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How To Efficiently Derive Value From VMware Integrated OpenStack

One of our recent posts on this blog covered how VMware Integrated Openstack (VIO) can be deployed in less than 15 minutes thanks to an easy and friendly wizard-driven deployment.

That post has also mentioned that recent updates have been added to VIO that focus on its ease of use and consumption, including the integration with your existing vSphere environment.

 

This article will explore in greater detail the latter topic and will focus on two features that are designed to help customers start deriving value from VIO quickly.


vSphere Templates as OpenStack Images

 

An OpenStack cloud without any image is like a physical server without an operating system – not so useful!

 

One of the first elements you want to seed your cloud with is images so users/developers can start building applications. In a private cloud environment, cloud admins will want to expose a list of standard OS (Operating System, not OpenStack…) images to be used to that end, in other words OS master images.

 

When VIO is deployed on top of an existing vSphere environment, these OS master images are generally already present in the virtualization layer as vSphere templates and a great deal of engineering hours have gone into creating and configuring those images to reflect the very own needs of a given corporate organization in terms of security, compliance or regulatory requirements – OS hardening, customization, agents installation, etc…

 

What if you were able to reuse those vSphere templates and turn them into OpenStack images and hence preserve all of your master OS configurations across all of your cloud deployments?

VIO supports this capability out of the box (see diagram below) and enables users to leverage their existing vSphere templates by adding them to their OpenStack deployment as Glance images, which can then be booted as OpenStack instances or used to create bootable Cinder volumes.

 

The beauty of this feature is that it is done without copying the template into the Glance data-store. The media only exists in one place (the original data-store where the template is stored) and we will actually create a “pointer” from the OpenStack image object towards the vSphere template thus saving us from the tedious and possibly lengthy process of copying media from one location to another (OS images tend to be pretty large in corporate environments).

 

This feature is available through the glance CLI only and here are the high-level steps that need to be performed to create an image:

– First: create an OpenStack image

– Second: note that image ID and specify a location pointing towards the vSphere template

– Third: in the images section of the Horizon dashboard for example, a new image will show up called “corporate-windows-2012-r2” from which instances can be launched.

Note: cloud admins will have to make sure those OS images have the cloud-init package installed on them before they can be fully used in the OpenStack environment. If cloud-init needs to be installed, this can be done either pre- or post- the import process into Glance.

Run the video below for a detailed tutorial on the configuration steps, including CLI commands:

Finally, here’s the section in the official configuration guide: http://tinyurl.com/hx4z4jt


Importing vSphere VMs into OpenStack

 

A frequent request from customers deploying VIO on their existing vSphere implementation is “Can I import my existing VMs into my OpenStack environment?”

 

The business rationale for this request is that IT wants to be consistent and offer a similar level of service and user experience to both the new applications deployed through the OpenStack framework as well as the existing workloads currently running under a vSphere management plane “only”. They basically want users in charge of existing applications to enjoy capabilities such as self-service, lifecycle management, automation, etc…and hence avoid creating a two-tier IT offering.

 

VIO supports this capability by allowing users to quickly import vSphere VMs into VIO and start managing them as instances through standard OpenStack APIs. This feature is also available through CLI only and leverages the newly released VMware DCLI toolset.

 

Here are the high-level steps for importing an existing VM under OpenStack:

– First, list the “Unmanaged” VMs in vCenter (ie unmanaged by VIO)

– Import one of those VMs into a specific project/tenant in OpenStack

– The system will then generate a UUID for the newly created instance and the instance will show up in Horizon where it can be managed like any other running one.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that those features will make you want to go ahead and discover VIO!

If you’re ready to deploy OpenStack today, download it now and get started, or dare your IT team to try our VMware Integrated OpenStack Hands-On-Lab, no installation required.


This article was written by Hassan Hamade a Cloud Solution Architect at VMware in the EMEA SDDC technology practice team. 

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