VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) offers a simple but powerful path to deploying OpenStack clouds and is a clear win for developers. But what about the operations side?
Presenting at the 2016 OpenStack Summit, VMware’s Santhosh Sundararaman and Isa Berisha and Thomas McAteer of HedgeServ, the #1 provider of technical management services to the hedge fund industry, make the case for VIO from an operator’s perspective.
Their session opens with HedgeServ Global Director of Platform Engineering Isa Berisha describing how the company uses OpenStack and why it picked VIO to run HedgeServ’s OpenStack deployment.
Adopting OpenStack was the company’s best option for meeting the rapidly escalating demand it was facing, Berisha explains. But his team were stymied by the limitations of the professional and managed services OpenStack deployments available to them, which were rife with issues of quality, expense, speed-of-execution, and vendor instability. Eventually they decided try VIO, despite it being new at that point and little known in the industry.
“We downloaded it, deployed it, and something crazy happened: it just worked,” recalls Berisha. “If you’ve tried to do your own OpenStack deployments, you can understand how that feels.”
HedgeServ now uses VIO to run up to 1,000 large window instances (averaging 64GB) managed by a team of just two. vSphere and ESXi’s speed and their ability to handle hosts of up to 10TB of RAM and hundreds of physical cores have been key elements of HedgServ’s success so far, explains senior engineer McAteer. But VIO’s storage and management capabilities have also been essential, as is its stability and the fact that it’s backed by VMware support and easily upgraded and updated live.
Simplifying operations around OpenStack and making it easier to maintain OpenStack in a production deployment has been a major focus for VMware’s VIO development team, adds VMware product manager Sundararaman in the second half of the presentation.
“There are a lot of workflows that we’ve added to make it really easy to operate OpenStack,” he says.
As an example, Sundararaman demos VIO’s OpenStack upgrade process, showing how it’s achieved entirely via the VIO control panel in a vSphere web client plugin. VIO uses the blue-green upgrade paradigm to stand up a completely new control plane based on the new distribution, he explains, and then migrates the data and configurations from the old to the new control plane, while leaving the deployed workloads untouched.
“We ran and upgraded VIO from 1.0 to 2.0 without talking to Santhosh,”” adds McAteer. “That’s a big deal in the OpenStack world but it just, again, worked. The blue-green nature of the upgrade path really makes that very easy.”
View the VMware + HedgeServ OpenStack Summit session here.