OpenNebula Zones Overview 3.4

The OpenNebula Zones (oZones) component allows for the centralized management of multiple instances of OpenNebula (zones), managing in turn potentially different administrative domains. The module is run by the oZones administrator, with capacity to grant access to the different zones to particular users.

These zones can be effectively shared through the Virtual DataCenter (VDC) abstraction. A VDC is a set of virtual resources (images, VM templates, virtual networks and virtual machines) and users that manage those virtual resources, all sustained by infrastructure resources offered by OpenNebula. A VDC is supported by the resources of one zone, and it is associated to one cluster of the zone. The resources that the VDC can dispose of are a subset of that cluster. There is a special user (the VDC administrator) that can create new users inside the VDC, as well as manage all the virtual resources (but can not access other resources in the zone or even the see the physical hosts used for the VDC). VDC admin and users access the zone through a reverse proxy, so they don't need to know the endpoint of the zone, but rather the address of the oZones module and the VDC where they belong to.

The bird's-eye view of the oZones component can be sketched with a simple scenario. Let's take the point of view of the oZones manager that has access to two OpenNebula instances, managing resources in two different administrative domains. She can add those two instances as OpenNebula Zones in the oZones manager (provided she has the “oneadmin” credentials of both OpenNebula instances), and afterwards take a look at an aggregated view of resources combined from both zones. Also, she may want to give just a portion of the physical resources to a set of users, so she will create a VDC in one of the given zones, selecting a subset of the available hosts, and creating an account for the VDC admin. Once this is in place, she will be able to provide with access URL for the OpenNebula CLI and Sunstone GUI to the users, an url that will mask the location of the OpenNebula zone by using a reverse proxy. An example of such a URL can be:



This new Zones functionality addresses many common requirements in enterprise use cases, like for instance:

  • Complete isolation of users, organizations or workloads in different Zones with different levels of security or high availability
  • Optimal performance with the execution of different workload profiles in different physical clusters with specific architecture and software/hardware execution environments
  • Massive scalability of cloud infrastructures beyond a single cloud instance
  • Multiple site support with centralized management and access to clouds hosted in different data centers to build a geographically distributed cloud

Moreover, the VDC mechanism allows advanced on-demand provisioning scenarios like:

  • On-premise Private Clouds Serving Multiple Projects, Departments, Units or Organizations. On-premise private clouds in large organizations require powerful and flexible mechanisms to manage the access privileges to the virtual and physical infrastructure and to dynamically allocate the available resources. In these scenarios, the cloud administrator would create a VDC for each Department, dynamically allocation physical hosts according to their needs, and delegating the internal administration of the VDC to the Department IT administrator.
  • Cloud Providers Offering Virtual Private Cloud Computing. There is a growing number of cloud providers, especially Telecom Operators, that are offering Virtual Private Cloud environments to extend the Private Clouds of their customers over virtual private networks, thus offering a more reliable and secure alternative to traditional Public Cloud providers. In this new cloud offering scenario, the cloud provider provides customers with a fully-configurable and isolated VDC where they have full control and capacity to administer its users and resources. This combines a public cloud with the protection and control usually seen in a personal private cloud system. Users can themselves create and configure servers via the SunStone portal or any of the supported cloud APIs. The total amount of physical resources allocated to the virtual private cloud can also be adjusted.

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