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Your boss has requested that you look into installing OpenStack. One of the requirements is to leverage your current VMware infrastructure. Of course your plate is already full, and now you need to learn a new platform.
So here are a few things that should ease your mind when considering OpenStack. First, OpenStack is a framework that can use your current hardware and software infrastructure. Second, OpenStack services allow integration at the software layer with vendors like VMware. Finally, OpenStack uses drivers to translate requests to calls on the software infrastructure. Why is this important? Let’s take a look at VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) to answer these questions.
At this point you probably have some questions similar to the following:
Let's dig in.
Simply put, VIO allows the use of OpenStack framework on your current VMware vSphere infrastructure. OpenStack services have VMware-specific drivers and plugins built to translate requests to calls.
Deploying VIO consists of a virtual appliance (vApp) to your vCenter. The vApp deploys two VMs: management-server (OMS) and openstack-template. The management VM deploys, configures and manages VIO. The OpenStack template VM has the base images for the VIO VMs. A plugin is available in vCenter that will allow the deployment of a highly available OpenStack production environment. This environment will consist of 15 VMs:
VIO sits on top of your current vSphere infrastructure. Once VIO has been deployed and configured on vSphere it leverages the following:
Here is just a quick cheat sheet to get you up to speed on OpenStack terms:
|OpenStack Terms||VMware Relationship||Notes & Comments|
|Nova||Compute||Resources are pooled at the cluster level, not at the individual host.|
|Cinder||Storage||Any storage supported by vSphere, as well as VSAN.|
|Glance||Templates||Glance images can be either in the form of a VMDK, OVA or ISO.|
|Neutron||Network||Support for vSphere Distributed Switch and NSX.|
|Horizon||Web Portal||Horizon is the web portal that lets you manage your OpenStack environment. Tenant Management and instance deployment are just some examples.|
|KeyStone||Identity Service||Can be compared to current platform services' controller function.|
|Heat||Orchestration||Automation of instances, networks and other services.|
VIO supports vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) or NSX via the Neutron plugin. Although supported, the vDS has limitations in a VIO environment compared to NSX. NSX can provide support for options such as security groups and fenced environments via Firewall. Here is a quick comparison:
VIO should not be mistaken for a VMware proprietary flavor of OpenStack. In fact, it's based on a VMware OpenStack distribution recognized by the OpenStack Foundation. There are benefits for deploying VIO compared to using KVM or RHEL:
OpenStack is usually thought of as hard to implement. VIO simplifies that. VIO allows VMware administrators to get familiar with OpenStack quicker while leveraging their current vSphere environment. It also gives developers an area to code, while giving operations an area without looking elsewhere (causing shadow IT). As organizations get more familiar with OpenStack over time, they can also begin to contribute.
Stay tuned as we’ll go more in to the deployment and configuration of VIO on vSphere 6.
Emad Younis, vExpert, is a Technical Marketing Engineer at Tintri. Over the last 15 years, he has held a variety of roles in the datacenter, emphasizing virtualization design and implementation. Follow him on Twitter @Emad_Younis.
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