How to Compare VMWare and OpenStack


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While there are clear slices of functionality across OpenStack projects and VMware products that compete in some ways, the general approach and philosophy of the two ecosystems are vastly different.

Seeing the differences in philosophy is more relevant than a side-by-side feature comparison. That said, understanding how to compare the technologies to one another helps clarify how they differ.

VMware was propelled forward by the adoption of virtualization in the enterprise. As virtualization continued to become increasingly commoditized, VMware gradually pushed up the stack; new value added features were layered around the hypervisor in pursuit of maintaining the market momentum, initiated by the “virtualization disruption.” Ultimately, VMware today is not about cloud, it is about datacenter automation. It is not about infrastructure as a service, it is about virtualization offerings focused at very specific enterprise pain points.

Infrastructure clouds in general and OpenStack in particular are not a byproduct of layering functionality around the hypervisor; neither were they originally targeted at the CIO or IT Manager pain points and, therefore, aren’t held back by having to cater to traditional enterprise workloads. OpenStack view of the world involves starting from scratch. It is the philosophy where one says “let us forget about all those existing enterprise applications and automate the infrastructure in a way that carries no legacy dependencies.”
IaaS involves a holistic approach to automating the entire infrastructure layer in a uniform way. It is not just about functionality layered around the hypervisor.

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How to Compare VMWare and OpenStack

  1. 1. TM
  2. 2. How to thinkabout a comparison•  VMware solves for the enterprise; OpenStack solves for the cloud o  Both technology and philosophy differ o  Not an apples-to-apples comparison•  Select features can be compared side by side o  This slide deck provides a reference checklist•  Complete discussion at
  3. 3. VMWare & OpenStackVMWARE FEATURE COMPARABLE OPENSTACK FEATUREvMotion KVM Live MigrationDRS Nova SchedulerDPM TBDStorage vMotion TBDSDRS Nova SchedulerHA TBDFT TBDvShield Nova-network servicevDS Quantum/Nova-network serviceNetIOC QuantumSIOC TBDStorage APIs Nova-volume serviceData Recovery TBD
  4. 4. VMotion & KVM Live Migration•  Live migrations of VMs w/0-downtime •  Live migration w/up to 2 between different physical hosts w/ seconds service suspend broad hardware compatibility options. •  Migration without shared•  Low-latency link required storage supported w/libvirt o  (max 5 ms RTT). block migration feature•  Metro vMotion allows migration over metro level networks (up to 10 ms RTT) by dynamically adjusting TCP buffer.•  Other limitations include: o  shared storage (VMFS, SAN, shared NAS) required o  source and target nodes connected to single L2 segment o  CPUs compatibility required on source and target.
  5. 5. Distributed Resource Scheduler•  Manages workload ‘intelligently’ by •  Not supported in OpenStack grouping virtual machines;ooling resources •  Can be implemented using of physical hosts and prioritizing VMs in external monitoring, these pools; and moving VMs between FilterScheduler and Live physical hosts in accordance to vMotion Migration rules.•  Supports affinity rules governing placement of virtual machines onto physical hosts.•  Collects usage metrics from physical hosts and VMs; generates optimization recommendations executed manually or automatically – on initial placement or continuously during runtime.•  Maintenance mode supports moving workload w/vMotion live migration out of physical host to perform maintenance (in auto or manual mode).
  6. 6. DRM•  Allows shut down of •  Not supported in OpenStack physical hosts not is use by VMs. Brings hosts up once workload increases and more physical hosts are required.
  7. 7. Storage vMotion•  Allows configuring datastore cluster •  Not supported in OpenStack instead of single store location. •  Can be implemented for•  Provides recommendations for LVM-based persistent initial virtual disk placement (VMDK) volumes•  Allows moving virtual disks between nodes in datastore cluster (e.g. for scheduled maintenance of a node)•  Supports affinity and anti-affinity rules for VMs/VMDKs•  Only persistent VMDKs, or raw device mapped (RDM) virtual disks can be migrated w/ Storage vMotion
  8. 8. SDRS•  Allows moving volume storage •  Volume type-aware scheduler workloads over datastore is in nova roadmap (scheduled cluster w/Storage vMotion. for Folsom)•  Automated recom-mendations •  Local storage of VMs resides for moving VMDKs based on on local disks of compute space utilization & I/O load of nodes nodes in datastore cluster. •  nova-scheduler supports boot-•  Supports affinity/anti-affinity from-volume feature that rules. allows to use iSCSI persistent•  Supports manual and auto volume as boot VM device execution of recommendations.
  9. 9. HA•  Automated monitoring of •  VM-level HA is on physical servers availability, OpenStack roadmap for system health and restart of Folsom release VMs on another or same physical server depending on the nature of the failure.•  Provides suggestions for optimal placing of restarted VMs and exposes health data to the user interface
  10. 10. FT•  Allows seamless stateful •  Instructions mirroring is not failover of protected virtual supported by KVM machines, ensures that •  Kemari project (instructions protected machines are mirroring for QEMU-KVM) always backed by standby seems to be dormant copies.•  Hypervisor-level ‘mirroring’ of instructions (vLockstep) is used to create standby clones of protected VMs.•  Supported for single VCPU VMs only.
  11. 11. vShield•  Includes components; each is a •  Supports per-VM firewall that uses 5- separate virtual appliance. tuple to policy network access w/•  Zones component provides IP-based Security Groups applic.-aware stateful firewall that •  Network controller performs edge recognizes IP addresses, ports, firewall, DHCP, DNS, NAT functions protocol (5-tuple), application type. for VMs•  Edge component provides connection •  Cloudpipe allows VPN connection to on network edge, including 5-tuple VMs (OpenVPN) firewall, NAT, DHCP server for VMs, site-to-site IPSec VPN, simple load •  Opensource IDS/IPS can be integrated into network controller balancing.•  App component provides firewall on vitrual NIC level, w/traffic analysis and reporting.•  Endpoint component provides integrated anti-virus w/ability to scan VMs using introspection
  12. 12. vDS•  End-to-end •  End-to-end physical and virtual physical and virtual network management in network Quantum w/following plugins: management w/ o  Cisco Nexus 1000V Cisco Nexus o  Nicira virtual switch 1000V. o  Open vSwitch•  Teaming algorithm o  Linux bridges for virtual switch o  Ryu network operating port groups. system (designed for•  Enables Net IO OpenStack specifically; still in early development stage) Control •  Nova network offers QoS API for Xen hypervisor (XenServer)
  13. 13. NetIOC•  Set and enforce network •  QoS support on per-tenant priorities (per VM) across basis for Cisco plugin the cluster. •  QoS framework exists and•  Bridge virtual and physical service can be network QoS w/802.1q implemented for other tagging. plugins
  14. 14. SIOC•  Supports and manages I/O •  iSCSI prioritizing is not queue to enforce priorities supported in Linux by dedicating more slots to VMs w/higher Storage QoS set
  15. 15. Storage APIs•  VASA: allows to integrate •  Driver configuration allows storage solution utilization of back-end management w/vCenter for storage appliance management functionality advanced features,•  VAAI: allows hardware- including CoW, thin supported acceleration provisioning and features: deduplication, thin deduplication (Nexenta); no provisioning, cloning blocks API provided by OpenStack•  VAMP: allows I/O path selection to storage device (multipath)•  Must be supported by storage appliance
  16. 16. Data Recovery•  Provide ability to backup •  Nova-compute provides VM snapshots of VMs to any snapshot capability virtual datastore supported •  Implementation required for•  Automatically deduplicate scheduled backups, backup snapshots, automated backup upload incremently update w/Nova API previous backups •  Existing opensource backup solutions can be integrated for deduplication, incremental backups etc
  17. 17. VMware and