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The release of Mitaka provided the open source community with a welcome update in the efforts to deploy public and private clouds. Several updates in the manageability for administrators have helped to reduce the effort into installing and managing the OpenStack software. While scalability and performance have been improved, many of the features were geared for the administrator and the end user. This welcome update makes the Mitaka release something that administrators who had been on the fence with OpenStack are now more likely to embrace it -- and that's where VMware and the VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0 release come in.
While VMware has its own cloud deployment strategy and products, OpenStack has grabbed an industry foothold by providing a feature rich cloud platform without some of the higher costs in licensing that come with other vendor cloud deployment products.
VMware has a unique relationship with OpenStack, while it has competing products to the OpenStack suite it also is one of the providers in the Nova (compute), Neutron (networking) and Cinder (block storage) components. This is ideal for VMware admins as they can leverage the advancements in the VMware infrastructure pieces to enhance the OpenStack deployment. So with the release of VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0, VMware added a number of new and enhanced features such as improvements in deploying compute resources and identification of cloud networks in an OpenStack deployment model.
As VMware continues to enhance its security and orchestration in its family of products, it has also enhanced the interaction with the OpenStack Keystone component for easier authentication for local and Active Directory accounts at the same time. The OpenStack orchestration engine -- known as Heat -- also now has the ability to scale up to larger and more complex workloads. All of these enhancements in the OpenStack suite of products combine with the ability to import native VMware vSphere workloads and then have the ability to start managing them through the standard OpenStack APIs.
This can help extend the VMware infrastructure management into the open source tool sets specifically dedicated to cloud management. Additionally, one of the other less mentioned features is the compact mode for deployment of the OpenStack cloud management; this allows the environment to scale horizontally rather than vertically to better support organizations with multiple footprints in remote locations.
What VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0 offers
The true leverage with VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0 is the ability to take advantage of the VMware ecosystem under the OpenStack layer. The products range from SDN with NSX, vSAN and the vRealize suite of products. Leveraging the existing infrastructure that has been proven in the data center helps to bring the OpenStack product into more of a focus for the enterprise data center. OpenStack on KVM or Xen have always been a bit of a concern for organizations that have an established relationship with VMware.
Those organizations know and trust what they have with VMware and often do not have an interest in moving away from that established relationship. The VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0 release is beyond simply shaking out the bugs, it is showcasing the maturity of the OpenStack products by both its form and function but also in how it is integrating into one of the data center core products today.
VMware has also continued its official support for the OpenStack product with VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0. While this is often overlooked it's a critical piece with any open source product. A very large concern for the enterprise is not always having direct vendor support, something the open source community products have struggled with. This can be critical in the event of a production level issue where posting a question to a forum is simply not an option.
Having that single point of contact that removes finger pointing can be a deciding factor when you're looking to adopt an open source platform because the licensing costs of the software are only part of the equation when it comes to the cost of the product.
While VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0 is an update to the existing platform, it's an evolution of a product that is moving into its maturity. A lot of the previous releases were more critical in nature covering the initial deployments, patching, customizations and automation, backups and troubleshooting. The early releases were dealing with the function of the OpenStack platform while this release covers more of the form and function that the administrators have been looking for, such as updates to the user interface and user experience with more support for orchestration and automation.
For any new release, new features such as higher efficiency or a greater ability to scale are always welcome. However, VMware Integrated OpenStack 3.0 has focused on the pieces the admins have been looking for like ease of deployment and use -- all while retaining its feature sets and functions.