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Monthly Archives: May 2015

How “Open” is VMware Integrated OpenStack?

VMware is dedicated to enabling customers and partners to have successful deployments of OpenStack with our technologies. We would like to share with you the work that we have done up to this point as well as our plans for future work with the OpenStack community.

VMware’s Contributions to the OpenStack Community

VMware has a history of open source contributions to the OpenStack community starting in 2010: initially, via the Nicira team’s work on Open vSwitch and Neutron and eventually via other projects including Nova, Cinder, Glance, Ceilometer, and Congress. We will continue to contribute to new and existing projects that may be of use to customers and partners who are deploying OpenStack on VMware.

Figure 1: VMware’s History with OpenStack

Figure 1: VMware’s History with OpenStack

VMware Integrated OpenStack Design

From the inception of the VMware Integrated OpenStack project, our goals were to

  1. Provide an OpenStack solution that is simpler, yet powerful, for VMware Administrators to deploy and operate.

  2. Provide a standard OpenStack experience that developers would be accustomed to with NO VENDOR LOCK-IN.

Our first goal was inspired by the challenges some IT organizations encounter when deploying OpenStack in production. The second goal arose from our desire to serve the needs of application developers in a consistent manner regardless of which platform their workloads end up on.

“Wait a minute, VMware! You want to make it easy to transition between OpenStack distributions…including from your own to someone else’s?!”  Well, the answer is “Yes”. There is no lock-in with VMware Integrated OpenStack.  Your usual OpenStack API calls and Heat Orchestration Template conventions apply to our platform just as well as to any others.

The only significant difference in the developer experience is in the area of image formats since our platform currently utilizes OVA, VMDK, and ISO disk formats with Glance.  However, tools exist to convert from other formats to our own (ex: qemu-img to convert qcow2 to vmdk). Also, significant community work has been done in the area of image building with projects like Diskimage Builder and Packer that users can leverage to automatically generate a VMware-compatible image relatively quickly.

One more important thing to note here is that our Compute, Network, and Storage drivers are all shared with the community, and we follow OpenStack community processes during the course of development including code reviews. Since our drivers are open source, this means that when partners integrate VMware clusters in a multi-hypervisor OpenStack deployment, they are using the very same drivers that we leverage in VMware Integrated OpenStack.

OpenStack Foundation Standardization

The OpenStack Foundation has an understandable desire to limit fragmentation and to maintain a uniform experience for users regardless of the distribution they use. This ensures interoperability for users between different OpenStack distributions. For example, automation tools that leverage the OpenStack APIs should work equally as well on VMware Integrated OpenStack as they would on any other OpenStack distribution. In order to achieve this goal, the DefCore Committee “sets base requirements by defining 1) capabilities, 2) code and 3) must-pass tests for all OpenStack products. This definition uses community resources and involvement to drive interoperability by creating the minimum standards for products labeled “OpenStack.” – DefCore Homepage

VMware not only aims to comply with DefCore standards; we are also actively participating in the DefCore process itself because we believe in openly-developed standards and open API’s to drive interoperability.  Our track record of commits and reviews on the DefCore project repository (VMware was the 3rd leading contributor in the Kilo timeframe) shows our dedication to providing a standard OpenStack experience for all users.

VMware has proactively run DefCore tests on VMware Integrated OpenStack, and we are excited by the results we have been getting.  You can examine the unofficial results from one of our DefCore test runs for yourself. We look forward to the Foundation evaluating our official submission in the meantime.

Do you have any questions about VMware Integrated OpenStack?  If you will be at the Vancouver OpenStack Summit, we’d love to discuss them with you in-person. Otherwise, you can reach us on the Community Forums or on Twitter.

SwiftStack & VMware Integrated OpenStack

Summary: A scalable, production grade object storage solution for VMware Integrated OpenStack

Object storage provides applications, especially cloud style applications, a simple and scalable solution to store and retrieve unstructured data (such as photos, videos, audio files, disk backups and more).

SwitftStack Image

Swift brings object storage capabilities to OpenStack. Swift provides REST APIs that can be leveraged by applications deployed on OpenStack as well as some of the OpenStack services to manage objects. A few common use cases for Swift are:

  • Glance Backend: Swift can be configured as the backend for Glance; images uploaded to Glance will be stored in the Swift object store.
  • Cinder Backups: Cinder can be configured to store volume backups in the Swift object store.
  • Application Storage: Applications can use the Swift APIs to access a scalable and distributed object store to manage their unstructured data.

VMware Integrated OpenStack enables IT admins to quickly and easily deploy and operate a production grade OpenStack cloud on top of their existing VMware software-defined datacenter infrastructure, while giving developers the standard OpenStack APIs on a reliable platform. A key attribute of any OpenStack distribution is the ability remain open for partners to integrate their solutions with the distribution, thereby providing customers with the ability leverage a vast ecosystem to build a cloud based on their requirements and use cases.

SwiftStack provides a simple way to deploy, operate and monitor an enterprise-ready instance of OpenStack Swift. By integrating with SwiftStack, VMware Integrated OpenStack provides customers with the choice of providing object storage alongside rest of the standard OpenStack services (Nova, Cinder, Glance, Neutron and Heat). SwiftStack provides the following deployment options for Swift in VMware Integrated OpenStack.

  • Swift Virtual Appliance: Swift nodes deployed as virtual appliances on VMware vSphere. The virtual disks (backed by vSphere Datastores) within the appliance will be used as the storage backend. This can be scaled up to 10 terabytes of storage and is recommended for test and development workloads.
  • Bare Metal: SwiftStack systems are deployed on bare metal hardware with direct access to individual spinning drives and/or solid state drives. This solution scales beyond 10 terabytes of storage and is recommended for production grade object storage solution for enterprise cloud applications.
Architecture: SwiftStack with VMware Integrated OpenStack (Courtesy: SwiftStack)

Architecture: SwiftStack with VMware Integrated OpenStack (Courtesy: SwiftStack)

To find out how to deploy SwiftStack with VMware Integrated OpenStack refer to the solution brief, deployment guide and demo video under the VMware section at https://swiftstack.com/partners/.

Time to start throwing some objects at VMware Integrated OpenStack!

Santhosh Sundararaman
Product Manager, VMware Integrated OpenStack

VMware @ OpenStack Summit Vancouver

OpenStack Summit Logo2015 is turning out to be incredible year for VMware and OpenStack. We released VMware Integrated OpenStack 1.0 in March 2015 and it has received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response across our customer base. Building on the momentum, VMware team is looking forward to the upcoming Vancouver OpenStack Design Summit, May 18-22. We have an exciting line up of sessions presenting great customer success stories, exciting product features and vibrant ecosystem around VMware and OpenStack.

Here are some of the sessions to add to your schedule, with the full list available here:

Monday, May 18

Tuesday, May 19

Wednesday, May 20

Thursday, May 21

See you at the summit.

The VIO Team