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VMware Embraces OpenStack Technology

Although VMware has been avoiding OpenStack technology up until now, increasing customer demand for the OpenStack platform has led the popular system virtualization provider to accept the technology once and for all. While it took VMware nearly five years to do so, the move is expected to bolster overall customer service through the VMware Integrated OpenStack.

Bill Fathers, executive vice president and general manager of cloud services with VMware, explained some of the initial reasoning behind the recent adoption of OpenStack. He was quoted as saying: “What we’re seeing is a lot of our clients are starting to embrace OpenStack, they almost reach a glass ceiling in terms of how far they can deploy, and that they’re looking for somebody who can (a) take care of the integration with vSphere and (b) provide support,” Fathers said. “What we have done, I guess, is become a distributor of OpenStack, created VMware-integrated OpenStack.”

According to the official VMware blog, their goals with the VMware Integrated OpenStack project were twofold. Firstly, the development team wanted to “Provide an OpenStack solution that is simpler, yet powerful, for VMware Administrators to deploy and operate.” Their second goal was to “Provide a standard OpenStack experience that developers would be accustomed to with no vendor lock-in.”
What Is OpenStack?

With an origin dating back to 2010, OpenStack is a free and open-source cloud platform that is typically used for the deployment of infrastructure-as-a-service. Although the technology was first pioneered by teams with NASA and Rackspace Hosting, it is currently controlled by the OpenStack Foundation, which was founded in 2015. The OpenStack Foundation includes more than 500 partners, including names such as Intel, IBM, Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, Hitachi Data Systems, AT&T, AMD, Citrix, Fujitsu, NEC, Comcast and many more.

The ongoing development of the OpenStack platform depends, in large, on the community. Regularly scheduled updates are delivered every six months, and the OpenStack Foundation even hosts its own convention, the OpenStack Design Summit, to ensure connectedness between community members. Previous OpenStack Design Summits have been held in Atlanta, Vancouver, Paris and Hong Kong.

The VMware Integrated OpenStack

As stated in their official blog, “VMware Integrated OpenStack is basically a VMware supported OpenStack distribution prepared to run on top of an existing VMware infrastructure.” As such, the VMware Integrated OpenStack is made up of several different components. This includes the general OpenStack components, a memcached cluster, a RabbitMQ cluster, a three-node MariaDB Galera cluster for storing OpenStack metadata, virtual machine load balancing, the Nova compute machine, an object storage machine and DHCP nodes, if applicable.

There are a number of requirements to installing and deploying the VMware Integrated OpenStack, including the need for one management cluster with two or three hosts, one Edge cluster, one compute cluster, a management network with no less than 15 static IP addresses open, an external network with no less than two open IP addresses, NSX for vSphere and a distributed port group. An established data network is only required if using NSX.

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