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OpenNebula 3 Cloud Computing Paperback – May 25, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Giovanni Toraldo started to mess with Linux and Free Software since the early years at school, developing hobbyist websites with free CMS and maintaining the official Italian support site of PHP-Fusion. After a few unsatisfactory years at the university, he decided to start working as System Administrator and Web Developer at LiberSoft (http://www.libersoft.it), a startup based in a technology park near Pisa (http://www.polotecnologico.it/). He has now developed skills in designing and maintaining Open Source virtualization and clustering solutions, managing tens of host, servicing hundreds of requests, mainly web hosting stacks for Drupal and Symfony webapps. You can contact him at http://gionn.net/about-me
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Top customer reviews
Even more, there is no preference for a given hypervisor. You might have already used a hypervisor from VMware, which is perhaps the dominant supplier of hypervisors in the marketplace. Reflecting this commercial reality, OpenNebula can handle several types of VMware hypervisors. But it also supports Xen, which is the oldest open source hypervisor for linux.
Chapter 2 discusses the setup of OpenNebula on your hardware. The requirements are fairly general and the installation steps seem straightforward. While chapter 5 is the launching point for broad usage, once all the install steps are done. In this chapter, the parts about running virtual machines can be illuminating. While there could be many settings, OpenNebule picks a set of defaults that typically work for most case, which reduces the administrative load on you.
You may want to keep in mind the figure on page 127, in chapter 5. It is the state diagram for all the VM states. It helps you, by letting you refer to it as needed, to understand the running of a VM.
For my work I referred to online documentation, blogs, OpenNebula forum and mailing lis. Finally, Giovanni Toraldo made an excellent work, collecting all of the content needed for very beginner to industry expert for set up, manage ad maintain OpenNebula cloud. It is very nice to have all content in one place. Book makes very easy to understand cloud internals, not only for OpenNebula but for all existing open source cloud solutions.
Also, I found "Tips and tricks" boxes very useful. They remind me easy traps which beginner can fall into during initial set up. Notes in the boxes are very handy, since it might save your days of digging down to the problem, reading forum posts or Googling. Latter was the case for me. So, content of the book requires keen attention, especially notes boxes.
It is great to have a book like this where author shares his insight experience and knowledge about open source project. Usually, thorough explanation of software modules, script and interaction between parts are not explained in the documentation, and almost impossible to find. This book includes in depth explanation of parts of the OpenNebula, such as image transfer manager, hooks, Ganglia integration and etc. I highly recommend this book for everyone getting into the cloud, regardless of their level of experience.
I like OpenNebula that I worked with more than three years during my PhD. From the version 1.2 the first one I downloaded in 2009, the software has been significantly improved. However, I was often frustrated that this nice software lacks of a handbook for learning tips and tricks to easily set up the clouds required for my experiments. That's, among other reasons, why I accepted to review this book.
Globally, I really enjoyed reading the book. Well written, it covers the major aspects of OpenNebula. The author starts by introducing the basics of the virtualization technologies (e.g. Xen, KVM, VMware) so to help the reader to understand what OpenNebula is and how it works along with those virtualization technologies. The author then provides a step-by-step guide for installing the software. I particularly appreciated how the storage of virtual machine images as well as the applications' data are addressed. Two examples are provided with GlusterFS  and MooseFS , two major distributed file systems. The author goes deeper into various other OpenNebula's features such as Virtual Network Management, Web Management, Monitoring, coupling with public clouds  (e.g. Amazon EC2). I also appreciated the fact that he provides relevant examples for illustrating the functionalities that are introduced.
I have some minor criticisms about the book however. I think that lacks of some conceptual considerations, to address for example situations where we need to build custom clouds based on OpenNebula. Indeed, instead of basis IaaS clouds, many people are often interested in building custom clouds. A scientist for instance will be mainly interested in how to customize OpenNebula to prototype the new models of clouds he is designing. Unfortunately, the book just briefly introduces the contextualization as well as the OpenNebula's APIs (OCCI, XML-RPC) that are two relevant features for addressing such a need. May be that will be covered in the next edition of the book.