VMware Integrated OpenStack 6.0: What’s New

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.


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