraform simply with:

$ terraform init

We let Terraform create a plan, which we can review:

$ terraform plan

The plan command lets you see what Terraform will do before actually doing it.

Now we execute:

$ terraform apply

That’s it – you should have a functional Rancher server:

Now, you can install the Docker Machine OpenNebula Driver and deploy new Kubernetes clusters in your Rancher platform:

The complete tutorial is available at Github:

https://github.com/CSUC/terraform-rke-paas

If you are interested in more details, don’t miss the talk: Hybrid Clouds: Dancing with “Automated” Virtual Machines in the next OpenNebula Conf 2018 in Amsterdam.

See you cloudadmins!

Barcelona UserGroup Team –  www.cloudadmins.org

 

OpenNebula Newsletter – October 2018

Our newsletter contains the highlights of the OpenNebula project and its Community throughout the month.

Technology

This month the team released vOneCloud version 3.2.1, which is based on OpenNebula 5.6.1, and as such, it includes all the bug fixes and functionalities introduced in 5.6.1

A few examples include:

  • Order of elements in list API calls can be selected (ascending or descending).
  • XMLRPC calls can report the client IP and PORT.
  • New quotas for VMS allow you to configure limits for VMs “running”.
  • The Virtual Machines that are associated to a Virtual Router have all actions allowed except nic-attach/dettach.

For more details of what is included in vOneCloud 3.2.1, check the Release Notes.

There are several other items “in the oven”, getting ready for release.  Here are a few:

  • We’ve been working on making Virtual Network self-provisioning easier, by allowing end-users to create their own networks from pre-defined network templates.
  • We are making continued progress on the LXD drivers, and getting them in shape for version 5.8.
  • Very soon vCenter users will be able to download any appliance from the Marketplace. OpenNebula datastore drivers will take care of any image conversion required.
  • Lastly, King has “Funded a Feature” through our FaF program – this one allowing Virtual Machines to define automatic network selection for their NICs. The scheduler will pick the best Virtual Network at deployment time. This will simplify the VM Template management, as it will reduce the overall number of templates needed.

Community

Across the OpenNebula User Community, we continue to see interesting and important conversation and discussion.

Leboncoin posted a thorough overview on their own blog of their infrastructure needs – including High Availability and Production stability – along with details on how their choice of using OpenNebula has helped them to successfully build and manage their own IaaS environment.  Take a moment to read the article.

“[The] OpenNebula community is also particularly active and new features are coming out regularly.”

Nodeweaver posted that they have an update being prepared to allow for single-click deployment of their Terraformer VM which integrates Ansible and Terraform to manage OpenNebula resources.  Along with this, in the near future, expect to see the VM available for use in the OpenNebula Marketplace.

LINBIT has been working on a new storage driver that integrates LINSTOR with OpenNebula. Some of the features are:

  • Deploy disk images to storage nodes automatically, or on selected nodes.
  • Attach images to hosts over the network.
  • Easy deployment of highly available images.
  • Allows live migration of VMs, even using the ssh system datastore transfer manager

LINBIT will be leading the effort to create this as an OpenNebula Add-On, so “keep your eyes peeled”.

Though more generic, here’s a quick reference to an interesting article about the ongoing transformation of Data Centers.

And lastly, as we communicated late in September, OpenNebula released an initial prototype, (with source code and packages available at the OpenNebula GitHub), for Host Provisioning.  We continue to develop this set of capabilities. In the meantime, we published a Blog post reviewing a practical exercise we carried out using this Host Provisioning feature to demonstrate its value as the case for Edge Computing continues to grow.

Outreach

October is a long month, and we have been busy, but mostly with our sights set on November! We’ve put in a great amount of planning into this year’s OpenNebula Conference 2018, which is scheduled for November 12-13 in Amsterdam.  We have a great agenda of speakers lined up, with Hands-on tutorials, and plenty of opportunity to network, share, and discuss with experts and practitioners in the cloud community.  We look forward to seeing many of you in Amsterdam. For those who cannot attend, we will be providing updates, presentation documents, and videos from the #OpenNebulaConf.

In addition, OpenNebula will be attending the VMworld Europe Conference in Barcelona from November 5-8.  We’ll be there ready to showcase OpenNebula’s integration with VMware Cloud on AWS, along with the new features of both OpenNebula 5.6 and vOneCloud 3.2.1.  Be sure to swing by booth #E422!

Soon enough, 2019 will be here.  Start thinking about hosting an OpenNebula TechDay!

We’ll see you in November! Stay Connected!

Join us at VMworld 2018 EU in Barcelona

This upcoming November 5-8, VMworld 2018 will be held in Barcelona. This is a must-attend event where anyone with an interest in virtualization and cloud computing will be in attendance, networking with industry experts. The OpenNebula team will be there in Barcelona, ready to showcase OpenNebula’s integration with VMware Cloud on AWS, as well as, the new features of both OpenNebula 5.6 and vOneCloud 3.2.1.

Join us in Barcelona, make sure to register, and don’t forget to stop by our booth, E422. We can provide a live-demo of how a VMware-based infrastructure can be easily turned into a cloud, with a fully-functional self-service portal – all in the matter of minutes! At the same time, we will be available to answer any questions you may have, and discuss ongoing developments. We hope to see you there!

Living On The Edge: The Shift Toward Cloud Disaggregation

We’ve seen over the last several years the explosive value brought to the market of cloud computing, and the ever-growing shift toward establishing centralized data centers to support all scales of business processing. The cloud infrastructure of today has provided an extremely effective and economical platform for flexing with the persistent need for increased storage and computing for businesses. With the rapid growth of data, comes the corresponding growth for the need to process that data. Up until now, the modern paradigm has been to have the swift and agile ability to grow one’s data center to handle that growing need for processing power. Virtualized Data Centers and Cloud infrastructures have been foundational tools.

However, with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the forthcoming explosion of “everything connected”, we are seeing that the centralized Cloud infrastructure, on its own, will not be a silver bullet. These mobile devices, which ironically enough, we continue to call “phones”, continue to evolve, providing an ever-growing range of capabilities and a burgeoning power to compute and process. Homes, offices, public buildings, and automobiles are now collecting and generating huge amounts of data, which as we walk by with our phones, or drive by in our automobiles, we’ll have the need and expectation for a much more complete, and almost inherent, interaction. And this is where the current cloud model falls short.

As this explosion of connected data and IoT grows, and interactions between things need to almost mimic human-nature, the basic paradigm shifts from a need to scale, to a need for speed. The importance of latency in these types of “connected” interactions becomes paramount. And here is where we see bringing cloud capabilities closer to the consumer – closer to “the Edge” – as a developing model.

At OpenNebula Systems, we’ve focused, over the last decade, to bring a simple, yet flexible and comprehensive, Virtual Data Center and Cloud Management solution to the market – in OpenNebula. And as the demands have developed, and user needs have changed, we have continued to innovate.  Within the last month, we have released the first version of a prototype solution with cloud disaggregation capabilities. This is the first step in our focus to integrate edge computing, while ultimately maintaining an integrated experience of cloud orchestration and resource management.

With this prototype, we have carried out a simple, but illustrative, use case, demonstrating the value that can be achieved by being able to “disaggregate” one’s cloud infrastructure – (for now, we have introduced support for both Packet and AWS EC2 bare-metal containers) – and bringing it closer to the user.

We assumed that a fictitious company, ACME Corporation, was located in Sacramento, California, where we instantiated an OpenNebula node, to emulate an on-premise private cloud for the company. The case here begins with ACME realizing that it is getting a lot of system traffic, not only within the California region, but also from users in France. And with OpenNebula and the newly introduced Host Provisioning capabilities, ACME Corporation can now:

  • deploy new physical hosts on selected bare-metal cloud providers
  • install and configure them as KVM hypervisors
  • and add them into existing OpenNebula clusters as an independent host.

all within minutes.

In terms of Host Provisioning, for this exercise, we utilized bare-metal containers from Packet.  Here we deployed and configured two separate edge nodes – one in Los Angeles, California, and the other in Marseilles, France.

Edge Node / Location Deployment time Configuration time
Node 1 – Los Angeles, CA 5 minutes 3 minutes
Node 2 – Marseilles, France 5 minutes 7 minutes

Essentially, within a period of 8 minutes and 12 minutes, respectively, we were able to deploy and install two physical hosts on a physical, bare-metal container, and configure each of them as KVM hypervisors.

Then, the next step was to deploy a Virtual Machine.  In this case, we utilized Alpine Linux virtual router appliances with a physical size of 71 MiB. (Deployment time takes into account the total time between the deploy order and the VM entering running state, without taking into account the initial image transfer time, which is required only the first time the VM is deployed on a new location.)

Edge Node / Location Deployment time Image transfer time
Node 1 – Los Angeles, CA 1 seconds 3 seconds
Node 2 – Marseilles, France 9 seconds 15 seconds

So, within a matter of a few minutes, ACME Corporation was able to deploy two separate virtual nodes – all controlled within the single, centrally-managed OpenNebula private cloud. And here is where the “rubber meets the road”. We then measured the latency across the nodes:

We measured latencies for the following situations to demonstrate the centralized cloud use case:

Use Case Infrastructure arrangement Latency
User in Los Angeles, CA Between the user and the on-premise cloud (node in Sacramento, CA) 12 milliseconds
User in Marseille, France Between the user and the on-premise cloud (node in Sacramento, CA) 174 milliseconds

We then measured latencies for the following disaggregated cloud infrastructure:

Use Case Infrastructure arrangement Latency
User in Los Angeles, CA Between the user and the edge (node in Los Angeles, CA) 9 milliseconds
User in Marseille, France Between the user and the edge (node in Marseille, France) 10 milliseconds
User in Paris, France Between the user and the edge (node in Marseille, France) 12 milliseconds

The result it simple. By utilizing OpenNebula’s capability to easily provision a separate, fully functional node on a bare-metal container, such as Packet, that is geographically closer to the end-user, one can achieve a significant improvement in latency. In this case, ACME Corporation was able to reduce the latency for the user in France from 174 milliseconds to 10 milliseconds. And in the world with increased focus on connected data, gaming, and IoT, this will be more and more critical.

While this OpenNebula Host Provisioning prototype is an initial step in our focused development in Edge Computing and Disaggregated Clouds, OpenNebula Systems is also heavily involved in building out similar capability in its collaboration with the telecommunications giant, Telefónica, and their Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) initiative, called “OnLife”.  Read here for additional details about Telefónica’s “OnLife” initiative.

Stay connected with developments at OpenNebula Systems. Don’t forget to join our Newsletter, or reach out to me directly (mabdou@opennebula.systems) for any questions or suggestions. We maintain and nurture a strong Community of Users, and we’d love to hear your feedback and insight.

vOneCloud 3.2.1 released!

We want to let you know that OpenNebula Systems has just announced the availability of vOneCloud version 3.2.1.

vOneCloud 3.2.1 is based in OpenNebula 5.6.1 and as such it includes all the bug fixes and functionalities introduced in 5.6.1: OpenNebula 5.6.1 Release Notes.

vOneCloud 3.2.1 is a maintenance release with the following minor improvements:

  • Order of elements in list API calls can be selected (ascending or descending).
  • XMLRPC calls can report the client IP and PORT.
  • New quotas for VMS allow you to configure limits for VMs “running”.
  • The Virtual Machines that are associated to a Virtual Router have all actions allowed except nic-attach/dettach.

Also 3.2.1 features the following bugfixes:

  • User quotas error.
  • Migrate vCenter machines provide feedback to oned.
  • Fixed problem migrating vCenter machines to a cluster with a lot of ESX.
  • Improve feedback for ‘mode’ option in Sunstone server.
  • Accounting data does not display.
  • Spurios syntax help on onehost delete.
  • No way for hide Lock/Unlock button for VM in Sunstone view.
  • Update LDAP driver to use new escaping functionality (and issue).
  • Start script base64 enconding fails when using non utf8 characters.
  • Error when creating a vnet from Sunstone using advanced mode.
  • Restricted attributes not enforced on attach disk operation.
  • Improve the dialog when attach nic or instanciated vm in network tab.
  • VNC on ESXi can Break Firewall.
  • Slow monitoring of the live migrating VMs on destination host.
  • onehost sync should ignore vCenter hosts.
  • NIC Model is ignored on VM vCenter Template.
  • Unable to query VMs with non ASCII character.
  • vCenter unimported resources cache not working as expected.
  • Wild importation from vCenter host refactor.
  • Removing CD-ROM from vCenter imported template breaks the template.
  • Error with restricted attributes when instantiating a VM.
  • Onevcenter cli tool few improvements and examples added.
  • OPENNEBULA_MANAGED deleted when updating a VM Template.
  • Unable to update the Running Memory quota.
  • Monitoring VMs fails when there is not datastore associated.

Relevant Links

 

Become a Sponsor for OpenNebulaConf 2018

A reminder here that the OpenNebulaConf 2018 will take place in the city of Amsterdam from November 12-13, and we would like nothing more than for you to be part of our team of Sponsors and to take advantage from being an official supporter of the event!

In previous editions of OpenNebulaConf, we offered agendas packed with Hands-on Deployment and Operations Tutorials, Developer working sessions, Networking sessions and talks covering OpenNebula case studies and much more.  We enjoyed presentations from notable OpenNebula users and industry leaders like Akamai, Produban – Santander Bank, CentOS, Runtastic, Puppet Labs, Cloudweavers, RedHat, Deutsche Post, Unity Technologies, BlackBerry, Rental, Citrix, LRZ, FermiLab, Harvard, Trivago and European Space Agency. Typically, we get attendance from an international audience that is highly interested in the Open Source community, and one that is highly networked.  Take advantage, and reap the benefits of sponsorship!

 

What you will get by becoming a Sponsor

Having a presence at OpenNebulaConf 2018 is a great way to get your company in front of the OpenNebula community. There are three available levels of sponsorship: Platinum, Gold, and Silver. The table below shows the cost of each sponsorship package and what is included.


 Do you have further questions?
Have a look at the OpenNebula Conf web page or write us an email

Thank you for your interest in sponsoring OpenNebulaConf 2018!

 

OpenNebula Newsletter – September 2018

Our monthly newsletter contains the major achievements of the OpenNebula project and its community during the month of September 2018.

Technology

This month the team released OpenNebula 5.6.1 – a new maintenance release of the 5.6 “Blue Flash” series, which addresses several bug fixes, as well as incorporating various feature enhancements.  A few examples include:

  • List subcommands use pagination when in an interactive shell.
  • Order of elements in list API calls can be selected.
  • XMLRPC calls report the client IP and PORT
  • New quotas for VMS allows to configure limits for running VMs “running”.
  • Update Host hook triggers to include all possible states.
  • ‘onezone set’ should allow temporary zone changes.
  • VMs associated to a Virtual Router now feature all lifecycle actions.

OpenNebula 5.6.1 is the first version which includes “Enterprise Add-ons”, which are extended capabilities available for customers of OpenNebula Systems with an active support subscription.

For more details of what is included in OpenNebula 5.6.1, check the Release Notes.

We also closed out the month with the Release of our Host Provisioning Prototype!  This is a project on which we have been working in order to bring additional flexibility and improved efficiency to data center configurations. And it’s just the first step in OpenNebula’s focus to support the deployment of Edge Computing environments.  You can review here the details surrounding this “oneProvision” prototype.

We continue to move ahead with OpenNebula 5.8.  One of the key features that will be included in this upcoming version is OpenNebula’s support for managing LXD containers (Operating System-level Virtualization).  Some of the details and key benefits are outlined in this earlier post.

For vOneCloud, we are currently working on vOne 3.2.1, which will incorporate the same functionalities and advances which we included in our release of OpenNebula 5.6.1.

Lastly, our push for completeness and flexibility continues to grow as we focus on incorporating Python binding, (in addition to Ruby and Java) within OpenNebula.

Community

This section is where we, at OpenNebula, get most excited!  As we all continue to work and focus on bringing real value to the market through the OpenNebula platform, one of the key goals we maintain is to foster genuine interest and engagement amongst our Community.  So much of what are able to achieve depends on you, the OpenNebula users and contributors. So when we see involvement and commitment across the Community, we know that the OpenNebula project is bound for continued growth.

For example, check out this great blog contribution by Inoreader, outlining their step-by-step evolution from a Bare-Metal server architecture to completely virtualizing their infrastructure using OpenNebula and KVM for virtualization, along with StorPool for storage.

Simon Haly, the CEO of LizardFS published a brief about their collaboration with Nodeweaver to create a plugin “scale [your] OpenNebula cloud to Petabytes and beyond.” https://www.prurgent.com/2018-09-18/pressrelease447786.htm

Additionally, in a tweet earlier this month – both simple and direct – LINBIT highlighted the ease with which one can use the OpenNebula image driver,…and then posted a video demo.

The image driver for @opennebula makes #DRBD volumes easily to place VMs on.

Even beyond the direct impacts of our code, many contributors from the OpenNebula Community provided feedback and insight into a recent European Union publication on how to bring Standards and the Open Source community closer together.

And lastly, in the Community space, OpenNebula introduced Michael Abdou, their new Community and Customer Success Manager…read here.

Outreach

In the last week of September, we collaborated with LINBIT as they hosted an OpenNebula TechDay in Frankfurt, Germany!  In addition to offering a FREE Hands-on Tutorial of OpenNebula, we saw presentations and demos carried out by LINBIT, Mellanox, and Hystax.  Here you can check out how things fared at the Frankfurt TechDay.

Keep an eye out for upcoming TechDays, as we try to schedule these sessions periodically throughout the year, in various locations – all free of charge. Or even partner with us to host one of your own!!  OpenNebula TechDay info.

Don’t forget!  The OpenNebula Conference 2018 is right around the corner.  On November 12-13 we will be in Amsterdam, and there will be plenty of which you can take advantage!  From Hands-on Tutorials and Keynotes to Lightning Talks and Community discussions. Take a look at the agenda – plan on joining us in Amsterdam!  http://2018.opennebulaconf.com/

Join our Sponsor Program and be sure to maximize your benefits from the Conference.  The OpenNebula Conference 2018 is currently sponsored by StorPool, LINBIT and NTS as Platinum Sponsors and Virtual Cable SLU and ROOT as Silver Sponsors.  We would love to see you be a part of our team of sponsors!

One more item to put on your calendar is VMworld in Barcelona, on November 5-8, 2018.  We will be there with an exhibit for all things OpenNebula and vOneCloud.  Make sure to swing by booth E422!

More to come in October!!  Stay connected!

Initial Release of Host Provisioning Prototype

Recently, we have shared with you our vision with the disaggregated cloud approach in the blog post A Sneak Preview of the Upcoming Features for Cloud Disaggregation.  Today we are very happy to announce the initial release of the Host Provision prototype, which provides the capability to deploy new physical hosts on selected bare-metal cloud providers, to install and configure them as KVM hypervisors, and to add them into existing OpenNebula clusters as an independent host.

Everything included in a single run of the new command “oneprovision”!

For the initial release, we support the Packet Host and Amazon EC2 (i3.metal instance type) bare-metal providers. The tool is distributed as an operating system package for RHEL/CentOS 7, Debian 9, Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04, or the source code archive. The package should be installed on your OpenNebula front-end and used under the privileges of user oneadmin.

Source code and packages are ready to download from our GitHub repository.

Detailed documentation which covers how to install, use or customize the tooling is available here.

Last, but not least – it’s all open source!

We would love to hear all your comments, suggestions or help with the problems you may experience.  Please use our community forum to get in touch with us.

Wrap-up of TechDay Frankfurt – 26SEP18

Here’s a quick “Thank you” to LINBIT for hosting the OpenNebula TechDay in Frankfurt.  Thank you for your continued partnership and support!   It was a great opportunity for everyone to meet up and share insights and experiences.

We are glad to let everyone know that the slide presentations are now available!

Here’s a link to the complete agenda.

Tino kicking off the OpenNebula TechDay in Frankfurt.

 

Sergio walking the group through the Hands-On Tutorial.

 

A live-demo of OpenNebula and LINSTOR integration done by Philipp Reisner.