OpenNebula – what is it?

Nowadays, many businesses will likely have part or all of their IT infrastructure on the cloud. They do this because migrating their data to the cloud enables them to enjoy more benefits than having them in on-premise environments. As a business, you can use a public, private, or hybrid cloud for your data center management. With so many cloud options, finding the best cloud-building and management tool for securing your data is essential.

This is where OpenNebula works best. If you’re an IT professional or entrepreneur looking for a way to manage your hybrid cloud computing, virtualization, and infrastructure needs, then OpenNebula is the tool for you. This article will discuss what you need to know about OpenNebula. This will include its features and architecture. We’ll also explain how OpenNebula works, its benefits, and how to use it to manage your cloud infrastructure.

What Is OpenNebula?

OpenNebula is an open-source cloud computing platform that streamlines and simplifies the manufacture and management of virtualized hybrid, public, and private clouds. It is a straightforward yet feature-rich, flexible solution to build and manage enterprise clouds and data center virtualization. You can gain control over your cloud infrastructure with OpenNebula while enjoying flexibility and simplicity. You can also centrally administer and monitor virtual systems on different Hyper-V and storage systems with OpenNebula.

It supports many hypervisors like KVM, VMware, and Xen. OpenNebula also offers compatibility with various storage backends.

This versatility enables you to leverage your existing infrastructure. This will let you choose the storage solution that suits your needs. Thanks to OpenNebula’s extensive APIs and CLI tools, you can integrate with existing systems seamlessly. You can also connect OpenNebula with monitoring and billing tools. This will enable automation and cost optimization. The platform’s vibrant community and rich ecosystem provide valuable support. OpenNebula is there with resources to assist you in harnessing its features effectively.

Regarding data protection – Storware Backup & Recovery from version 6.0 supports backup and recovery for OpenNebula. Get the free Trial or contact us if you are interested in a one-on-one demo.

Importance of OpenNebula

OpenNebula is essential to IT professionals interested in better use of their Cloud Infrastructure. It is a perfect solution for heterogeneous computing center environments due to the variety of support provided by HyperV and Platform independent architecture. Here are some reasons why OpenNebula is vital:

  • Centralized Management

It eliminates the need to switch between tools to manage different aspects of your IT infrastructure. You get a single interface to manage your private cloud computing needs. You can also manage your infrastructure and virtualization needs. You can create, manage, and track your networks, storage, and virtual machines from anywhere. The interface is user-friendly and intuitive. , It allows you to manage your infrastructure efficiently without extensive technical knowledge. OpenNebula also supports role-based access control. This way, you can control who has access to specific resources and functions within the platform.

  • Scalability

OpenNebula is highly scalable. You can easily add or remove resources to meet your changing needs. Depending on your requirements, you can scale your infrastructure up or down without extra hardware or software. OpenNebula also supports automatic resource allocation. This means you can set resource usage policies and let the platform manage resources for you. This, in turn,  makes it easy to manage large-scale deployments without compromising performance or efficiency.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

OpenNebula is an open-source platform, meaning it’s free to use and distribute. Since you don’t need to pay for expensive licenses or subscriptions, it is a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes. OpenNebula also supports a wide range of hardware and software. This makes it easy to use existing infrastructure and tools without extra investment.

  • Flexibility

OpenNebula is a flexible platform that supports a variety of virtualization technologies. This includes KVM, VMware, and Xen. This flexibility allows you to select the ideal virtualization technology for your needs. This, in turn, gets you free from vendor or solution restrictions. OpenNebula also supports a range of storage backends. This includes local disks, NFS, Ceph, and GlusterFS, giving you flexibility in managing your storage.

How Does OpenNebula Work?

OpenNebula abstracts physical resources such as servers, storage, and networking. Then it presents them to the user as a unified pool of resources that can be allocated and managed on demand. The platform includes several components that work together to provide this functionality.

OpenNebula’s front end is the central management component. It allows users to create and manage virtual resources. These resources include virtual machines, networks, and storage volumes. It communicates with the OpenNebula nodes responsible for running the virtual machines. These nodes are also responsible for managing the virtual networks and storage.

OpenNebula nodes use virtualization technologies like KVM or VMware to run virtual machines. Each node can host many virtual machines. And the platform can scale up or down by adding or removing nodes to the system. OpenNebula also supports hybrid cloud deployments. OpenNebula deploys nodes in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

OpenNebula also has a scheduler. This handles the allocation of virtual resources to users based on defined policies. The scheduler ensures that resources are used efficiently and fairly among users. It can also balance the workload across the available nodes.

Finally, OpenNebula has a built-in monitoring system. This collects metrics from the virtual resources and nodes. It uses this information to optimize the allocation of resources. And to identify and resolve issues with the infrastructure.

OpenNebula as an Alternative to VMware

VMware has long been a dominant player in the Virtual Butogy market. But, there is a compelling alternative that deserves attention: OpenNebula. One of the critical benefits of OpenNebula is its flexibility. VMware ties you to a specific vendor and solution. Conversely, OpenNebula lets you choose the virtualization technology that best suits your needs.

This freedom enables you to customize and adapt your virtual infrastructure to your unique requirements. OpenNebula frees you from proprietary limitations. This means you can explore different options and tailor your setup as you like. OpenNebula is compatible with various hypervisors, including KVM and VMware itself. This makes it a versatile choice. It allows you to integrate with your existing infrastructure with ease. You can also cut disruptions and simplify migration.

Its compatibility with VMware ensures you can leverage your previous investments in VMware. You can do this while transitioning to OpenNebula at your own pace. This smooth integration path is crucial for businesses shifting their virtualization strategy. They can do this without disrupting daily operations.

Use Cases for OpenNebula

OpenNebula is a powerful open-source cloud management platform that offers IT professionals a wide range of use cases. Here are some critical use cases for OpenNebula that can benefit your organization:

  • Private Cloud Deployment

OpenNebula enables you to build and manage your private cloud infrastructure. You can use your existing hardware resources to create a secure, scalable cloud environment tailored to your organization’s needs. With OpenNebula’s intuitive interface, you can provision and manage virtual machines. You can also manage storage and networking within a few clicks.

  • Hybrid Cloud Integration

OpenNebula can integrate with public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) if you need a hybrid cloud setup. This allows you to take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of public clouds. You can do this while keeping sensitive data on your private infrastructure. OpenNebula’s unified interface simplifies the management of resources across many cloud environments.

  • DevOps and Testing Environments

OpenNebula is an ideal choice for creating development and testing environments. It supports many hypervisors, like KVM and VMware. Thus, you can quickly create isolated software development, testing, and quality assurance environments. OpenNebula’s snapshot and cloning features enable you to capture complex application setups. You can also replicate complex application setups with its snapshot and cloning features.

OpenNebula Vs. OpenStack

Many businesses seek the most comprehensive cloud technology solution to meet their enterprise needs. So many factors come into play, ranging from its “total cost of ownership” (TCO) to its flexibility and openness for evolving strategies for the future. They also have to consider its key capabilities and the ease of managing them.

Both OpenNebula and OpenStack are cloud-computing software platforms. However, these two differ significantly in several ways. Regarding the subscription cost, OpenNebula is about 33 to 80% less expensive than OpenStack, even though they offer similar features.

While a single administrator manages the installation, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance and administration of OpenNebula,  OpenStack requires teams of resources to keep up and running. This provides a stark contrast. Sometimes “open source” doesn’t always necessarily mean open source. For Red Hat OpenStack implementations, the OpenStack “Platform Director” requires you to purchase a commercial license for all running environments – Production, Staging, and Development. With OpenNebula, there are no such obligatory licensing requirements. With OpenNebula, you can efficiently run application containers with traditional Virtual Machine workloads. Doing the same with OpenStack will require you to run a managed Kubernetes platform “on top.” This translates to added complexity, resource consumption, and associated costs/dependencies on licensed products.

OpenNebula has multi-hypervisor support. You can run any or all hypervisors it supports, like  KVM, VMware, LXD containers, or Firecracker microVMs. Unlike OpenNebula, OpenStack supports only KVM.


OpenNebula is a perfect solution for your cloud infrastructure management and Storware Backup and Recovery can perfectly supplement it with reliable data protection. You get flexibility, simplicity, and compatibility, enabling you to easily build, manage, and secure your cloud infrastructure.

Whether you’re a large enterprise managing a complex cloud infrastructure or a small company operating a few virtual machines doesn’t matter. OpenNebula is capable of helping you reach your goals. Take advantage of OpenNebula’s benefits and join a thriving community that embraces innovation and collaboration in the virtualization space.

text written by:

Paweł Piskorz, Presales Engineer at Storware