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VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 improves Kubernetes support

VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 comes in the Carrier and Data Center editions and incorporates enhanced Kubernetes support, better security and the new VIO in a Box feature.

VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 includes enhanced Kubernetes cluster support, VIO in a Box, which enables customers to consolidate all of their VMware Integrated OpenStack components on one server, as well as improved security.

VMware has offered VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) since 2013 and announced VIO 5 in May 2018. VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 is offered in two editions: the Carrier edition and the Data Center edition.

VMware started offering VIO as a platform to rapidly deploy an OpenStack cloud on top of VMware infrastructure, thus offering the best of both worlds for VMware customers. As a result, VMware customers can choose between two cloud platforms: VMware Integrated OpenStack for customers who want to benefit from the open API that OpenStack provides and VMware vCloud for customers who want to bring together vSphere and vRealize Suite into one platform.

VIO versions and editions

VMware's policy is to release a new version of VIO every six months. With this aggressive release schedule, VMware can follow the upstream OpenStack releases. VIO version 5 is considered a major new release. According to the VIO release strategy, version 5.1 should be released later this year and will include minor feature improvements.

The Carrier edition focuses on telco customers, whereas the Data Center edition has the software-defined-data center in mind. Both versions are based on the OpenStack Queens release.

Enhanced Kubernetes support

Apart from offering OpenStack integration, VIO also supports Kubernetes. This enables customers to integrate the 1.9.2 version of Kubernetes with VMware's own NSX software-defined networking plugin. By integrating NSX into Kubernetes networking, VIO enables the optimization of networking in the Kubernetes stack. VMware also enhanced the support for Kubernetes clusters in VMware Integrated OpenStack 5.

Many customers use VIO because it integrates with VMware's NSX software-defined networking platform. Version 5 sees many enhancements on that level, such as the N-VDS mode, which enables a significantly improved response time and reduced network latencies. VIO 5 also includes NSX-T availability zones, making it possible for customers to associate applications with an availability zone, which helps when setting up high availability.

VIO in a Box

An appealing new feature in VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 is VIO in a Box. This enables customers to consolidate all of the components of VIO on one physical server. This makes it easier to offer VIO in environments where power and space is a concern.

At the other end of the spectrum, VIO 5 offers enhanced scalability. A tenant virtual data center using Elastic Tenant Virtual Datacenter can extend across multiple clusters. VIO 5 also supports larger environments now, and has been tested to run 500 hosts and 15,000 VMs in a region.

Enhanced security

VMware Integrated OpenStack 5 also offers enhanced security at multiple levels. To start, admins can group Keystone Identity servers in a Keystone to Keystone federation, where Keystone servers provide endpoints in multiple locations because one Keystone functions as the identity provider. Customers can also configure remote Keystone endpoints to forward authentication requests to the central Keystone.

Another significant improvement regarding security is end-to-end encryption, which enables encrypted connections on multiple levels. This includes the option to encrypt internal API calls, in addition to the encryption that is already offered at public OpenStack endpoints.

With VMware Integrated OpenStack 5, VMware offers a feature-rich OpenStack platform. The new release eases the integration of OpenStack as well as Kubernetes on top of vSphere, which makes it a logical choice for customers who already have a large VMware-based infrastructure in their data centers.

This was last published in September 2018

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