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.
|Category||VMware Integrated OpenStack||VMware vCloud Director|
|Compute||Combined CPU & Memory resources||Combined CPU & Memory resources|
|Compute||vSphere cluster endpoints||vSphere cluster endpoints
vSphere Resource Pool endpoints
|Compute||2 vCenter Server maximum||7+ vCenter Server support|
|Compute||vSphere HA & DRS support||vSphere HA & DRS support|
|Compute||25,000/40,000 tenant-VM maximum|
|Storage||Global catalog service (Glance)||Global catalog service|
|Storage||Pluggable block volumes (Cinder)|
|Storage||vSphere Storage Policy enforcement||Tiered storage through storage policies|
|Storage||vSphere Storage DRS support||vSphere Storage DRS support|
|Storage||Object-based storage (Swift)|
|Networking||VLAN-backed portgroup integration|
- Single vCenter
|Networking||VMware NSX-v integration|
- Single or multi-vCenter
|VMware NSX-v integration|
|Networking||Full 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.
|Networking||Shared external tenant networks|
- No isolation between tenants
|Per-tenant, isolated external tenant networks|
|Networking||Single cluster for Edge services for all tenants.||Edge/Compute services present on all compute workload cluster.|
|Cloud Services||Global & Tenant defined VM sizes (flavors)|
|Cloud Services||Global & Tenant defined VM images.||Global catalog for sharing images and vApps.|
|Cloud Services||Metering & telemetry functionality for auto-scaling (Ceilometer)|
|Cloud Services||Application stack orchestration (Heat)|
- Standard JSON & YAML support.
- Cross-cloud functional.
|vApp deployment orchestration|
|Cloud Services||Standard API framework|
- Industry standard APIs
- Compatible with AWS & S3
|Proprietary API framework|
|Management||vApp plugin inside vCenter for administrative tasks.|
|Management||Distributed 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.