OpenNebula Interoperability Working Group

OpenNebula has emerged as a viable open source alternative to commercial cloud management solutions. A number of companies are adopting OpenNebula in their IT infrastructure. Not only that, it is also been actively promoted by the European Commission as the basis for numerous cloud computing related research. There is a real need for interaction and exchange of ideas between such projects and the industry partners alike. The OpenNebula Interoperability Working Group has been established to facilitate such an exchange.

A lot of effort is being spent by various working groups in coming up with standards for cloud platform management. Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI), Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI), and Open Virtualization Format (OVF) are among the major open standards being developed for standardizing cloud management interfaces and cloud applications packaging. A lot of upcoming European projects that plan on using OpenNebula also have plans to support some of these open standards. A major thrust area of this working group will be to ensure maximum interoperability in the interfaces being developed by such projects.

The first interoperability working group teleconference took place on September 07 2011. Attending organizations included INRIA, OW2, UCM, XLab, and TU Dortmund. Other prominent research groups will be invited very soon to join in this interoperability effort. Hopefully, as a result of this working group’s effort, extensibility and re-usability of OpenNebula ecosystem products will be vastly improved.

Recently, we decided to make this group’s mailing list open to public. OpenNebula ecosystem members and users are invited to participate and follow the activities of this working group. The Interoperability mailing list will remain the primary mode of information dissemination. Periodic posts along with interesting how-to, API documentations, project showcases will be made available on the working group’s Wiki page.

OCCI 1.1 for OpenNebula

A recommendation for version 1.1 of the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) was recently released by the Open Grid Forum (OGF) (see OGF183 and OGF184). To add OCCI 1.1 support for OpenNebula, we created the Ecosystem project “OCCI for OpenNebula”. The goal of the project is to develop a complete, robust and interoperable implementation of OCCI 1.1 for OpenNebula.

Although the project is still in an early stage, today we released a first version that supports creating and deleting Virtual Networks, Images and Machines. Information on installation and configuration of the OCCI 1.1 extension can be found in the Wiki of the project.

Florian Feldhaus, Piotr Kasprzak – TU Dortmund

Cloud Interoperability and Portability with OpenNebula

OpenNebula 2.0 emphasizes interoperability and portability, providing cloud users and administrators with choice across most popular cloud interfaces, hypervisors and public clouds for hybrid cloud computing deployments, and with a flexible software that can be installed in any hardware and software combination. The functionality provided by the new version of OpenNebula and the components in its quickly growing ecosystem enable:

Because two data centers are not the same, building a cloud computing infrastructure requires the integration and orchestration of the underlying existing IT systems, services and processes. OpenNebula enables interoperability and portability, recognizing that our users have data-centers composed of different hardware and software components for security, virtualization, storage, and networking. Its open, architecture, interfaces and components provide the flexibility and extensibility that many enterprise IT shops need for internal cloud adoption. You only have to chose the right design and configuration in your Cloud architecture depending on your existing IT architecture and the execution requirements of your service workload.

Ignacio M. Llorente

OpenNebula Implements the OGF Open Cloud Computing Interface Draft Specification

Last Friday, the OpenNebula project announced the implementation of the OGF OCCI draft specification.  The release, that will be part of OpenNebula 1.4,  includes a server implementation, clients command for using the service and enabling access to the full functionality of the OCCI interface, and several supporting documents. The last version of this open source toolkit for cloud computing, available for download in beta release, also brings libvirt, EC2 Query API, and a powerful CLI, and all of them can be used on the same OpenNebula instance, so users can use their favorite interface. In fact, OpenNebula brings support to develop other Cloud interfaces. Moreover all those interfaces can be used on any of the virtualization technologies supported, Xen, KVM and VMware.

The Open Grid Forum (OGF) Open Cloud Computing Interface  (OCCI) Working Group was officially launched in April 2009 to deliver an interface specification for managing cloud infrastructure services, also known as Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS. This specification is being driven by the requirements in several use cases. The document Requirements and Use Cases for a Cloud API records the needs of IaaS Cloud computing managers and administrators in the form of Use Cases.

In the last days there has been an intensive discussion on the topic of IaaS Cloud interfaces. There are now three main players in the arena, the Amazon EC2 API, supported by the most well-known cloud computing provider, the VMware vCloud API, supported by the leader in virtualization and submitted to DMTF, and the OGF OCCI API, being defined by an open community in the Open Grid Forum. OpenNebula now implements two of them, EC2 and OCCI, and there is interest in the OpenNebula community in implementing the third interface, vCloud (after all, OpenNebula 1.4 supports VMware). However, the interest of OpenNebula as open-source community is not only to implement an interface specification controlled by a company, but also to contribute to its definition by providing feedback and playing an active role in subsequent versions. In this sense, OCCI-WG is the only open standard sanctioned by a standards body.

While some existing open-source technologies are just implementations of commercial products and interfaces, others open-source technologies such as OpenNebula, are powerful tools for innovation. A Cloud technology should not only be the implementation of an interface, standardized or not. OpenNebula, as technology being developed in the context of RESERVOIR European flagship project in cloud computing, provides many unique capabilities for the scalable and efficient management of the data center infrastructure. Those are the real differentiation in the cloud and virtualization market.

Ignacio Martin Llorente