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VMware Integrated OpenStack 6.0: What’s New




VMware recently announced VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) 6.0. We are truly excited about our latest OpenStack distribution as this release enables customers to take advantage of advancements in the upstream Stein release including support for Cinder generic volume groups, improved admin panels, and security improvements throughout the stack.

For our Telco customers, VIO 6.0 delivers scale and availability for hybrid applications across VM and container-based workloads using a single VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Manager). VIO 6.0 is built with a Kubernetes-managed high availability control plane built on top of VMware SDDC, providing resilience in addition to availability. Upgrades from VIO 5.1 to VIO 6.0 is seamless with zero data plane downtime. We are super excited to bring these features in VIO 6.0!


VIO 6.0 Feature Details:

Advanced Kubernetes Support:

Kubernetes-powered OpenStack control plane: VIO 6.0 is now intent based running on top of a dedicated Kubernetes cluster. The intent-based design allows the VIO control plane to self-heal from failures. Since OpenStack services are now deployed as pods in Kubernetes, the new intent-based control plane also allows VIO components to be horizontally scaled up or down seamlessly and independently of one another. The new control plane architecture achieves a lower out-of-the-box footprint while allowing cloud admins to easily expand capacity.

Tenant-facing Kubernetes: In addition to providing a Kubernetes managed control plane, VIO provides tenant facing clusters powered by Essential PKS. A reference implementation using Heat is available for download from github. The Heat stack is intended to accelerate Essential PKS on VIO. The Heat stacks are open source software and provide support for either native integration with NSX-T using NCP (NSX Container Plugin) or Calico (v3.7) networking.

Feature Enhancements:


  • New multi-attach feature allows a volume to be attached to multiple instances at once
  • vSphere First Class Disk (FCD) support:
    • FCD does away with the need for shadow VM’s to house unattached Cinder volumes
    • Faster than VMDK driver for most operations
    • Compliments the existing VMDK driver: FCD can be enabled as an optional secondary backend
    • Users can create traditional VMDK or FCD volumes using volume types

IPv4 / IPv6 and Dual Stack Support:

  • Dual stack IPv4/IPv6 for Nova instances, Neutron security groups & routers
  • Support IPv6 with NSX-T 2.5 and NSX-P Neutron plugin
  • IPv6 addressing modes: static, SLAAC
  • Static IPv6 routing on Neutron routers
  • IPv6 support for FWaaS


  • Federation support using JSON Web Tokens (JWT)

OpenStack at Scale:

VIO 6.0 features seamlessly scaling OpenStack services to meet changes in demand and load. VIO 6 supports horizontally scaling the controllers as well as the pods that are run in those controllers. An out of the box compact deployment uses only one controller and an out of the box HA deployment uses three controllers, but users can scale up to a maximum of 10 controllers with a few clicks or CLI commands. This provides increased flexibility for cloud admins to right-size their deployments according to their needs. The ability to scale controller nodes provides for simple expansion of capacity for higher-load environments. VIO 6.0 supports scale out of individual OpenStack services by increasing pod replica counts. OpenStack services can be scaled out with just few clicks from the UI or a command from CLI without affecting other services or causing data plane downtime.

Essential PKS on OpenStack:

  • Provides a hybrid VM and container platform that combines best of breed components.
  • OpenStack and Kubernetes APIs for workloads, cluster and resource lifecycle management
  • Ability to deploy Essential PKS with OpenStack Heat for a native OpenStack experience and repeatable cluster creation
  • OpenStack multi-tenancy for more secure separation of container workloads
  • VMware Certified Kubernetes distribution, support and reference architecture with Essential PKS

Enhanced Management Tools:

  • viocli rewritten in Golang, new enhancements added
  • Bash completion and CLI shortcuts added to Life Cycle Manager
  • HTML5 WebUI:
    • No dependency on vCenter Web Plugin
    • Native Clarity theme provides a congruent user experience for VMware admins

Photon 3:

  • VIO control plane VM’s now use VMware Photon OS 3, a lightweight, secure, container-optimized Linux distribution backed by VMware
  • Containers are also built on Photon OS 3 base images

Industry-standard API’s:

  • Proprietary OMS API’s replaced with standard Kubernetes API’s and extensions
  • Many parts of VIO can optionally be managed with kubectl commands in addition to viocli
  • Cluster API responsible for additional VM bringup/management


Automated VIO Backups: Cloud administrators can schedule backups of the VIO control plane to a vSphere Content Library

Lifecycle Management: VIO provides lifecycle management for OpenStack components including deployment, patching, upgrade (with NO data plane downtime) and rich day-2 operations via Kubernetes deployment rollouts.

Versioning:  VIO 6.0 comes with built-in versioning of configuration and config version control for control plane configuration changes.

Clarity Theme:  VIO 6.0 Horizon now ships with a Clarity theme. The VIO 6.0 life cycle manager web interface also uses Clarity to familiar look and feel for vSphere administrators.

OpenStack Helm:  VIO 6.0 uses OpenStack-Helm for deploying OpenStack components. OpenStack-Helm is an OpenStack community project that provides deployment tooling for OpenStack based on the Helm package manager, which is a CNCF project.

OpenStack-Helm provides benefits such as:

  • Better management of loosely coupled OpenStack services
  • Better service dependencies handling
  •  Declarative and easy to operate
  • Enhanced rolling update workflow and rollback


Assurance & Intelligent Operations:
Service impact and root-cause analysis with Smart Assurance
Operational Monitoring and Intelligence with vROps OpenStack Dashboards and Container monitoring
vRealize Log Insight integration to get insight into the OpenStack day to day operations.
Visibility across physical and virtual OpenStack networks
Automated approach to operational intelligence to reduce service impact and OpEx

VIO 6.0 Demos:
Below are a list of videos that provides a step by step walkthrough of deployment, upgrade, 360 degree visibility and Deployment of VMware Essential PKS on top of VIO 6.0.

1. VMware Integrated OpenStack Deployment: This demo video shows the step by step deployment of Virtual Appliance on your vCenter Server instance and deployment of OpenStack by using the Integrated OpenStack.

2. VMware Integrated OpenStack Upgrade 5.1 to 6.0: Upgrading VIO 5.1 deployment to VIO 6.0 allows you to take advantage of new features and functions, plus it also ensures you zero downtime.

3. VMware Essential PKS on top of VMware Integrated OpenStack 6.0: VIO provides pre-built open-source Heat stacks to help deploy Essential PKS on top of VIO for individual tenants of the cloud. Using the Heat orchestration engine simplifies and speeds up the deployment of Kubernetes as well as managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes (e.g. scaling out, tearing down clusters, etc), and does so using an orchestrator that OpenStack users will already be familiar with. This demo video shows step by step process to deploy Essential PKS on top of VIO.


4. 360 Degree Visibility: This demo video shows the integration of VIO 6.0 with vRealize Operations Manager and vRealize Log Insight. vRealize Operations provides a comprehensive dashboard for monitoring the Health, Risk, and Efficiency of your entire SDDC infrastructure. vRealize Operations OpenStack Management Pack offers OpenStack the ability to monitor and troubleshoot VMware Integrated OpenStack or other OpenStack distributions. vRealize Log Insight extends analytics capabilities to unstructured data and log management, giving you operational intelligence and deep enterprise-wide visibility across all tiers of your IT infrastructure and applications.

Accelerate the move to 5G and Edge on VMware Integrated OpenStack


Last week at VMworld, we announced in a press release the launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack v6.0. In this PR, we highlighted the expansion of VMware’s Telco and Edge Cloud portfolio to drive real-time intelligence for telco networks, as well as improved automation and security for Telco, Edge and IoT applications.  A key element of our telco portfolio includes the availability of VMware Integrated OpenStack and how VMware continues to invest in OpenStack-managed virtualized telco clouds enabling Communications Service Providers to deploy networks and services across multiple clouds (Private, Telco, Edge and Public) and have consistent operations and management across clouds.

Today, we are excited to announce that VIO 6.0 is now officially available for our Communications Service Provider and Enterprise customers to download and install.  We have added several new capabilities in the latest release, giving CSPs the fastest path to deploy services on OpenStack.

VIO based on Stein

VMware continues its leadership in being one of the first commercial OpenStack distributions to support Stein and is fully tested and validated with OpenStack 2018.11. With the latest Stein release, VMware continues to deliver core functionality with strengthened support of container and networking capabilities to support key CSP use cases including NFV, Edge and supporting the network evolution to 5G.

Cloud Native brings greater efficiency and higher resiliency for 5G networks

5G networks are being with the premise that it will be cloud native.  A cloud native architecture accelerates CSPs time to deploy and scale services as well as provide greater resiliency and flexibility in the network with the ability to rapidly instantiate new services and applications based on real-time customer demand.

The latest release of VMware Integrated OpenStack 6.0 includes support for VMware Essential PKS, which provides CSPs access to the latest release of upstream Kubernetes, supported by VMware, giving CSPs a flexible secure cloud platform that will allow them to build, run, and manage next generation container based applications and services on any cloud.

As CSPs evolve their network architectures from 4G to 5G, maintaining a hybrid network with both VM and Container-based workloads will be required.  With VIO 6.0, CSPs will be able to deploy and manage both environments using a common platform.

As part of VMware Essential PKS, CSPs have access to the VMware’s Kubernetes architect team who can guide CSPs through every step of their cloud native journey and ensure they build a platform that supports network operations at massive scale.

Virtual Cloud Networking Scale and Performance with VIO support of NSX-T Data Center

As CSPs make the transformation from 4G to 5G networks to support the massive number of mobile and IoT devices, they require an NFVI platform that is flexible and can seamlessly scale to meet the demands of 5G and multi-cloud environments.

VIO 6.0 natively integrated with the latest release of VMware NSX-T 2.4 supporting greater scale, resiliency and performance, with near line-rate speed using a DPDK-based accelerated data plane.

With the depletion of IPv4 addresses and the massive number of IoT and mobile devices, the adoption of IPv6 will continue to grow.  VIO 6.0 with NSX-T 2.4 introduces support for IPv6 to meet the critical requirement of cloud-scale networks for CSPs.  With dual-stack support, CSPs can continue to manage dual IPv4 and IPv6 stacks across their control and data plane.

Service Assurance across OpenStack environments with VMware Smart Assurance 10.0

CSPs deploying OpenStack for their 4G and 5G networks require robust service assurance capabilities with monitoring and management tools that will allow CSPs to deliver highly reliable networks and ensure high QoS and stringent SLAs are met.  The latest release of VMware Smart Assurance with VIO 6.0, provides assurance capabilities that will deliver service impact and root-cause analysis with visibility across physical and virtual OpenStack networks, as well as multi-cloud networks.  With VMware Smart Assurance and VIO 6.0, CSPs will gain an automated approach to operational intelligence to reduce service impact and operational expenses.

Additional Resources

  • Latest VMware Integrated OpenStack information can be found here
  • Read the latest VIO 6.0 release notes and get technical documentation here
  • Learn more at vmware.com



VMware & Nokia at MWC Americas 2018


Nokia and VMware continue to collaborate to deliver integrated and proven end-to-end NFV solutions which are widely deployed at communication service providers (CSP) globally.  Together we bring joint value with decades of telecom innovation combined with virtualization and cloud expertise. Powered by continued networking and cloud technology portfolio investment, supported by the research and creativity of Bell Labs, Nokia has the industry’s most complete, end-to-end Telecom portfolio of products and services. Likewise, VMware brings more than two decades of innovation and has delivered the most trusted and widely deployed virtualization and cloud solution to the market. The end result is a solid, unified solution that helps our customers address not only today’s rapid technology shifts, but also capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. Ultimately positioning CSPs for rapid growth by accelerating their digital transformation journey to the new era of enhanced mobile broadband,  IOT and 5G

Leveraging VMware vCloud NFV Platform, Nokia and VMware have delivered the following joint Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)

Additional details such as solution overview, solution white papers and  ready for NFV certification details can be found on the solution exchange: https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/company/nokia

Nokia and VMware have put their heads together to simplify the day to day operational requirement to efficiently run NFV services.   To learn more about our joint capabilities of how we intelligently automate network functions on a virtualized telco cloud, visit us at Mobile World Congress USA in Los Angeles in South Hall Booth 1714 and see a live demonstration.  Here is a sneak peak of what you will see:

In one demo, we will show an instance of a Nokia Cloud Packet Core network function that is exceeding its defined capacity thresholds.  Our joint solution will show the automated scaling of a Cloud Packet Core network function to address dynamic VNF demands.

As more and more CSP networks transition from bare metal to NFV, the upgrade of the NFV infrastructure has quickly become a significant operational challenge. Over the past 20 years, VMware has evolved to become the industry standard for seamless and effortless upgrades. This fundamental capability is also readily available in VMware’s vCloud NFV platform. Nokia and VMware have partnered to demonstrate how to upgrade NFV infrastructure without service disruption of traffic through Nokia’s Cloud Packet Core functions.  Join us to see how effortless NFVI upgrade can be with Nokia and VMware.


A Transformation Towards a 5G-Ready NFV Infrastructure

Mobile wireless technologies have gone through systematic generational refreshes over the last three decades. The next such refresh, called 5G, isn’t just an incremental upgrade from 4G, but represents a significant leap forward.  5G promises to improve efficiency, enhance security, reduce latency times, increase network capacity, and accelerate current data connections by 10, or even 100 times.  And for the first time, 5G brings wireline technologies into greater prominence and convergence with wireless infrastructure, enabling telecom carriers to extract efficiency from their full network.

However, before the benefits of 5G can be widely exploited, Communications Service Providers need to invest in virtualized and cloud-based infrastructure. 5G requires both a software-driven architecture and Network Functions Virtualization, or NFV, to be successful.

At VMware, we see 5G as a big opportunity and challenge for Communications Service Providers to leverage the benefits of 5G with new business models and to reassert their influence in the cloud economy.  While NFV is the foundation to deliver 5G, CSPs are going to require a telecom transformation that represents a new approach to delivering agile services and enables the ability to have these services move between clouds, include private, edge, and public clouds.

A key aspect of 5G networks is network slicing.  For CSPs, network slicing provides the ability to divide and scale the network on an as-a-service and ‘on-demand’ basis.  This requires an advanced, software-defined infrastructure that allows multiple virtual networks to be created atop a shared physical infrastructure. Virtual networks can then be customized to meet the needs of applications, services, devices, customers or other global CSPs.

For CSPs, network slicing enables new business opportunities. Services such as remote health and surgery, smart metering, smart drones, and connected cars all require connectivity, but with vastly different network characteristics.  New technologies, such as virtualization, network programmability, and network slicing will enable networks to be customized and meet the needs for each application.  As a result, new products and services can be introduced to market quickly and can be easily customized, deployed, and adapted to fast-changing demands.

VMware and Telia have jointly collaborated on a 5G Technical Whitepaper: 5G-Ready NFV Infrastructure- A Transformation Journey Towards Full Automation.  In this paper, we have outlined the characterization of the network driven by 5G and the requirements that CSPs should take into consideration to support new services and SLAs.  In addition, the paper highlights the requirement to provide an efficient network infrastructure that can deliver services at the best price point, along with creating an on-demand network to support new business consumption models and a frequent service rollout cadence.

We believe 5G to deliver massive changes as it will create a larger, more efficient network that offers new possibilities for developers and CSPs.  The collaborative nature of 5G may also prompt more partnering across the ecosystem and alter the competitive landscape of the industry.  Hybrid environments that leverage the best of both worlds, coupling hyper scale public cloud infrastructures like those from Amazon Web Services, or IBM, and the NFV enhanced clouds from CSPs, could become the basis for new marketplaces for consumer and enterprise applications and tools.