LXD has recently become the next-generation system container manager in Linux. While building on top of the low level LXC, it clearly improves the container orchestration, making administration easier and adding the management of tasks like container migration and the publishing of container images. 

In the realm of cloud computing, system container management solutions have yet to reach the widespread popularity of application container solutions, primarily due to the fact that there is little to no integration with neither private and public cloud management platforms, nor with Kubernetes. But OpenNebula 5.8 “Edge” complements the lack of automation in LXD as a standalone hypervisor and opens up a new set of use cases, especially for large deployments.

When looking at LXD containers as an option for your virtualized infrastructure, and comparing them to “full-fledged” hypervisors, you will see many benefits – the main ones starting with:

  • a smaller space footprint and smaller memory
  • lack of virtualized hardware
  • faster workloads
  • faster deployment times 

What do you get with OpenNebula and LXD integration?

It’s great to be able to deploy and utilize these lightweight and versatile LXD containers in your virtual infrastructure.  But the real fireworks start to go off when you contemplate what you’ll get when running OpenNebula on your LXD infrastructure!

As with KVM hypervisors, OpenNebula 5.8 integration with LXD provides advanced features for capacity management, resource optimisation, business continuity, and high availability, offering you complete and comprehensive control over your physical and virtual resources. On top of that, you can manage the provisioning of virtual data centers, creating completely elastic and multi-tenant cloud environments, all from within the simple Sunstone GUI or the available CLI’s. And where you may want to maintain the flexibility of creating a heterogeneous multi-hypervisor environment – clusters of LXD containers alongside clusters of other hypervisors – OpenNebula will manage those resources seamlessly all within the same cloud.

From a compatibility perspective, OpenNebula 5.8 and LXD provides the following:

  • Supported storage backends are filesystems with raw and qcow2 devices, and ceph with rbd images. As a result, LXD drivers can use regular KVM images.
  • The native network stack is fully compatible.
  • The LXD drivers support scenarios with installations both from apt and snap packages. There is also a dedicated marketplace for LXD which is backed by the public image server on https://images.linuxcontainers.org/ where you have access to every officially supported containerized distribution. 

Remember, LXD containers are only suitable for Linux, and share the kernel of the host OS. Also, LXD drivers still lack some functionalities like snapshotting and live migration.  So, being able to create a heterogeneous OpenNebula cloud using both LXD and KVM, wherever necessary, brings the best of both worlds.

OpenNebula 5.8 is “worth writing home about”, and LXD support is certainly one key reason why!

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

Technology

Yeah, February is a short month,…but it was jam-packed with activity.  This month we kept our collective “nose to the grindstone”, and released OpenNebula v.5.8 “Edge”!  Through months of focused development and several weeks of beta testing and bug fixes, we finally brought 5.8 “Edge” to market.  Now it is time for you all to get your hands on it and put it to the test.

You’ll see significant scalability improvements, as well as the introduction of key functionalities that certify its codename “Edge”.  Features like LXD container support, native provisioning of bare metal providers like Packet and AWS, and Automatic NIC selection will all make expanding your cloud infrastructure to the edge simple and efficient.  Read up on the details of the 5.8 version release.

And as part of the beta testing period this month, we introduced Beta Contextualization Packages – KVM images on our Marketplace with the pre-installed packages – to be able to easily import the appliances and give the beta versions a test.  In the end, easier testing translates to an easier release.

Community

OpenNebula, in partnership with Packet, is a proud initial program participant in their Edge Alliance Program.  This is a novel collaboration to provide edge infrastructure, technology partnerships, and expertise with the focus of creating a more fluid and available environment for Edge Computing practice and innovation.  The idea is to provide a springboard for open-source and commercial use cases “on the edge” and to hit the ground running.

Mobile World Congress 2019, one of the largest gatherings for the mobile industry where electronics and telecoms firms show off their latest innovations, just wrapped up in Barcelona.  While there was certainly plenty to see there, one of the highlighted presentations was given by Telefónica, in which they reviewed their prototype of an Open Access network “in a scenario of triple convergence of fixed, mobile, and edge computing” – a solution with OpenNebula at its core.  Great work, Telefónica!

And here’s one more shout-out to all of the Community members and users of OpenNebula who helped to get this latest software version developed, tested, and “out the door”.  Your support and cooperation is key to the success of OpenNebula.

Outreach

The schedule for OpenNebula TechDays has been finalized and published on our website.  Check your schedule, and see how you can attend one of these FREE events, hosted by enthusiastic partners of ours, to learn the ins-and-outs of OpenNebula and the details of the new version release:

  • May 8, 2019 – Barcelona, Spain – hosted by CSUC
  • May 16, 2019 – Sofia, Bulgaria – hosted by StorPool
  • June 11, 2019 – Cambridge, MA USA – hosted by OpenNebula Systems
  • September 11, 2019 – Frankfurt, Germany – hosted by Interactive Network and EuroCloud Germany
  • September 26, 2019 – Vienna, Austria – hosted by NTS

Last month we announced the details of our OpenNebula Conference 2019 in Barcelona, Spain on October 21-22, 2019.  Don’t forget that “Very Early Bird” pricing are available.

And as always, don’t forget to join our Developers’ Forum.  We saw a lot of interesting queries and questions posted throughout our various channels of communication (Twitter, Facebook, etc) this month.  The Developers’ Forum is the quintessential forum where you can learn about the latest talking points, what types of issues people are having, and how to resolve them.

Stay connected!

v.5.8 “Edge” is ready!

OpenNebula 5.8 “Edge” is the fifth major release of the OpenNebula 5 series. As you will have seen in recent communications around the “beta” releases, we have focused on introducing enhanced features on the solid base of 5.6 Blue Flash, while highlighting several Edge-focused features to bring the processing power of VMs closer to the consumers, and to dramatically reduce latency. As outlined earlier, 5.8 Edge comes with the following major features:

  • Support for LXD. This enables low resource container orchestration. LXD containers are ideal to run on low consumption devices closer to the customers.
  • Automatic NIC selection. This enhancement of the OpenNebula scheduler will alleviate the burden of VM/container Template management in edge environments where the remote hosts can be potentially heterogeneous, with different network configurations.
  • Distributed Data Centers. This feature is key for the edge cloud. OpenNebula now offers the ability to use bare metal providers to build remote clusters in a breeze, without needing to change the workload nature. We are confident that this is a killer feature that sets OpenNebula apart from the direct competitors in the space.
  • Scalability improvements. Orchestrating an edge cloud will be demanding in terms of the number of VMs, containers and hypervisors to manage. OpenNebula 5.8 brings to the table a myriad of improvements to the monitoring, pool management and GUI, to deliver a smooth user experience in large scale environments.

In perfect alignment with the Edge Nebula, the aim of OpenNebula 5.8, is to provide computing power on a wide geographic surface to offer services closer to customers, building a cloud managed from a single portal over very thin infrastructure.

The OpenNebula project would like to thank the community members and users who have contributed to this software release by being active with the discussions, answering user questions, or providing patches for bugfixes, features and documentation.

OpenNebula 5.8 Edge is considered to be a stable release, and as such an update is available in production environments.

Relevant Links

Packet has announced its Edge Alliance Program, in which OpenNebula is one of the Initial Program participants.  This collaboration has been picking up steam over the past year, as focus is taking shape on Edge computing, and both platforms see a natural synergy to provide innovative solutions.  OpenNebula is just minutes away from its new version release of 5.8 “Edge”, which among other edge-focused capabilities, like providing native support for lightweight LXD containers and Automatic NIC selection, offers the ability to use bare metal providers (like Packet) to build remote clusters and to easily create Disaggregated Data Center environments along the Edge.

Packet’s Edge Alliance Program is a bold step toward encouraging innovation and providing “free access to edge computing building blocks”.  The newly announced availability of two edge sites in Chicago (IL), and a site separately deployed near Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (MA) is just the beginning of their goal to launch 15 separate site locations in 2019. With the perfect timing of OpenNebula’s 5.8 Edge release, it will become second-nature to provision Packet bare-metal resources within your cloud.

Check out more details about Packet’s Edge Alliance Program, and get engaged!

And read here for more details on OpenNebula’s partnership with Packet.

OpenNebula-based Edge Platform to be presented in 2019 Mobile World Congress

With OpenNebula as a core component, CORD (Central Office Re-architectured as a Data Center) will be featured in Telefónica’s Edge Computing demos at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from February 25-28. Stop by Telefonica’s booth (Hall 3, Stand 3K31) to see the new generation of Central Offices that are fully IPv6 compliant and allow for the deployment of programmable services rather than the traditional black box solutions provided by proprietary solutions.

Telefónica’s CORD prototype aims to meet low-latency demands of the emerging Internet of Things ecosystem and to virtualize the access network and give third-party IoT application developers and content providers cloud-computing capabilities at the network edge.

You can find more details surrounding the solution in this Open CORD blog.
Below are some video presentations given by Telefónica on how OpenNebula forms a key element of their innovative solution:

Our calendar of events for 2019 is coming together!

Apart from our annual OpenNebula Conference in Barcelona on Oct. 21-22, 2019, and the scheduled public training courses, we have a confirmed itinerary of OpenNebula Technology Days.  These TechDays are hosted by partners and members of the User Community of OpenNebula, in partnership with OpenNebula Systems, and are completely FREE of charge.

OpenNebula TechDays for 2019:

  • May 8, 2019 – Barcelona, Spain – hosted by CSUC
  • May 16, 2019 – Sofia, Bulgaria – hosted by StorPool
  • June 11, 2019 – Cambridge, MA USA – hosted by OpenNebula Systems
  • September 11, 2019 – Frankfurt, Germany – hosted by Interactive Network and EuroCloud Germany
  • September 26, 2019 – Vienna, Austria – hosted by NTS

Watch this space! Additional TechDays may be added in the coming weeks.

Remember, OpenNebula TechDays are day-long educational and networking events to learn about OpenNebula.  Join our technical experts from OpenNebula Systems for a one-day, Hands-on workshop on cloud installation and operation. You’ll get a comprehensive overview of OpenNebula and will be equipped with the skills to take this back to your organization and implement right away.

Send us an email at events@opennebula.org if you are interested in speaking at one of the TechDays and register as soon as possible if you are interested in participating, seats are limited!

v.5.8 Release Candidate is available!

OpenNebula v.5.8 “Edge” is just about ready!  The Release Candidate is now available for download, which includes several bug fixes.

A huge thanks goes out to the User Community, as several of the bug fixes were found and brought to our attention by you!

For the latest details about what you can expect from v.5.8 Edge, read about it below:

Relevant Links

Alongside the OpenNebula 5.8 Beta 2 release, we are also publishing the 5.7.80 beta contextualization packages for the guest operating systems running in the virtual machines. Follow the download pages with the detailed release notes for Linux (and FreeBSD) and Windows. Packages are compatible with OpenNebula versions between 4.6 and 5.8 Beta 2.

You should use these packages if you want to try the very new features of OpenNebula 5.8 Beta. Namely, the LXD hypervisor or multiple managed IP addresses on a single vNIC. Naturally, there are also small fixes and improvements for the users of current stable OpenNebula versions.

With this beta version, we are excited to announce initial support for the FreeBSD guests! It’s now possible to run the FreeBSD virtual machines in the OpenNebula cloud and configure the network, SSH keys, user password, run custom start scripts, or report back via OneGate based on the provided contextualization parameters – most of the things you are used to from the supported Linux distributions. Moreover, we tried to reuse as much as possible from the current Linux contextualization code base. FreeBSD specific contextualization scripts are limited only to the network configuration. The rest of the scripts were adapted to play nicely in both worlds.

For a quick start, we are providing beta KVM images on our Marketplace for FreeBSD 11.2 and FreeBSD 12.0 with preinstalled beta contextualization packages. You can easily import these appliances into your OpenNebula and give it a try.

Please open a GitHub issue to report your bugs or feature requests!

 

Beta version 2 is ready!

You will have seen our communication a few weeks ago announcing the exciting release of OpenNebula v.5.8 “Edge” – Beta version, which has been available for download.  It was a first look at the exciting new capabilities on which we have been working with a focused attention on providing edge computing capabilities in OpenNebula, as well as bringing broad enhancements recommended by our User Community.

Now, we are excited to announce the release of our Beta Version 2.  We got some great feedback from the Community over the past few weeks. While we have addressed some code fixes, we also introduced a few additional features:

  • We have added a new option for searching and filtering VM’s.
  • From a vCenter perspective, the ability to migrate datastores and clusters is now operational.
  • And you can see below the template for LXD containers!!

Once again, here’s a reminder that this is a beta release.  Its aim is for testers and developers to try the new features, and to send more feedback for the final release. Also note that being a beta, there is no migration path from the previous stable version (5.6.1) nor a migration path to the final stable version (5.8.0). A list of open issues can be found in the GitHub development portal.

Relevant Links

 

ONE Service Appliances in the Marketplace

A short time ago we made a quick introduction to one of our recent efforts in OpenNebula – ONE service appliances. In particular, the CMS platform WordPress. It was just a short announcement in the forum to let you know that we started to expand the OpenNebula’s Marketplace. If you missed this news, you can take a quick look here: Release of WordPress 5.0 appliance

This new endeavor is not just about a preinstalled software package where every new installation/instantiation requires configuration – either by hand or via ansible/saltstack/chef/puppet or another automation tool of your choice. That would be too easy (for us) and not of much use for you. Eventually you may do some reconfiguration anyway to meet your needs, but we tried to make the appliance deployment as automated and straightforward for you as possible. For example, some appliances support username, password and email (where it makes sense) as a contextualization – you can deploy multiple of these appliances at once and each with its own credentials. But we don’t stop there. Even if you decide to not provide any contextualization at all, the appliance will still not have any passwords or sensitive security information baked inside the image. Every time you instantiate a ONE service appliance, it will first configure itself and generate a new set of credentials, tokens and similar, as needed.

For more general information about ONE service appliances, visit the documentation.

The aforementioned announcement serves as a sneak peak and we promised to give you more info about it and more appliances to play with. Let us first take a deeper look at the WordPress appliance. After that we will cover another new appliance – GitLab, the popular CI/CD platform for developers!

WordPress – Let’s write some blog!

We will now create yet another blog. All the necessary steps are in the documentation so you just need to follow the Quick Start first, but don’t leave the contextualization parameters empty. Instead, fill up the bootstrapping variables and save your time by avoiding the need to go through the setup wizard.

Bootstrapped WordPress:

Running WordPress

 

GitLab – It’s time to develop!

GitLab is definitively one of the most popular CI/CD tools these days and we are happy to include it in our marketplace. Again, all the necessary steps are described in the documentation – follow the Quick Start and before you instantiate, fill up the bootstrapping variables. If you fail to do so, GitLab will greet you with the prompt for password setup.

Bootstrapped GitLab:

GitLab login screen

 

This concludes our introduction to the first batch of ONE service appliances. Stay tuned for the next addition!

Do you have a tip for some other great service? Let us know what you think in the comment section!