Frequently Asked Questions
Position in the Virtualization and Cloud Ecosystem
Functionality and Capabilities
Development and Support
OpenNebula is the open-source industry standard for data center virtualization, offering the most feature-rich, flexible solution for the comprehensive, complete management of virtualized data centers to enable on-premise IaaS clouds in existing infrastructures. OpenNebula can be primarily used as a virtualization tool to manage your virtual infrastructure in the data-center or cluster, which is usually referred as Private Cloud. OpenNebula supports Hybrid Cloud to combine local infrastructure with public cloud-based infrastructure, enabling highly scalable hosting environments. OpenNebula also supports Public Clouds by providing Cloud interfaces to expose its functionality for virtual machine, storage and network management.
OpenNebula focuses on Data Center virtualization by bringing all the rich functionality and integration capabilities required for the comprehensive and complete management of virtualized infrastructures. OpenNebula is platform agnostic with broad hypervisor support, allowing to leverage existing IT infrastructure, protecting your investments, and avoiding vendor lock-in.
OpenNebula is the most solid, powerful and flexible open-source alternative to proprietary virtualization management solutions like vCloud for Xen, KVM and VMware clouds. Other open-source solutions mainly focus on public cloud features and do not realize the full potential of virtualization in the Data Center to enable a feature-rich private cloud. OpenNebula does not only bring an open-source implementation of the most common public cloud interfaces, but also the latest innovations in the management of virtualized data centers for the deployment of cutting edge on-premise IaaS clouds in your existing infrastructure.
OpenNebula is fully Open Source Cloud Software. OpenNebula is not a feature or performance limited edition of an Enterprise version. OpenNebula is truly open, and not open core.
OpenNebula efficiently manages any service workload, not only HPC services. The management of the VMs is OS and service agnostic, following a black-box approach. Because we have an extensive experience in the HPC and Grid domains, most of the use cases in the documentation are focused on providing support to computing environments, but that does not mean that OpenNebula is only for HPC. In fact, you can also find several examples and use cases from other domains.
OpenNebula was enhanced to meet the demanding requirements of the business use cases in the RESERVOIR Project, flagship of European research initiatives in virtualized infrastructures and cloud computing. More information is available in this IBM Technical Paper. OpenNebula is one the main technology spin-offs of this leading project.
OpenNebula is modular-by-design to allow its integration with any other tool or service in the virtualization and Cloud ecosystem, and management tool in the data center. Its flexible and open architecture allows its integration with capacity managers, virtualization platforms, virtual image managers, service managers… In the ecosystem page we keep information about the relationship of OpenNebula with the different stakeholders in the virtualization and cloud computing ecosystem. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are working on a cloud or virtualization infrastructure using OpenNebula or developing a tool which extends its capabilities.
OpenNebula is an enterprise-ready solution for building any type of Cloud deployment, either in scientific or in business environments. OpenNebula releases are tested to assess their scalability and robustness in large scale VM deployments, and under stress conditions.
The development of OpenNebula is funded by several sponsors that include public funding agencies and commercial entities. The community is being managed by C12G Labs.
OpenNebula contains a built-in Virtual Network Manager that enables the mapping of virtual networks onto physical ones. In this way, physical networks can be breakdown into smaller networks that, in turn, can be used to isolate virtual machines in different virtual networks and to communicate those machines in the same isolated virtual networks.
OpenNebula uses datastores to store disk images for VMs. A datastore is a storage medium typically backed by SAN/NAS servers.
Virtual Machines are composed by images that holds their virtualized hard drives. This images need to be accessible from the cluster nodes so virtual machines can be executed. To aid in this process, OpenNebula Transfer Manager allows for a flexible configuration of the image repository and their access from the cluster nodes, being that via NFS, SFTP, HTTP or a combination of them. Additionally, Transfer Manager architecture permits extensions to deal with other file transport methods.
Physical cluster nodes can have KVM, Xen, or VMware hypervisors installed. OpenNebula can run virtual machines and gather information about physical and virtual resources from all these hypervisors. The ecosystem additionally provides support for Hyper-V, OpenVZ and VirtualBox. Additionally, OpenNebula can interface with Amazon EC2 to build hybrid cloud computing deployments.
Native API of OpenNebula is offered via XML-RPC and its Java and Ruby OCA bindings. Managing of virtual machines, physical cluster nodes and virtual networks can be accomplished using this interface. OpenNebula implements the EC2 Query, OGF OCCI and vCloud APIs to demonstrate its support for the development of new Cloud interfaces.
There are several commands to control the basic aspects of cluster virtualization: onevm permits the managing of virtual machines (creation, deployment, migration, stopping, resuming, saving, etc), onehost enables the administrator to manage the physical cluster nodes (create, enable, disable, delete, listing, etc), onevnet allows the management of virtual networks (create, list, show, delete), oneuser enables the administrator to manage the users (create, list, show, delete), oneimage for the management of images… OpenNebula Sunstone, the new cloud operation center, can be also used to graphically operate a cloud instance.
Currently, OpenNebula scheduler provides an implementation of the Rank Scheduling Policy which aims to prioritize those resources more suitable for the VM, allowing the definition of workload and resource-aware allocation policies such as packing, striping, load-aware, affinity-aware… The built in scheduler can be easily replaced as it is a separated process communicating with the core with a straightforward API.
There are very few dependencies on an OpenNebula installation. Please check the platform notes of the last OpenNebula version. The project also provides packages for the most common Linux distributions.
Best effort and commercial support are available from the developers.
OpenNebula is distributed and licensed for use under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0..
Apache is a commercial-friendly open source license. The Apache license allows any Cloud and virtualization player to innovate using the technology without the requirement to contribute those innovations back to the open source community, so protecting them from the “viral infection” problem often associated with other licenses, such as GPL.
Yes, we look forward to your contributions. There are many different ways to contribute to OpenNebula development. Moreover, there are a lot of components to develop in the virtualization and Cloud ecosystem in order to complement OpenNebula capabilities. If you want to contribute new functional components, please visit the OpenNebula ecosystem section.