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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.

This entry was posted in OpenStack Foundation, OpenStack on VMware, OpenStack Summit, VMware Integrated OpenStack on by .
Trevor Roberts Jr.

About Trevor Roberts Jr.

Trevor Roberts, Jr. is the Senior Technical Marketing Manager for OpenStack at VMware and the lead author of the VMware Press title, “DevOps for VMware Administrators". He enjoys speaking to customers and partners about the benefits of using OpenStack with VMware technologies. In his spare time, Trevor shares his insights on data center technologies via the VMware Blogs and on Twitter (@VMTrooper). His contributions to the IT community have garnered recognition by his designation as a VMware vExpert, Cisco Data Center Champion, and EMC Elect.

2 thoughts on “How “Open” is VMware Integrated OpenStack?

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