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OpenNebula 2012: A Year of Innovation in Open Source Cloud Computing

A Review of OpenNebula Progress in 2012

Time flies, and we are approaching the end of another successful year at OpenNebula!. We've had a lot to celebrate around here during 2012, including our fifth anniversary. We took that opportunity to look back at how the project has grown in the last five years. We are extremely happy with the organic growth of the project. It's five years old, it's parked in some of the biggest organizations out there, and that all happened without any investment in marketing, just offering the most innovative and flexible open-source solution for data center virtualization and enterprise cloud management. An active and engaged community, along with our focus on solving real user needs in innovative ways and the involvement of the users in a fully vendor-agnostic project, constitute, in our view, the OpenNebula's recipe to success.

As 2012 draws to and end, we'd like to review what this year has meant for the OpenNebula project and give you a peek at what you can expect from us in 2013. You have all the details about the great progress that we have seen for the OpenNebula project in our monthly newsletters.

Technology
During 2012, we have worked very hard to continue delivering the open-source industry standard to build and manage enterprise clouds, providing sysadmins and devops with an enterprise-grade data center virtualization platform that adapts to the underlying processes and models for computing, storage, security, monitoring, and networking. The Project has released 4 updates of the software: 3.23.43.6 and 3.8 within a rapid release cycle aimed at accelerating the transfer of innovation to the market. These new releases have incorporated full support for VMware, a whole slew of new computing, storage, network, user, accounting and security management features in the core, and many improvements to Sunstone, Self-service, oZones, and the AWS and OCCI interfaces. Thanks to this innovation, OpenNebula brings the highest levels of flexibility, stability, scalability and functionality for virtualized data centers and enterprise clouds in the open-source domain.

The roadmap of these releases was completely driven by users needs with features that meet real demands, and not features that resulted from an agreement between IT vendors planning to create their own proprietary cloud solution. Most of the OpenNebula contributors are users of the software, mostly sysadmins and devops, that have developed new innovative features from their production environments. We want to give a big two thumbs up to Research in Motion, Logica, China Mobile, STAKI LPDS, Terradue 2.0, CloudWeavers, Clemson University, Vilnius University, Akamai, Atos, FermiLab, and many other community members for their amazing contributions to OpenNebula. During 2012, we have tried to keep updated the list of people that have contributed to OpenNebula during the last five yearsSend us an email if we forgot to include your name on the list.

We also announced the release of the new OpenNebula Marketplace, an online catalog where individuals and organizations can quickly distribute and deploy virtual appliances ready-to-run on OpenNebula clouds. Any user of an OpenNebula cloud can find and deploy virtual appliances in a single click. The OpenNebula marketplace is also of interest to software developer looking to quickly distribute a new appliance, making it available to all OpenNebula deployments worldwide. OpenNebula is fully integrated with the new OpenNebula Marketplace. Any user of an OpenNebula cloud can very easily find and deploy virtual appliances through familiar tools like the Sunstone GUI or the OpenNebula CLI.

Additionally, a set of  contextualization packages have been developed to aid in the contextualization of guest images by OpenNebula, smoothing the process of preparing images to be used in an OpenNebula cloud. We have also extended the mechanisms offered to try out OpenNebula. The Project now provides several Sanboxes with OpenNebula 3.8 preinstalled for VirtualBoxKVMVMware ESX and Amazon EC2, and simple how-to guides for CentOS and VMware, and for CentOS and KVM.

It is also worth emphasizing the aspects that makes OpenNebula the platform of choice for the enterprise cloud: it is a production-ready software, easy to integrate with third party tools, and with unique features for the management of enterprise clouds. In 2012, C12G announced several releases of the OpenNebulaPro distribution: 3.23.43.6 and3.8, and the brand-new OpenNebulaApps suite, a suite of tools for users and administrators of OpenNebula to simplify and optimize cloud application management. OpenNebulaPro provides the rapid innovation of open-source, with the stability and long-term production support of commercial software. C12G also announced new training sessions andjumpstart packages.

2013 will bring important changes in the Release Strategy and Quality Assurance Process of the project that will make OpenNebula even more enterprise-ready and community-friendly.  All of the benefits of the OpenNebulaPro distribution, as a more stable and certified distribution of OpenNebula, will be incorporated into OpenNebula and so publicly available for the community.

The Team is now focused on the upcoming 4.0 release that will bring many new features which will come in very handy for the day to day enterprise cloud management, including improvements in SunStone facelift and usability, enhancements in the core with audit trails or new states in the the virtual machine lifecycle, or support for disk snapshots and RBD block devices.

Community
Many people and organizations have contributed in different ways to the project, from the expertise and dedication of our core committers and hundreds of contributors to the valuable feedback of our thousands of users.  Some of our users and contributors have reached us with valuable testimonials, expressing their opinion of OpenNebula and the reasons of their choice over other cloud manager platforms. These testimonials include opinions by industry and research leaders like China Mobile, Dell, IBM, Logica, FermiLab, CERN, European Space Agency and SARA. We are looking forward to hearing from you!.

During 2012, we have seen a truly remarkable growth in the number of organizations and projects using OpenNebula, and many leading companies and research centers were added to our list of featured users: CITEC, LibreIT, Tokyo Institute of Technology, CloudWeavers, IBERGRID, MeghaCloud, NineLab, ISMB , RENKEI, BrainPowered, Dell, Liberologico, Impetus, OnGrid, Payoda, Cerit-CS, BAIDU, RJMetrics, RUR, MIMOS... Send us an email if  you would like to see your organization or project on the list of featured users.

An interesting study was published by C12G Labs, resulting from a survey among 820 users with a running OpenNebula cloud. The results stated that  43% of the deployments are in industry and 17% in research centers, KVM at 42% and VMware at 27% are the dominant hypervisors, and Ubuntu at 31% and CentOS at 26% are the most widely used linux distributions for OpenNebula clouds.

"Because it simply works" was the most frequent answer to the question "Why would you recommend OpenNebula to a colleague?" that we made to our users in a short survey that tells us how we are doing. Other frequent answers were "Because it is easy to install, maintain and update" or  "Because it is easy to customize". "Rich functionality and stability" and "support for VMware" are also frequently mentioned by the survey respondents.

Several new components have been contributed to the OpenNebula ecosystemCarinaCLUES,  a new version of Hyper-V drivers (result of our collaboration with Microsoft), Green Cloud SchedulerOnenoxOpenVZ drivers,Contrail's Virtual Execution Platformone-ovz-driver, and a new OpenNebula driver in Deltacloud. We would like to highlight RIM's contribution of Carina. The Carina project was motivated by the need to speed up the deployment of services onto the OpenNebula private cloud at RIM, it is a successful attempt to standardize the process for automating multi-VM deployments and setting auto-scaling and availability management policies in the cloud. We are looking forward to other upcoming contributions, like the components that China Mobile is developing for its Big Cloud Elastic Computing System. Regarding implementation of standards, new versions of rOCCI have been released to provide OpenNebula with a fully compliant OGF OCCI API.

Thanks also to our community, OpenNebula is now part of the repositories of the main Linux distributions: OpenSUSEFedoraDebianUbuntu and CentOS. Moreover, there is a new book on OpenNebula and people from many organizations like Puppet Labs, IBM, China Mobile and RIM, or projects like FutureGrid have contributed new guides and experiences to our blog. One of the benefits of having a truly international community is that several users have been able to contribute partial and complete translations of OpenNebula's user-facing interfaces. We started using Transifex to help us manage these translations, we also want to give a big thumbs up to our community for the translation efforts. Sunstone and Self-service are available in 9 different languages, and more are underway, making a total of 17!.

We also want to highlight a very special mention of OpenNebula by Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission and Comissioner for Digital Agenda, during a talk about how the EU is supporting Open ICT systems, namely open-source, open-procurement, and open-data.

In the coming year, we will continue our collaboration  with other communities and will launch new initiatives to support our wide community of users and developers, and the ecosystem of open-source components and innovative projects being created around OpenNebula.

Outreach
OpenNebula presented 20 keynotes, invited talks and tutorials in the main international events in cloud computing including CloudScapeFOSDEMOpen Source DatacenterLinuxTagNASA AmesRootCamp BerlinMatchmaking in the CloudCloudOpenFrOSConLibre Software MeetingBeLUGGigaOM Structure:Europe, or LinuxCon Europe. C12G Labs started a series of Webinars focused on different aspects and possible deployments achieved by OpenNebula. Moreover, here's been a lot of coverage in the media of OpenNebula during 2012. We created a page to keep track of the OpenNebula apparitions in the press.

* * *

If OpenNebula has become such a successful open source project is thanks to its awesome community of users and contributors. We would like to thank all the people and organizations who have contributed to OpenNebula by being active with the discussions, answering user questions, or providing patches for bugfixes, features and documentation. We appreciate your feedback and welcome your comments on all issues. The team will be monitoring this post for the next weeks or so and will try and answer all the questions we can.

Thanks for continuing to spread the word and stay tuned because we are announcing important changes in our release cycle and processes to make OpenNebula even more enterprise-ready and community-fiendly.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to wish you health, happiness and prosperity in 2013 to you and your loved ones!.

On behalf of the OpenNebula Project.

More Stories By Ignacio M. Llorente

Dr. Llorente is Director of the OpenNebula Project and CEO & co-founder at C12G Labs. He is an entrepreneur and researcher in the field of cloud and distributed computing, having managed several international projects and initiatives on Cloud Computing, and authored many articles in the leading journals and proceedings books. Dr. Llorente is one of the pioneers and world's leading authorities on Cloud Computing. He has held several appointments as independent expert and consultant for the European Commission and several companies and national governments. He has given many keynotes and invited talks in the main international events in cloud computing, has served on several Groups of Experts on Cloud Computing convened by international organizations, such as the European Commission and the World Economic Forum, and has contributed to several Cloud Computing panels and roadmaps. He founded and co-chaired the Open Grid Forum Working Group on Open Cloud Computing Interface, and has participated in the main European projects in Cloud Computing. Llorente holds a Ph.D in Computer Science (UCM) and an Executive MBA (IE Business School), and is a Full Professor (Catedratico) and the Head of the Distributed Systems Architecture Group at UCM.

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