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Latest release feature highlights – Abiquo 4.6

Abiquo launched the latest version of its award-winning software, Abiquo version 4.6, in April 2019.

Major improvements in Abiquo 4.6 include the ability to automatically create scaling actions, making it easier to configure autoscaling, also adding a new dialog that will enable users to select the metrics to control the autoscaling actions.

Improvements to pricing include a new tab for Backup policies for private cloud datacenters and a Public cloud price list synchronization that can obtain pricing details from public cloud providers and update them in Abiquo.

Other improvements include the ability to create VPNs in Microsoft Azure and connect to the Azure VPN gateway using the basic SKU for VPNs, create allocation limits per provider, new multi-cloud infrastructure privileges, new public cloud regions in Amazon and Azure and more.

New general features

Autoscaling Wizard

To make it easier to configure autoscaling, when you define a scaling group in the UI, you can now select the option to automatically create an autoscaling action.

After you save the scaling group, a new dialog will enable you to select the metrics to control the autoscaling action. You can open the dialog out to configure more options, including the thresholds for scaling in and scaling out.

After you add this action, you can add more actions as required. The platform will then automatically create the alarms, alerts and action plan to automatically scale in or out according to your thresholds.

To help you keep track of your scaling actions when you update a scaling group, there is a new tab to display all the details of the autoscaling actions.

Improvements to pricing

Public cloud price list synchronization

Abiquo 4.6 can obtain pricing details from public cloud providers and update the details. There is a new Pricing tab to enter a separate set of public cloud credentials for pricing. Or the administrator can select the option to use public cloud credentials that manage virtual resources.

The pricing credentials must have privileges to access the provider’s price list via API, for example, in AWS the IAM user will require AWSPriceListServiceFullAccess.

When you enter the pricing credentials, the platform will retrieve hardware profile prices from the provider and add them to the tenants’ pricing models. By default the platform will refresh hardware profile prices every 24 hours and the administrator may configure this interval for the platform. The platform will not retrieve or update prices for tenants without pricing credentials.

Customers who are resellers of public cloud services can add enterprise properties for pricing markup purposes. Note that for Azure, the format of CSP credentials is different.

Backup pricing

In pricing for private cloud datacenters, there is a new tab for Backup policies. The prices are applied to VMs with the backup policies assigned. The platform includes the prices of all VM backup policies in VM_PRICES, and as part of the estimated price for deploying a virtual appliance.

New in multi-cloud

Azure VPNs

Users can now create VPNs in Microsoft Azure and connect to the Azure VPN gateway using the basic SKU for VPNs. Abiquo supports site-to-site connections, for example, from NSX to Azure.

Azure automatically selects a compatible encryption value. Azure requires the public IP address of the first site’s VPN in order to create the Azure VPN gateway, however, you can supply a dummy address and edit it later.

The administrator should configure enterprise properties for tenants that will create Azure VPNs. See Configure Azure VPNs.

Provider limits

Abiquo 4.6 enables you to create allocation limits per provider. In public cloud providers, this means the total resources for the enterprise in all regions of the provider. In vCloud Director and OpenStack, it means the total resources for the enterprise per endpoint URL.

In Abiquo 4.6, the limits are set for the whole provider or endpoint. In previous versions, the limits at the provider level were a shortcut to set the default allocation limits for each region of the provider.

To enable grouping by provider and set defaults per provider, see Group public cloud regions by provider or endpoint


Multicloud infrastructure privileges

Abiquo 4.6 introduces new privileges to separate the display of the Infrastructure view for private and public cloud. The two original infrastructure privileges have been changed to apply to private cloud only. The two new privileges are similar. They enable the user to access infrastructure view for public cloud regions and to view the details of public cloud regions. See Changes to Privileges

Public cloud improvements

New public cloud regions in Amazon and Azure

Abiquo 4.6 introduces support for the AWS China Northwest region and support for new ARM regions in Johannesburg (South Africa North) and Cape Town (South Africa West).

Improvements for Admins

Asynchronous tasks and task progress

Abiquo 4.6 introduces asynchronous tasks for the following actions:

  • Create and Delete virtual datacenters
  • Create, Edit and Delete VPNs.

This means that the user does not have to wait for these operations to complete before they can continue working on the platform. You can display the progress of tasks in the user interface in Events view on the Tasks tab.

You can select dates to filter the tasks. With the Access users view privilege, you can select your users from the pulldown list to display their tasks.

On the Tasks tab, the Owner attribute represents the entity that the task is operating on, for example, the name of the virtual datacenter. The Owner attribute will be empty after a delete task because the entity no longer exists.

New Discovery manager remote service

There is a new version of the Discovery Manager remote service that now performs all resource discovery tasks in private and public cloud. It replaces the previous version of the Discovery Manager and the Cloud Provider Proxy, which the platform will no longer use. The name of the Discovery Manager remote service has changed from “NODECOLLECTOR” to “NARS” and the web application has changed from “nodecollector” to “nars”.

This remote service introduces asynchronous tasks with support for:
VDC: Create and Delete
VPN: Create, Edit and Delete

The platform’s api-java-client now supports asynchronous tasks.

Metrics improvements

The Watchtower monitoring system will now delete datapoints from its data stores when you delete a metric. And you can now push custom metrics to VMs that are clones in a scaling group.

In Abiquo 4.6, the monitoring system has been improved to better support very large numbers of VMs. The improvements were made based on the results of a simulation where a script deployed VMs and modified metrics to activate and deactivate alarms and alerts. For the simulation, 5000 VMs were deployed on 5 hypervisor emulators running as Docker containers. During the simulation, 2 metrics of each VM had values that forced the activation of alarms and alerts for a 15 minute period, followed by default values.

The activated alarms and alerts were quickly detected and notified by the system. However, the following improvements were made.

Increased the speed of the push of metric data points after collection.
Optimized configuration of KairosDB incoming queue processor
New KairosDB version with CQL instead of Thrift
Reduced response time of the Emmett module in the request to push metric data points. The Emmett module manages metrics, alarms, and alerts. It retrieves metric data and obtains alarm details and requests alarm evaluation. Performance was improved by decoupling tags from entities, reducing unnecessary database transactions, and introducing caching of get requests.

Usability improvements

Remember the last language used

The platform will now remember the last language used in the UI and select it on the login screen. The platform stores the language in browser LocalStorage with a key of “language” and a value of the language code, for example, “es_ES” for Spanish from Spain.