Comparing IaaS 10k views and OpenNebula

I am glad to celebrate today more than 10 thousands views of my publication “Comparing IaaS: VMware vs OpenStack vs Google’s Ganeti“. It’s an astonishing result and I can’t thank enough all my readers and fans that have shared it on Twitter and Facebook.
One of the frequently asked question was:

why not comparing to OpenNebula? What are the differences with it?

Comparing to something that I’ve heard but never tested sounded so unprofessional. So, to celebrate my 10 thousands visits, I decided to setup a full OpenNebula architecture.

OpenNebula Test

OpenNebula ScreenShot

The testing environment has two HP DL380, plus one DELL R210 as management node. Every machine is running on CentOS 6.5. I decided to make things slightly more complicated, by using GlusterFS as a distributed storage inside the compute node themselves, to leverage the internal disks of the nodes. These are the same nodes I used for testing Ganeti.

First of all, let me tell you that what I heard is confirmed: OpenNebula is a great project. It’s a “mini-OpenStack” that is able to handle a lot of requirements from those ISPs and private datacenters that wants to adopt a Cloud environment.

Comparing Iaas (including OpenNebula)

So, what is my opinion after this tests? It doesn’t change much after all …

OpenStack is becoming a buzzword: every vendor basically is jumping in and there is/was the need of clarify some details. OpenStack targets large installations, which means basically large ISPs or very large corporations with multiple datacenters.

VMware has the advantage that ESXi fits even a single server, but can scale up to 32 hosts. For those IT managers in need of certified software and support, and still have enough budget, VMware is a good solution for their enterprises.

OpenNebula has the same philosophy of OpenStack. It requires a lot less hardware than OpenStack, but still has the same approach of dynamic lifecycle of VMs.

One of the requirements, especially for the ISPs, is the migration from an existing virtualization or VPS solution. Here it comes the issue when embracing a cloud infrastructure, being OpenStack or OpenNebula: while cloud uses virtualization, the management of the virtual machine is very different.

In a cloud solution, the administrators needs to setup images (or templates) that will be the base for virtual machines. If you want to migrate an existing VM to the cloud, you need first to convert it into a template, then instantiate a virtual machine from the template.

While this could be easy enough for few virtual machine, when I’m dealing with extremely large service providers we could talk about thousands of images and VM (1&1 and Deutsche Telekom, just to name two). This is not a process that can be easily automated with a one-fits-all solution.

Ganeti has a different approach: while still being a virtualization solution, offers some flexibilities that are typical to cloud infrastructures, like fast deploy of virtual machines and private network for customers. That’s why Ganeti has been chosen for our SecureData.