VMware Integrated OpenStack vs vCloud Director


If you have not already noticed, a lot of my work these days is in the OpenStack space, specifically using VMware Integrated OpenStack. As often happens when working on a new technology or service offering, I get the question

Is OpenStack going to replace VMware vCloud Director as my primary cloud management platform (CMP)?

I remember during TAM-day at VMworld 2014 the announcement for VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) and one of the members of the audience asked Carl Eschenbach why VMware was pivoting away from vRealize Automation (vRA) only a year after telling customers that was the go-forward strategy. It begged the question, just which CMP was VMware backing long-term? I don’t have an answer for you. Personally, I think the three CMPs serve different purposes and fit within different customer use-cases — some of which overlap, others don’t.

In order to answer the question, I put together some information comparing the two products to highlight both their similarities and differences. The following is not a complete list, but will highlight the key points for a team or business trying to determine which direction to use for their private cloud.

Comparison Chart

CategoryVMware Integrated OpenStackVMware vCloud Director
ComputeCombined CPU & Memory resourcesCombined CPU & Memory resources
ComputevSphere cluster endpointsvSphere cluster endpoints
vSphere Resource Pool endpoints
Compute2 vCenter Server maximum7+ vCenter Server support
ComputevSphere HA & DRS supportvSphere HA & DRS support
Compute25,000/40,000 tenant-VM maximum
StorageGlobal catalog service (Glance)Global catalog service
StoragePluggable block volumes (Cinder)
VMFS-backed storage
VMFS backed-storage
StoragevSphere Storage Policy enforcementTiered storage through storage policies
StoragevSphere Storage DRS supportvSphere Storage DRS support
StorageObject-based storage (Swift)
NetworkingVLAN-backed portgroup integration
- Single vCenter
NetworkingVMware NSX-v integration
- Single or multi-vCenter
VMware NSX-v integration
NetworkingFull NSX-v functionality
- NSX Edge tenant support.
- NSX DFW for Security Groups
- Load Balancer (as-a-Service)
Limited NSX-v functionality
- NSX Edge tenant support
- No NSX DFW support.
- No NSX Load Balancer support.
NetworkingShared external tenant networks
- No isolation between tenants
Per-tenant, isolated external tenant networks
NetworkingSingle cluster for Edge services for all tenants.Edge/Compute services present on all compute workload cluster.
Cloud ServicesGlobal & Tenant defined VM sizes (flavors)
Cloud ServicesGlobal & Tenant defined VM images.Global catalog for sharing images and vApps.
Cloud ServicesMetering & telemetry functionality for auto-scaling (Ceilometer)
Cloud ServicesApplication stack orchestration (Heat)
- Standard JSON & YAML support.
- Cross-cloud functional.
vApp deployment orchestration
Cloud ServicesStandard API framework
- Industry standard APIs
- Compatible with AWS & S3
Proprietary API framework
ManagementvApp plugin inside vCenter for administrative tasks.
ManagementDistributed Management stack
- Applications clustered within management stack (MongoDB, MariaDB, etc).
- Integrated load balancer for services.
Multiple vCD cell support
- External load balancer required.
- Database is not natively clustered.

Ultimately the answer to the question is going to depend on your use-case and your requirements. I believe either option could work in a majority of the private cloud architectures out there — especially considering how VMware Integrated OpenStack has simplified the deployment and lifecycle management of OpenStack.

Let me know what you think on Twitter! Enjoy.