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VMware Unveils New Version of Integrated OpenStack Product

Deeper integration with vSphere, smaller management footprint highlight the upgrades.

VMware has released a new version of its vSphere-friendly configuration of OpenStack, the popular open source cloud platform.

VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) 2.5 hit general availability yesterday. VMware calls it "…the easiest and fastest route to build an OpenStack cloud on top of vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN."

According to a blog posting by Pete Cruz, the chief upgrades in the new version include easier integration with the underlying vSphere stack; a less cumbersome management control plane, owing to a more simplified architecture; support for NSX, VMware's software-defined networking (SDN) offering; and built-in monitoring and troubleshooting tools for OpenStack via a command-line interface (CLI).

In all, it adds up to various minor improvements that are appealing without being, for many, a "must-have" upgrade.

VIO was originally announced as a new feature -- one of about 650 -- of vSphere 6, which was released in February 2015. At the time, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger proclaimed it the "best OpenStack distribution on earth."

Upon VIO's launch, Virtualization Review columnist Tom Fenton had good things to say about it:

"Many common OpenStack tasks are automated and can be performed from vCenter. vRealize Operations is able to monitor OpenStack, and LogInsight can parse OpenStack logs to separate the considerable amount of log noise from actionable items ... VMware is serious about making OpenStack business-ready by deploying the OVA with business continuity features like high availability (HA) and a scale-out architecture. VMware has extensively hardened and tested VIO to ensure the best possible UX."

OpenStack has become the most popular private cloud technology in the industry, and has new releases every six months. It's powerful, but also suffers from its complicated nature; it's not particularly user-friendly, which is why many vendors, including Red Hat, IBM and HP have made their own integrated versions of it.

VMware has its own private cloud platform, vCloud Air, but it has struggled in the marketplace. Having VIO means that loyal VMware customers can have a private cloud with the ease-of-use of an environment that they're comfortable with.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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