Tip Tuesday: Using SDN on Abiquo Clouds

Abiquo offer software defined networking with CohesiveFT‘s VNS3

With CohesiveFT their VNS3 product is available to all Abiquo customers through the default Abiquo repository. VNS3 is a hybrid overlay networking appliance built for Abiquo integrated cloud deployments
VNS3 acts as 6 devices in one: router, switch, firewall, VPN concentrator, protocol redistributor and scriptable SDN. It’s different from other SDN and network function virtualization (NFV) solutions because of the customer-controlled overlay network built on top of the underlying cloud network.

CohesiveFT SDN

The inclusion of VNS3 means that you can easily create secure overlay networks to allow our customers to:

1. Use VNS3 to create overlay networks between your Abiquo private cloud and public clouds such as Amazon AWS
2. Use VNS3 to create overlay networks between Virtual Datacenters within your Abiquo cloud. Perhaps you have virtual datacenters in different physical locations, or even countries?
3. Use VNS3 to create overlay networks between Virtual Datacenters hosted by our Service Provider customers

In each case the use of VNS3 means that you configure your application network once. Even if you move that application between the three use cases or move between private, public and hybrid Cloud configurations.

You can find out more about VNS3 here, including technical information and pricing.

A quick look at the Abiquo user interface makes it easy for our users to meter and charge for compute, storage and network resources of various types.


Abiquo’s interactive user interface makes metering easy!

But did you know that you can meter your customers’ usage at a more granular level?

Lets take a look at the levels at which you can meter usage with Abiquo:

Hypervisor Type
Abiquo tracks which machine is deployed on which hypervisor, so for those for which you have to pay a license fee, like VMware ESX, you can charge the customer appropriately. Where you have a lower cost of ownership, such as KVM, you could reduce the charge. You can use this, and the reporting of it, to enhance sales engagement and advise your customer of the best platform for the workload.

Here is a list of the hypervisor technologies that Abiquo supports.

Reserved Machine
Abiquo lets you dedicate a physical machine to an Enterprise, creating what you might call a “virtual private cloud” in your shared infrastructure. You can combine this with dedicated storage tiers and even physical networks, but more of that another time. You can also let customers choose whether to use these dedicated machines or a shared resource, and meter for the usage of those reserved machines.

Using anti-affinity (preventing selected virtual machines from running on the same physical machine) reduces the efficiency of your platform, so you may want to charge extra for it. In a self-service environment your customers can configure their own anti-affinity rules through Abiquo Layers, which works on all our supported hypervisors, not just VMware. We meter use of Anti-affinity layers so you can charge for it.

VM Template Cost Codes
In the App Library template configuration you can assign cost codes to templates. These are configured through the pricing screens. You can then use these for all kinds of billing and reporting purposes; charging by OS, maybe just for customers with a managed service; charging by application, if your templates contain pre-configured applications; charging for use of Chef, for example.

 Have a look at the Abiquo Wiki for more information on clever charging!

Contact us here if you have any questions.

A key characteristic of a cloud solution is self-service – allowing the cloud consumer to provision their computing capabilities without the intervention of an administrator. Many IT administrators will shudder at the thought of providing the user with a full self service experience.

Scared Yao

                                                                                                                     Frightened IT- guy meme

Abiquo helps here by providing self service to the cloud consumers, whilst allowing the cloud administrator, or infrastructure owner to remain in complete control. Abiquo’s controlled self service is delivered through several different features:

1. The Cloud administrator controls which logical pools of private resource (Abiquo data centers), or public cloud regions any tenant (Abiquo enterprise) can use

2. The cloud administrator sets resource limits to control how much resource a tenant can use in any one datacenter. Read how to do this here.

3. The cloud administrator defines allocation rules, so that when a consumer deploys through self service the administrator has control over where the workload is provisioned and how the infrastructure is utilised.

4. Finally how the consumers self service capabilities are controlled by over 56 separate privileges (that can be grouped into roles), that define what information can be viewed in the Abiquo UI, and what tasks the user can perform. By configuring roles the  cloud administrator can delegate as much (or as little) self-service as required.

Watch to learn more about self-service and other Abiquo features. Contact us for more information or visit the Abiquo Wiki