Open Source OpenNebula Technical Unify Multi-Cloud Operations VMware Cloud on AWS

Exploring Eco-System Partners for VMware Cloud on AWS: Part 7: OpenNebula

Customer Challenge:

The time when you could ignore cloud computing is long behind us. Cloud services have become a cornerstone in delivering and managing enterprise infrastructures. With the surging growth of data volumes, and the rapid onset of networking limitations, privacy considerations, and the mounting discussion around Edge computing, the question is no longer “Do I need a private cloud solution?” but rather, “What’s the best cloud solution for me?” For organizations using VMware, the conversation has shifted to:

  • How do I effectively turn my vSphere environment into a private cloud?
  • How can I best manage multiple data centers?
  • What’s the best way to exploit the benefits of established public cloud offerings and seamlessly integrate them with my private, on-premises cloud?


OpenNebula is an open source solution for building private clouds and managing data center virtualization – one that has fully supported VMware since 2011, and which stands out for its simplicity and flexibility. What many find enticing about OpenNebula is the overarching orchestration it provides to a broad collection of infrastructure resources. For those who have distributed collections of vCenter instances across multiple data centers in varying geographical locations, a single instance of OpenNebula offers a simple and comprehensive management hub, providing provisioning, elasticity and multi-tenancy cloud features across the entire infrastructure.

And in circumstances where users have the need to augment their on-premises cloud infrastructure, OpenNebula on VMware Cloud on AWS allows for native, on-demand provisioning of remote vSphere-based cloud resources on AWS, creating a completely integrated cloud with resources both on-premises and in the cloud, centrally and simply managed through OpenNebula.

Solution Deep Dive:

As an enterprise-solution, OpenNebula is ideal for companies interested in creating a self-service cloud environment on top of their existing VMware infrastructure, thus eliminating any need to retool the entire stack. In these environments, OpenNebula seamlessly integrates with existing vCenter infrastructures, leveraging advanced features – such as vMotion, HA or DRS scheduling – and ultimately creating a multi-tenant, cloud-like provisioning layer, including features like virtual data centers, data center federation and hybrid cloud computing to connect in-house vCenter infrastructures with public clouds. It provides one simple orchestration layer to manage diverse physical and virtual infrastructure resources, allowing users to provision, manage, and secure multiple vCenter clusters across multiple locations, and even across both local vCenter resources as well as remote vSphere resources in VMware Cloud on AWS. So, as users see the ongoing need to expand (and sometimes reduce) their cloud infrastructure, OpenNebula allows for dynamic resource provisioning – within moments.

OpenNebula interacts with vCenter instances by interfacing with its SOAP API. This API allows remote communication, enabling architectures where the OpenNebula instance and the vCenter environment are remotely located. A single OpenNebula instance can orchestrate several vCenter instances remotely located in the hybrid cloud environment. Connectivity between data centers needs to have low latency in order to have a reliable management of vCenter from OpenNebula (see Figure 1).


Figure 1

When administration domains need to be isolated or the interconnection between data centers does not allow a single controlling entity, OpenNebula can be configured in a federation. Each OpenNebula instance of the federation is called a “zone”, one configured as master and the others as slaves. This tightly coupled integration, while a federated OpenNebula environment, shares the same user accounts, groups, and permissions configuration (see Figure 2).


Figure 2

Ultimately, OpenNebula makes managing and administering VMware infrastructures across hybrid cloud environment a simple task. With its singular orchestration layer, and its native integration with the vSphere product family to create enterprise-ready clouds, this open source solution is a complete “value add” to any organization.

Additional Resources:

To learn more, here are some additional resources about our offering on VMware Cloud on AWS:

Additional information about OpenNebula:

OpenNebula has been a VMware Partner and exhibitor at the annual VMworld conferences for the past 4 years, and will likewise do so at: