Hyper-V gains another open source cloud: OpenNebula 3.0

Citing increased Hyper-V adoptioin, OpenNebula will let users build, manage private clouds on Microsoft's hypervisor

Version 3.0 of the open source cloud management platform OpenNebula has been launched and with it will come support for Hyper-V. For those keeping track, Open source cloud-computing platforms supporting Hyper-V now number two OpenStack and OpenNebula. Plus, Linux distributions supporting Hyper-V now number four (SUSE, CentOS, Red Hat, and Chinese distro maker CS2C).

JUDGING PERFORMANCE: Product test of private clouds including OpenNebula

OpenNebula offers management tools for building and maintaining Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds. Getting the project to pick up Hyper-V (and, by default Windows Server), is important to Microsoft because OpenNebula already supports KVM, Xen, and VMware hypervisors. The project is popular and growing more so. OpenNebula claims 5,000 downloads a month and has an impressive list of users so far. Microsoft didn't want Hyper-V to be left out of the options for companies building IaaS clouds -- driving them to use Linux or VMware.

OpenNebula says the project was moved to support Hyper-V because Hyper-V is growing in popularity and existing users were demanding support.

Here's some market research numbers to back that ups. According to IDC ...

"VMware ESX continues to be the number 1 virtualization platform with total licenses increasing 21% year over year in 4Q10. Microsoft Hyper-V is the second leading virtualization platform growing 62% year over year. Citrix XenServer rounds out the top 3, while growing 25% year over year. Meanwhile, the type 2 hypervisors, VMware Server and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 continue their descent, declining 27% and 51%, respectively."

Microsoft will be creating and maintaining the Hyper-V code for OpenNebula much the same way it does for Hyper-V's support in Linux, according to a blog post by OpenNebula's Ignacio Llorente. However, OpenNebula uses the Apache 2.0 license instead of the GPL. While users will be on the hook to pay for their Windows Server licenses that include Hyper-V, OpenNebula's code will remain free.

Although OpenNebula 3.0 was released today, it will be a couple of weeks before the new components will be ready. Llorente writes:

"We started the work in July and are planning to have a first prototype of the integration in mid October. The new components will be released under the Apache license as a new OpenNebula ecosystem project. In order to provide the greater flexibility, the integration will support both variants of Hyper-V, namely in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Disk images will be managed using a shared storage server (e.g. SAN) and standard POSIX calls from the OpenNebula server. OpenNebula will additionally leverage the networking management functionality provided by Hyper-V. The integration will not require the installation of new services in the nodes, making quite simple and rapid to build an OpenNebula cloud on existing Hyper-V deployments."

In the meantime, OpenNebula has a bunch of new features and performance improvements with its 3.0 release. It now supports Access Control Lists, allows VLANs to be managed through OpenvSwitch and 802.1Q tagging, and has given its browser-based GUI an overhaul too. That interface supports plugins, authentication, and VNC for remote VM configuration.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.