Posts

OpenNebula book released!

I am pleased to announce that the first book on OpenNebula, rumored a few months ago, is finally available!

The book has been published by Packt Publishing and is a practical step-by-step guide for newcomers, including:

  • Planning the hardware infrastructure and keeping resources and hardware under monitoring
  • Installing OpenNebula, from sources or binary distribution and configuring it on your front-end host
  • Installing and configuring KVM, Xen and VMware ESXi on your hosts, building from sources when needed
  • Integrating with existing NAS/SAN infrastructure or providing flexible and scalable storage with distributed file-systems (GlusterFS, MooseFS)
  • Managing day to day virtual instances via both command-line and Sunstone web interfaces
  • Monitoring infrastructure continuously using Ganglia
  • Extending your private cloud with resources from Amazon EC2
  • Providing Cloud resources to external facilities through EC2 and OCCI interfaces

You can view the sample chapter and prefaces of the book, including the foreword section written by Ignacio M. Llorente and Rubén S. Montero on PacktLib (or you can download the sample chapter in PDF format).

OpenNebula shared storage with MooseFS

When running many VMs with persistent images, there is the need to have a shared storage behind OpenNebula hosts, with the purpose of faster recovery in case of host failure. However, SAN are expensive, and an NFS server or NAS can’t provide either performance or fault-tolerance.

A distributed fault-tolerant network filesystem takes easily place in this gap. This alternative provides shared storage without the need of a dedicated storage hardware and fault-tolerance capabilities by replicating your data across different nodes.

I am working at LiberSoft, and we evaluated the usage of two different opensource distributed filesystem, MooseFS and GlusterFS. A third choice could be Ceph, which is currently under heavy development and probably not so production-ready, but it certainly would be a good alternative in the near future.

Our choice fell on MooseFS because of its great expandability (you can add how many disks you want, any size you prefer) and its web monitor where you can easily check the status of your shared storage (replication status or disk errors). So we published on the Ecosystem section a new transfer manager and some basic instructions to get it working together with OpenNebula.

We had promising results during the testing deployment of 4 nodes (Gateway with 2x Xeon X3450, 12GB ram, 2x2TB SATA2 disks) for a private cloud at National Central Library of Florence (Italy), that will grow hence most Windows and Linux servers will get on the cloud in the next few months.

The requirements on this project were to use ordinary and affordable hardware and open-source software to avoid any possible vendor lock-in, with the purpose to lower energy consumption and hardware maintenance costs.