Clox, a Cost-Effective and Efficient Cloud Platform based on OpenNebula

It is beyond any doubt the advantages that Cloud Computing has brought. Today, most companies have the need to adopt this paradigm in order to stay competitive on the market. Big and some medium size companies choose to deploy their own Private Clouds, inside their facilities. This is not the case for small companies who usually deploy their services over Public Clouds. The security, adaptability and economic feasibility of using Public Clouds are huge issues, and this is the reason why big companies have Public Clouds out of the picture. Why rent something when you can own it?

private-vs-public-clouds

Are small companies wrong? Are they wrong to resign to Private Cloud? Not necessarily, because the initial costs and complexity of current Private Cloud solutions are huge drawbacks, so small companies either can’t afford it or it is not profitable. This is the reason why CloX came to live.

CloX is a solution for small companies, enabling them to easily and cheaply deploy their Private Clouds and stop depending on Public Clouds. It is based on OpenNebula and LXD, so you can expect an easy of use, fully featured cloud orchestrator with minimum overhead, great performance and reduced deployment times. CloX is meant to be deployed over Single Board Computers (SBCs) based on ARM processors providing low capital expenses and power consumption.

Besides Private Clouds, there are other areas where CloX can be helpful. This areas are:

  • Edge and Fog Computing:  The Internet of Things (IoT) devices explosion and the need for low processing times in some applications are making huge and centralized data-centers unable to handle the load. Edge and Fog Computing aim to solve this by placing computing capabilities at the network edge. Companies and researchers promote the use of “cloudlets” [1] although there is no general agreement on it’s architecture. CloX team is making an effort to prove CloX as a viable “cloudlet”.
  • High Performance Computing (HPC): The race towards achieving exaflop/s-capable systems is predicated on reaching this performance level within a 20MW power ceiling. Many researchers are trying to decrease this consumption [2]. In this paper, the authors conducted benchmarks towards an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform deployed with OpenStack over a Raspberry Pi cluster using LXC as hypervisor. The findings showed a performance degradation induced on the demanding HPC applications by the cloud middleware. By using OpenNebula and communicating with LXD directly over an API, which solves the causes for the performance degradation, CloX team expects much better results. Tests are pending, numbers will be shared once the benchmarkings are concluded.
  • Cloud simulations: A typical cloud data center usually contains tens of thousands of servers, making prohibitively expensive for an educational or research institution to construct one. Even a practical testbed consisting of a reasonable number of servers (say, 40 machines) can still be out of the reach for most researchers. Some researchers have instead focused on developing Cloud Computing simulators. While simulation has in the past been used to successfully model some of the underlying state of a target system (such as within network simulation), it fails to capture essential Cloud Computing properties in a number of ways. CloX might be used as a scale model of a data center. This idea was already proposed by the Glasgow University[3].

We would love to get feedback from OpenNebula’s community and people interested on the suggested topics. We welcome interested contributors.

 

[1] “Edge computing platforms and applications”, Mario Di Francesco

[2] “Performance Analysis of Cloud Environments on Top of Energy-Efficient Platforms Featuring Low Power Processors”, Valentin Plugaru – IEEE Conference Publication

[3] “The Glasgow Raspberry Pi Cloud: A Scale Model for Cloud Computing Infrastructures”, Fung Po Tso – IEEE Conference Publication

OpenNebula Newsletter – September 2017

A summary of the activity of the OpenNebula project this last month.

The OpenNebulaConf EU 2017 is around the corner! This month in Madrid, keynote speakers such as BlackBerry, Trivago, Runtastic and the Ministry of the Flemish community, as well as other prominent members of the OpenNebula community will be sharing their experiences with OpenNebula. There are limited seats, register ASAP!

Technology

A new maintenance release of OpenNebula, 5.4.1, has been released this month. This release introduces new functionality:

Also, multiple bugfixes related with vCenter and Sunstone, as well as in other subsystems has been fixed. Take a look at the release notes for an exhaustive list of changes introduced in this version.

Based on OpenNebula 5.4.1, the latest version of vOneCloud (3.0.2) has also been released, bringing all the new functionality to the best cloud manager on top of vCenter.

This month the team is set to prepare the roadmap for the next OpenNebula version, 5.6. It is the perfect time to let us know about the features you’d like to see in OpenNebula!.

Community

Having our community spread the word about OpenNebula is the best thing that can happen to an open source project. It was somewhat of a surprise to learn that in the AWS summit in Madrid,folks from Securitas Direct showcased their development cloud built on OpenNebula and Ansible. Pretty cool stuff!

#SecuritasDirect presenting their hybrid cloud environment based on @Ansible @OpenNebula @VMware @AWScloud and @Oracle VM #AWSSummit

Also, having long time partners like NodeWeavers winning relevant prizes fills us with pride and joy! Kudos from here and thanks a lot for believing in us!

Spanish native? You might enjoy this podcast on OpenNebula and other development related interesting things.

Outreach

The OpenNebulaConf EU will take place in Madrid, Spain, this October. You can check the agenda for more details, keynotes feature BlackBerry, Trivago, Runtastic and the Ministry of the Flemish community. Also, make sure you register if you’ll be on the area! Watch the talks in the YouTube playlist, download the slides or take a look to the pictures of the first US edition of the OpenNebulaConf that happened in Boston this past June.

This past month members of the OpenNebula team traveled to Ede in the Netherlands to give an OpenNebula TechDay, hosted by BIT.nl. It was a beautiful experience, we are always glad to see that the OpenNebula community in the Netherlands is one of the healthiest! You can check here the list of talks.

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Also, check out the list of official training from OpenNebula Systems for this year. If you are new to OpenNebula, or want to improve you knowledge with an in-depth OpenNebula admin course, those are the dates and locations you need to keep in mind.

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.

vOneCloud 3.0.2 released!

We want to let you know that OpenNebula Systems has just announced the availability of vOneCloud version 3.0.2.

vOneCloud 3.0.2 is based in OpenNebula 5.4.1 and as such it includes all the bug fixes and functionalities introduced in 5.4.1: OpenNebula 5.4.1 Release Notes.

vOneCloud 3.0.2 is a maintenance release with the following added functionality:

  • Scroll Bar in Sunstone VM Log.
  • Add boolean to option list for User Inputs in VM template.
  • Additional confirmation level for critical actions and VMs.
  • Add volatile disk should allow user to specify size in MB as well as GB.
  • Wild VMs should import NICs and Disks.
  • Ease DS selection on VM Template update and instantiation.
  • Add SCHEDULED ACTIONS to VM Templates.

Also, this version comes with numerous bugfixes:

  • Improve consistency of networks created when importing templates and wilds.
  • OpenNebula flow should only work on leader.
  • VM with ipv6 Error in ip6tables chain.
  • detach disks are not being delete if vm is running.
  • detach disk is not being properly applied.
  • After a successful datastore monitoring UNKNOWN VMs change to RUNNING.
  • Wrong message when doing a disk save as.
  • Wrong error msg when disk saveas without name.
  • Support spaces in VMDK names and dirnames.
  • vCenter VM NICs pointing to the same network are not correctly identified.
  • Skip vCenter VApps when importing templates as they are not supported.
  • GPRAPHICS PORT is not cleared after freeing it in the cluster vnc port pool.
  • Wrong import of vCenter VM Templates with NICs in Distributed vSwitches or Distributed Ports.
  • Registering image with complex URL in PATH fails.
  • Empty list of Zombie VMs.
  • VMs wrongly reported as ZOMBIES.
  • OpenNebula does not take into account VM NIC MAC value
  • A myiriad of Sunstone bugfixes and small revamps.

Relevant Links

New Maintenance Release 5.4.1

The OpenNebula team is mighty pleased to announce the availability of OpenNebula 5.4.1, a new maintenance release of the 5.4.x series.This version fixes some problems -specially relevant are those fixed for the vCenter integration- found since 5.4.0 and adds some functionality.

New functionality for 5.4.1 has been introduced:

The following issues has been solved in 5.4.1:

Relevant Links

OpenNebulaConf 2017 EU – Early Bird Reg Coming Up!

Here’s your friendly reminder that next Wednesday, September 20, is the deadline to purchase passes for the OpenNebulaConf 2017 EU in Madrid at the early bird price, which saves you 20% off full price passes.

Register NOW before the prices increase!. Please consider, space is limited, register asap.

Hope to see you all in Madrid at OpenNebulaConf!

OpenNebula Newsletter – August 2017

The OpenNebula monthly newsletter featuring highlights of the OpenNebula project. Learn about the latest developments, community and outreach of your favourite cloud manager.

Members of the OpenNebula team will be present in both editions of the VMworld 2017. Also, check the keynote speakers for the OpenNebulaConf EU 2017, in Madrid this October, including BlackBerry, Trivago, Runtastic and the Ministry of the Flemish community.

Technology

With OpenNebula Medusa 5.4 published this past July, the team is focusing now on the next maintenance release, 5.4.1, as well as preparing the roadmap for the next major release, OpenNebula 5.6. This is the perfect time to contribute your ideas to improve OpenNebula, this page from the project’s website lays out all the needed info (TL;DR create a request in the development portal).

If you were wondering how to add patches to them or build non stable versions this is your lucky month, since the team just published the package build repository, so everyone can build their own OpenNebula packages.

This month of August was also good news for vOneCloud users, with the release of vOneCloud 3.0.0 (and subsequent 3.0.1), which brings all the innovation introduced in OpenNebula 5.4. You can check the details in the release notes, the following are highlights of the new functionality in vOneCloud 3.0.0:

  • Enhanced storage management, vOneCloud is fully aware of all VMs disks. Non-persistent images and volatiles disks are now supported.
  • Storage quotas and datastore capacity check, never run out of capacity correctly dimensioning the available datastores and the storage quotas given to end users
  • Linked clone support, add support for linked clones for VMs at the time of importing a VM Template
  • Disk resize capabilities, resize the capacity of a VM disk at boot time or when the VM is in poweroff
  • Network creation support, a new vCenter network model is available in virtual network definition, standard and different port groups and vSwitches can be created from within OpenNebula. VLAN IDs, MTUs and number of ports can be specified when a port group is created.
  • Full storage and networking support in imported VM Templates, images and networks representing disks and network interfaces are created for VM templates and folder placement features.

Community

The team put a lot of effort in Medusa, and we want to thank you for the marvellous feedback received in the community forum, as well as the support given by the community to newcomers and people willing to upgrade their OpenNebula infrastructures.

It is also very welcome how people are keeping up to date with the latest releases. We hope you enjoying using OpenNebula as much as we enjoy developing it!

Integrations such as this one from UDS Enterprise gives indeed more flexibility to OpenNebula, with the ability to manage a VDI environment in an OpenNebula based infrastructure.

Release 5.2-4.1 of the LXDoNe OpenNebula addon has been released. LXDoNe add LXD management capabilities to OpenNebula, bringing container management to the cloud!

Outreach

The OpenNebulaConf EU will take place in Madrid, Spain, this October. The conference will be packed with very interesting talks about the real world uses of OpenNebula, check the agenda for more details, keynotes feature BlackBerry, Trivago, Runtastic and the Ministry of the Flemish community. Also, make sure you register if you’ll be on the area! The conference is a great place to learn about OpenNebula and cloud computing in general, don’t take our word for granted and watch the talks in the YouTube playlist, download the slides or take a look to the pictures of the first US edition of the OpenNebulaConf that happened in Boston this past June.

The next OpenNebula TechDay will happen in Vancouver after the summer break, the 1st of September, hosted by Best Buy Canada. The event is almost full, so if you are in the area make sure you register a soon as possible, or risk missing the opportunity!

vancouver
The OpenNebula team is going to feature a booth in both VMworlds this upcoming months. If you are going to attend, do not forget to come by the OpenNebula booth to see a live demo of the latest stable version (Medusa) of your favourite CMP and of vOneCloud (3.0.1):

  • VMworld 2017 US, August 27-31, Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center. Booth 1121.
  • VMworld 2017 Europe, September 11-14, Barcelona, Fira Gran Via. Booth E430.

Also, check out the list of official training from OpenNebula Systems for this year. If you are new to OpenNebula, or want to improve you knowledge with an in-depth OpenNebula admin course, those are the dates and locations you need to keep in mind.

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.

vOneCloud 3.0 Released – Full Storage and Network Support

OpenNebula Systems has just announced the availability of vOneCloud version 3.0. This is the first vOneCloud release that offers full storage and network management capabilities.

vOneCloud 3.0 is powered by OpenNebula 5.4.0 ‘Medusa’, and, as such, it includes functionality present in Medusa relevant to vOneCloud:

  • Enhanced storage management, vOneCloud is fully aware of all VMs disks. Non-persistent images and volatiles disks are now supported.
  • Storage quotas and datastore capacity check, never run out of capacity correctly dimensioning the available datastores and the storage quotas given to end users
  • Balance storage load of VMs across datastores automatically without the need of Storage DRS
  • Linked clone support, add support for linked clones for VMs at the time of importing a VM Template
  • Disk resize capabilitiesresize the capacity of a VM disk at boot time or when the VM is in poweroff
  • Save disk functionalityregister any VM disk as an image for later use in VMs, either directly from a VM Template or through the disk attach operation
  • Save as Template functionalitysave any VM as a VM Template at any point during its lifecycle
  • Folder management, define in which vCenter folder you want your VMs into, on a VM to VM basis.
  • Network creation support, a new vCenter network model is available in virtual network definition, standard and different port groups and vSwitches can be created from within OpenNebula. VLAN IDs, MTUs and number of ports can be specified when a port group is created.
  • Full storage and networking support in imported VM Templates, images and networks representing disks and network interfaces are created for VM templates and folder placement features.
  • Improved CDROM management, now a new CDROM drive is added to the VM if not present when an ISO image is attached
  • Imported VMs improvements, with the possibility of adding VNC to any imported VM.
  • Removed naming limitations, vCenter cluster and datastore names with spaces are now supported
  • Improved performance, up to two orders of magnitude of speedup in monitoring and import times, as well as less error prone synchronous calls to vCenter
  • Faster VM deployment, with up to 10 VM spinning up simultaneously per cluster
  • User input sorting, to ask information in the correct order to end users (for instance, username before password), and also new types (lists, booleans, etc)
  • Improved naming conventions, to allow importing resources with the same name in different vCenter locations
  • Numerous web interface enchancements, like automatic estimation of VM cost through the Showback mechanism, better VM information display in Cloud View, image upload resume option, improved user and group management dialogs and many more.
  • Better audit trail, now the history records of VMs includes the UID of the user that perfomed the action

Multiple bugfixes and documentation improvements have been included in this version. For instance, deleting SSH keys from cloud view, importing images with correct size, VM contextualization persistance across reboots, disk not removed if detached in poweroff state, context disk not displayed in Sunstone, skip import of resources if no permissions available, and a long list of other bugfixes and enhancements that can be consulted in the development portal.

OpenNebula Systems will run a booth at VMworld 2017 US in Las Vegas on August 27-31 and at VMworld 2017 EU in Barcelona on September 11-14 where they will demo the new version.

Upgrade to 3.0 from previous versions cannot be performed automatically. If you hold an active support subscription, please contact OpenNebula Systems to schedule a vOneCloud upgrade.

Relevant Links

TechDay Vancouver, 1 September 2017, hosted by Best Buy

This year our friends at BestBuy Canada have organized a TechDay in Vancouver. As usual there will be a 4-hour OpenNebula tutorial and in the evening we will learn about the new release and whatever question you may have. Hurry up and join us!

vancouver

OpenNebula Newsletter – July 2017

Check out the highlights of the OpenNebula project this last month regarding technology, community and outreach in this monthly newsletter of your favourite cloud management platform.

The agenda for the OpenNebulaConf EU 2017, in Madrid this October have been announced, including BlackBerry, Trivago, Runtastic and the Ministry of the Flemish community. Also, you can check the videos, pictures and slides of the OpenNebulaConf US 2017 in this post.

Technology

OpenNebula Medusa 5.4 is out in the wild, and the team is now analyzing carefully the feedback given by users to identify any issue with the release. So far things are looking good, the team will probably be releasing a 5.4.1 maintenance release in September to address the minor issues seen in the forum.

In Medusa, almost every component of OpenNebula has been reviewed to target usability and functional improvements, trying to keep API changes to a minimum to avoid disrupting ecosystem components. Three major features that are important to highlight follow.

An important focus has been on the vCenter integration, with an enhanced network and storage management. Also, new components have been added to improve the OpenNebula experience.

  • Full storage management. Non-Persistent images are now supported as well as volatile disks. OpenNebula is now aware of all VM disks and storage quotas can be enforced. Support for linked clones and Marketplace.
  • Full network management. It is now possible to create vCenter standard and distributed port groups and even vSwitches directly from within OpenNebula. You can assign a VLAN ID to a port group created by OpenNebula.
  • Improved monitoring. Up to two orders of magnitude of speedup.
  • An enhanced import process where naming limitations in imported resources has been removed and the ability to enable VNC automatically for Wild VMs.
  • Disk resizing, VM and Templates folder selection when a VM is deployed… and many more changes!

vcenter_vmdk_upload_sunstone_1
A new resource, the VM Groups, has been added to implement VM-VM and VM-Host affinity/anti-affinity rules. A VM group is a set of related virtual machines that may impose placement constraints based on affinity and anti-affinity rules. A VM group is defined as a set of Roles. A Role defines a VM type or class, and expressions to the VM Group can be added to define affinity between VM roles, or between VM and hosts. This ensures a dynamic approach to affinity/anti-affinity since new VMs can be enrolled to a particular Role at boot time, after the VM Group has been defined and other VMs added to it.

OpenNebula 5.4 brings to the table a native implementation of a consensus algorithm, which enables the High Availability deployment of the OpenNebula front-end without relying to third party components. This distributed consensus protocol provides fault-tolerance and state consistency across OpenNebula services.

And many other new features that can be checked out in the Medusa release notes.

The team is working now on a new release of vOneCloud, 3.0, which is going to bring all the excellence in vCenter management exposed by OpenNebula 5.4.

Community

Even in summer, the OpenNebula community does not go into vacation mode. It seems that it never sleeps

Spreading the word is a great support for the project, and it is very good news to learn how OpenNebula enables learning computer science and makes teachers jobs easier.

Software integrations with third party applications, like for instance this VDI (Disclaimer, tweet in spanish) really enriches the OpenNebula ecosystem.

Equally important are the maintenance of OpenNebula addons. Contributing an addon is great by all means, but maintaining it and extending the documentation, ie, keeping it alive, is what really makes it useful for future OpenNebula releases. This is why notices such as this new version of the LXDoNe or new documentation for the vCloud driver are very good news!

Outreach

The first ever OpenNebulaConf in the US was held this past June, in Boston to be precise. We had a lot of wonderful attendees and some really great speakers delivering really interesting talks and sharing their experiences. We would like to thank all attendees and speakers for their support. If you missed the conference, now you have a chance to watch the talks in the YouTube playlist, download the slides or take a look to the pictures of the conference.

The agenda for the next edition of the OpenNebulaConf EU that will take place in Madrid, Spain, this October. The conference will be packed with very interesting talks about the production use of OpenNebula, so make sure you register if you’ll be on the area!

conf_mad
The next OpenNebula TechDay will happen in Vancouver after the summer break, the 1st of September, hosted by Best Buy. The event is almost full, so if you are in the area make sure you register a soon as possible, or risk missing the opportunity!

The OpenNebula team is going to feature a booth in both VMworlds this year. If you are going to attend, do not forget to come by the OpenNebula booth to see a live demo of the latest stable version of your favourite CMP:

  • VMworld 2017 US, August 27-31, Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center. Booth 1121.
  • VMworld 2017 Europe, September 11-14, Barcelona, Fira Gran Via. Booth E430.

Also, check out the list of official training from OpenNebula Systems for this year. If you are new to OpenNebula, or want to improve you knowledge with an in-depth OpenNebula admin course, those are the dates and locations you need to keep in mind.

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 5.4 ‘Medusa’ is Out!

The OpenNebula project is proud to announce the availability of the stable release of OpenNebula 5.4 ‘Medusa’. Medusa is the third release of the OpenNebula 5 series. A significant effort has been applied in this release to enhance features introduced in 5.2 Excession, while keeping an eye in implementing those features more demanded by the community.

As usual almost every component of OpenNebula has been reviewed to target usability and functional improvements, trying to keep API changes to a minimum to avoid disrupting ecosystem components. An important focus has been on the vCenter integration, with an enhanced network and storage management. Also, new components have been added to improve the OpenNebula experience.

A major overhaul has been applied to the vCenter integration. The team decided to go all the way and level the vCenter integration with the KVM support. This means:

  • Full storage management. Non-Persistent images are now supported as well as volatile disks. OpenNebula is now aware of all VM disks and storage quotas can be enforced. Support for linked clones and Marketplace.
  • Full network management. It is now possible to create vCenter standard and distributed port groups and even vSwitches directly from within OpenNebula. You can assign a VLAN ID to a port group created by OpenNebula.
  • Improved monitoring. Up to two orders of magnitude of speedup.
  • An enhanced import process where naming limitations in imported resources has been removed and the ability to enable VNC automatically for Wild VMs.
  • Disk resizing, VM and Templates folder selection when a VM is deployed… and many more changes!

disk_resizing

A new resource, the VM Groups, has been added to implement VM-VM and VM-Host affinity/anti-affinity rules. A VM group is a set of related virtual machines that may impose placement constraints based on affinity and anti-affinity rules. A VM group is defined as a set of Roles. A Role defines a VM type or class, and expressions to the VM Group can be added to define affinity between VM roles, or between VM and hosts. This ensures a dynamic approach to affinity/anti-affinity since new VMs can be enrolled to a particular Role at boot time, after the VM Group has been defined and other VMs added to it.

 

 

vmg_wizard_create

To top it all, OpenNebula 5.4 brings to the table a native implementation of a consensus algorithm, which enables the High Availability deployment of the OpenNebula front-end without relying to third party components. This distributed consensus protocol provides fault-tolerance and state consistency across OpenNebula services. A consensus algorithm is built around two concepts, System State -the data stored in the database tables- and Log -a sequence of SQL statements that are consistently applied to the OpenNebula DB in all servers-. To preserve a consistent view of the system across servers, modifications to system state are performed through a special node, the leader. The servers in the OpenNebula cluster elects a single node to be the leader. The leader periodically sends heartbeats to the other servers (follower*) to keep its leadership. If a leader fails to send the heartbeat, followers promote to candidates and start a new election. This feature, with support from floating IPs and a proper Sunstone configuration, gives robustness to OpenNebula clouds. This new functionality of distributed system state is also used to implement OpenNebula federation. In both cases (Federation and HA) no support is needed from MySQL to create a clustered DB, so admins can forget about MySQL replication.

There are many other improvements in 5.4, like improved VM lifecycle, flexible resource permissions, life disk resizing, improved Ceph support, enhanced disk I/O feedback, showback cost estimate in Sunstone, flexible IPv6 definition, http proxy support for marketplace, purge tools for the OpenNebula database, resource group isolation, multiple Sunstone improvements (VNC, password dialogs, confirmation dialogs, better vCenter support, persistent labels, usability enhacenents), networking improvements, user inputs in OneFlow and many many more features to enrich your cloud experience. As with previous releases, and in order to achieve a reliable cloud management platform, the team has gone great lengths to fix reported bugs and improve general usability.

This OpenNebula release is named after the Medula Nebula, a large planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini on the Canis Minor border. It also known as Abell 21 and Sharpless 2-274. It was originally discovered in 1955 by UCLA astronomer George O. Abell, who classified it as an old planetary nebula. The braided serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggests the serpent hair of Medusa found in ancient Greek mythology.

OpenNebula 5.4 Medusa is considered to be a stable release and as such, and update is available in production environments.

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.

The VM Groups functionality, the configurable semantics of the VM operations permissions (ADMIN, MANAGE and USE) and the improved VM history functionality were funded by BlackBerry in the context of the Fund a Feature Program. The configurable image persistency setting and the new Non-SLAAC IPv6 Address Range were funded by University of Louvain.

Relevant Links