What’s New in OpenStack/VMware Integration in the Havana Cycle

Alexey Abashkin - November 7, 2013 -

With the Icehouse summit in full swing in Hong Kong, everyone else on earth is focused on the freshly released Havana code. One of the questions that has come up quite frequently in terms of the release of OpenStack Havana is regarding support for VMware, and for good reason; the Havana cycle brought with it a lot of improvements on this front. In this post, we will look at some those improvements.

Improved support for OpenStack Networking (Quantum/Neutron)

While the VMware driver supports both FlatDHCP Manager and VLAN Manager using nova-network, and as early as the Grizzly cycle, you also have gain to OpenStack Networking (then called Quantum, now called Neutron) by installing the Nicira NVP plugin.

Security Groups are now supported

Security Groups represent OpenStack mechanism that provides administrators and tenants the ability to specify the type of traffic and direction (ingress/egress) that is allowed to pass through a port. A security group is a container for security group rules.

While the VMware driver does not support security groups when using Nova-Network, security groups are available when using the Nicira NVP plug-in and Neutron.

Easier access to multiple datastores in a cluster

In Grizzly, if you configured multiple Datastores in a vSphere cluster, OpenStack only used the first one returned via the vSphere API.  Thanks to new contributions in Havana, you can now choose a Datastore with a particular capacity, or use regular expressions to filter Datastores by name.

Cinder support for VMware Datastores

This is one area where extremely significant progress was made during the Havana cycle.

During Grizzly, the VMware driver had limited support for attaching Volumes from the OpenStack Block Storage service, supporting attachments only if the volume driver type was ‘iscsi’. There was no support for volumes based on vCenter Datastores in Grizzly release.

In Havana, you can now manage Cinder volumes from within vCenter.  OpenStack also has the ability to work directly with VMware Datastores.

Ability to use snapshots

A Grizzly era bug made it impossible to use the Snapshot API, but that’s been resolved in Havana, making it possible to manage snapshots from within vCenter.

Moving forward

This isn’t to say that there aren’t still a few areas where VMware support can get even better.  For example, it would be great to add “pause/unpause” and “resize” capabilities to the EXSi driver.  But make no mistake, VMware integration with OpenStack has improved significantly during the Havana cycle, and both the company and the community at large continue to make improvements on a daily basis.

If you’re working with VMware and OpenStack, what are the features you would most like to see that you don’t have already?

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