OpenNebula Review

Lightweight, stable, and well-suited for end-users

What is our primary use case?

We are in the process of building a public cloud and we are using OpenNebula for its management. At the backend, we use ESXi 6.7, vCenter 6.7, and NSX. I believe that it's a really good combination for creating your cloud. We didn't choose the vCloud Director because of the license and we cannot pay for it. The reason is that we are in Iran, and we are faced with sanctions.

How has it helped my organization?

OpenNebula is a good product for the end-user cloud.

What is most valuable?

OpenNebula is lightweight, stable, and easy to customize.

What needs improvement?

The structure of the documentation is very messy. You can't find anything you want. When you search for features you are faced with many different topics and they don't have any connection to each other.

Compared to the documentation for VMware, it is really simple and messy. You find many topics that are not related to each other and you have to read all of the documents from beginning to end if you want to know how to set something up. For example, if you want to set up Kubernetes then you should be able to search for the top and learn how to do it. However, with OpenNebula, it is too difficult to do that.

They have been saying for the past two and a half years that they would develop a feature to hot-add RAM and CPU, but it does not work. They keep postponing it to the next version and we are impatiently waiting for it. When the ability to hot-add or remove RAM and CPU inside the virtual machine is working, it will be very good.

The community has some weaknesses. For example, the answers are sometimes very short and contain no detail, like "Working on it", without answering with specifics.

Another weakness is that you have to develop a third-party portal from outside and connect using the NSX API directly from it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using OpenNebula for the past one and a half to two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

OpenNebula is really stable.

We had to use some third-party modules, for example, for HA clustering. We bought some extractors and we also had to change some features and code in OpenNebula for security. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have more than 1,000 VDCs in our cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

We cannot use technical support due to sanctions so we rely on documentation, with trial and error. We would really appreciate being able to speak with the OpenNebula headquarters.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I tried to work with VMware vRA, which is very good, but because of its closed source, it's very difficult to add modules and customize it.

OpenStack is very complicated for the end-user so we did not use it because had we chosen it then we would have had to use many programmers and many infrastructure engineers. It is a very powerful solution, but I believe that it is only good for service provides rather than end-users.

 As it is now, we are almost done and our public cloud product is OpenNebula and the modules that I have mentioned. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We use the Community Edition, rather than the Enterprise Edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was told about OpenNebula from a friend in the USA. They use it because it is very lightweight, stable, easy to use, and easy to customize. Based on that recommendation, we implemented it and I am personally okay with it.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this is a good product for the end-user.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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