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OpenNebula Supports the Amazon EC2 Query API on VMware-based Cloud Infrastructures

This is the first post I am writing to illustrate the main novelties of the new version of the OpenNebula Virtual Infrastructure Manager. OpenNebula is an open-source toolkit for building Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud infrastructures based on Xen, KVM and VMware virtualization platforms. OpenNebula v1.4 is available in beta release, incorporating bleeding edge technologies and innovations in many areas of virtual infrastructure management and Cloud Computing.

While previous versions concentrated on functionality for Private and Hybrid Cloud computing, this new version incorporates a new service to expose Cloud interfaces to Private or Hybrid Cloud deployments, so providing partners or external users with access to the private infrastructure, for example to sell  overcapacity. The new version brings a new framework to easily develop Cloud interfaces, and implements as example a subset of the Amazon EC2 Query API. The OpenNebula EC2 Query is a web service that enables users to launch and manage virtual machines in an OpenNebula installation through the Amazon EC2 Query Interface. In this way, besides the Openebula CLI or the new libvirt interface, users can use any EC2 Query tool or utility to access your Private Cloud.

The OpenNebula team is also developing the RESERVOIR Cloud interface and is planning to develop the OGF OCCI API. Moreover, as it is stated in its Ecosystem page, the team will also collaborate with IaaS Cloud providers interested in an open-source implementation of their Cloud interface to foster adoption of their Cloud services.

Other new interesting feature is the support for VMware. The VMware Infrastructure API provides a complete set of language-neutral interfaces to the VMware virtual infrastructure management framework. By targeting the VMware Infrastructure API, the OpenNebula VMware adaptors are able to manage various flavors of VMware hypervisors: ESXi, ESX and VMware Server.

The combination of both innovations allows the creation of a Cloud infrastructure based on VMware that can be interfaced using Amazon EC2 Query API. I will cover more unique features and capabilities in upcoming posts.

Ignacio Martín Llorente

Interoperation between Cloud Infrastructures

A Distributed Virtual Infrastructure (VI) Manager is responsible for the efficient management of the virtual infrastructure as a whole, by providing functionality for deployment, control and monitoring of groups of interconnected Virtual Machines (VMs) across a pool of resources. An added functionality of these management tools is the dynamic scaling of the virtual infrastructure with resources from remote providers, so seamless integrating remote Cloud resources with in-house infrastructures. This novel functionality allows to add and remove capacity in order to meet peak or fluctuating service demands, so providing the foundation for interoperation between Cloud infrastructures. The distributed virtual infrastructure would run on top of a geographically distributed physical infrastructure consisting of resources from the private cloud and several external cloud providers.

Following the terminology defined by the Grid community for getting Grids to work together, we use the term interoperation for the set of techniques to get production Cloud infrastructures to work together using adapters and gateways. While interoperability would refer to the ability of Cloud infrastructures to interact directly via common open standards.

Since release 1.0, OpenNebula distribution includes the plugins required to supplement local resources with Amazon EC2 resources to satisfy peak or fluctuating demands. This novel feature has been illustrated in several use cases for computing clusters and web servers. The open and flexible architecture of OpenNebula makes quite simple to create new plugins to access other cloud providers. In order to illustrate this and to provide KVM users with an utility access to remote resources, the OpenNebula team has just released the plugins required to dynamically grow the infrastructure using ElasticHosts resources. ElasticHosts is the world’s first public cloud based upon KVM, providing scalable and flexible virtual server capacity for cloud hosting. An interesting result is that a private infrastructure could dynamically grow using resources from different Cloud providers according to provisioning policies based on resource availability, performance, costs, availability…

The release of these new plugins represents a new step towards an open-source framework for cloud infrastructure federation, which is one of the main goasl of the Reservoir project, European research initiative in virtualized infrastructures and cloud computing.

Ignacio Martín Llorente