Openstack and Dell EMC Ready Solutions & Storage.

Everything OpenStack at Dell EMC

Openstack is an organisation that publishes open source software for creating and managing private and public clouds. Dell Technologies offers VMware Integrated Openstack (VIO), a range of Dell EMC Openstack ready solutions and architecture, Dell EMC Hyper-Converged Infrastructure on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, and Dell EMC training.

Openstack is so-called, as it is released as a “stack” of open-source modules, that can manage an infrastructure as Applications, Network, Compute, Storage, and Software O/S,  through Openstack API's, CLI (OSC) and GUI Dashboard (Horizon). Openstack supports multiple OS/Hypervisors including Linux KVM, VMware ESX, Windows Hyper-V, Pivotal Cloud Foundrv and VMware Integrated Openstack (VIO) that includes VSAN. Openstack includes bare-metal server provisioing via Ironic [PowerEdge iDRAC or Jetpack],  Murano provides an application catalog for users to browse and "push-button" application deployment.

Openstack publishes named releases, for example called Rocky, Queens etc, that may relate to a vendor version [i.e Redhat OSP14] that comprise versions of the modules/projects, such as Compute Nova (Management to create, manage, and delete VM’s), Cinder driver for block (iSCSI and FC SAN), Manila for File storage for NFS, CIFS, HDFS, and Swift for object. Openstack is coded by the Openstack community, who
can be requested to introduce new features or fix bugs. If the community agree, bug fixes or features in a new release can be “backported” to a previous release.


Dell EMC Openstack Partners & Solutions include VMware VIO, Redhat & Canonical.  VIO is a VMware supported OpenStack distribution that makes it easy to run an enterprise grade OpenStack cloud on top of VMware virtualization technologies. VIO can be deployed as VIO-in-a-Box, Compact Mode and High Availability (HA). VIO-in-a-box can be installed on a single server and shipped to be deployed at a remote site. The Dell EMC Ready Solution for NFV is based on VMware vCloud NFV Platform Edition 3.0, and can use VIO Openstack for the Virtual Infratructure Manager (VIM).


Redhat Openstack is available from Dell EMC OEM [see Redhat Cloud Platforms with Dell EMC,] and Dell EMC offer Redhat Openstack Cloud Solutions including Redhat Openstack Ready Bundle  with Ceph ready nodes for Software defined [block, file and object] storage nodes using PowerEdge 14G servers. The solution features Dell EMC JetPack automated server and software deployment and Redhat Cloudforms for IaaS self-service, monitoring and chargeback. Redhat promote Ceph for storage. There is a Dell EMC Redhat Ceph Architecture guide for block storage, Redhat Ceph performance guide for PowerEdge servers, and AT&T published a paper on Ceph perfomance using Dell PowerEdge All-Flash Nodes. There are also guides for Openstack Canonical for PowerEdge and DSS9000, and a Dell EMC, Redhat & Intel reference architecture guide for highly-available on-premises containerised app development infrastructure.


Fig 1 - Dell EMC Redhat Openstack Ready Solution architecture:


Openstack typcally uses Ceph by default for storage, but this can be replaced by, or complemented with, any other Dell EMC storage solution including FlexOS/ScaleIO. The Openstack drivers such as Cinder for block storage volumes (LUNs) manage the storage out-of-band,  I/O is via the Hypervisor OS and native multipathing such as MPIO. Cinder manages iSCSI and FC SAN's (Brocade and Cisco FC switches). Fibre Channel is supported only for the KVM hypervisor [FC & zoning support introduced in Icehouse release]. There is a Cinder release matrix showing the versions against the Openstack releases, and a Cinder storage vendor support matrix showing the lowest Openstack release and supported features.

The Container Storage Interface (CSI) standard is rapidly evolving as the de-facto standard to provision and manage shared storage for containerized workloads. Dell EMC’s industry leading Unity, PowerMax, XtremIO and VxFlex OS storage platforms all come with CSI plugins to support containerized workloads running on Kubernetes.


VMAX and PowerMax was supported from Openstack Pike release, via Solutions Enabler CLI/API, and Queens includes support for SRDF/A, SRDF Metro, SnapVX: Manage/Unmanage Snapshots, SnapVX: Restore from Snapshot, Online Device Expansion with Replication, and Deduplication. See OpenStack Docs: Dell EMC VMAX iSCSI and FC drivers,    PowerMAX iSCSI and FC drivers, Rackspace (major Openstack reference) use VMAX3


Unity Block and File has been supported since Octata, see . Unity (Rocky) includes support for Multi-attach etc   OpenStack Docs: Dell EMC Unity driver

The Unity plug-in manages the Unity system to provide shared filesystems. The EMC driver framework with the Unity plug-in is referred to as the Unity driver,  uses RESTful APIs. Each back end manages one Unity SP. multiple Shared File Systems service back ends are needed to manage multiple Unity systems. Python libary StorOps 0.2.17 or higher is installed on Manila node.


SC series storage is referred to as Storage Center.  SC series iSCSI and FC SANs for SC . See paper Dell EMC SC series with Openstack Cinder. SC series also support Openstack multi-attach, from Queens release see Bugzilla.




Isilon File and Object (Swift) NAS: The EMC Shared File Systems driver framework (EMCShareDriver) utilizes EMC storage products to provide shared file systems to OpenStack. The EMC driver is a plug-in based driver which is designed to use different plug-ins to manage different EMC storage products. Isilon Driver interfaces with an Isilon cluster via the REST Isilon Platform API (PAPI) and the RESTful Access to Namespace API (RAN).  Also see Isilon SWIFT


ECS supports SWIFT V2 API.


VxFlex OS - The Dell EMC VxFlex OS Cinder driver is designed and tested to work with both VxFlex OS and with ScaleIO. Openstack VxFlex OS deployment options are supported with RHOSP. VxFlex OS provides block storage as a service across hypervisors, container platforms and other data center services, that may be provisioned natively through Kubernetes.  Dynamically create and delete volumes on demand, support quality of service and security context through container storage interface, dynamically scale storage service to match demand, support fully non-disruptive updates without future fork-lift migrations

VxFlex OS  Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver with Kubernetes, offers a broad set of features for block storage integration. Using storage classes, persistent applications dynamically provision VxFlex OS volumes directly for any persistent volume requirements. Portability between bare metal and virtualized deployments VxFlex OS Kubernetes users can deploy with a combination of VMware vSphere, Linux, and Windows hosts, and serve block storage as a service to any of those environments.

  • The VxFlex OS Gateway must be installed and accessible in the network. For installation steps, refer to the Preparing the installation Manager and the Gateway section in VxFlex OS Deployment Guide. See Official VxFlex OS documentation.
  • VxFlex OS Storage Data Client (SDC) must be installed on all OpenStack nodes.

EMC OpenStack Data Protection Extension (DPE) allows backup administrators to manage backup and restore operations for projects in an OpenStack cloud infrastructure and provide Openstack Backup-as-a-Service. This integrates Avamar.Virtual Edition for Openstack KVM backup. DDVE DD OS 6.2.1 is also supported for KVM.


Fig 2:  RSTACK -  Dell Ready Stack for  Redhat Openstack:



Also see  service provider solutions for Redhat ,  Openstack Marketplace Dell EMC