By Anurag Mittal, engineering lead, Scality
Scality now offers object storage integration for VMWare Cloud Director (see the announcement here). Why does this matter? Read on.
VMware Cloud Director is a service delivery platform designed for service providers that want to build and manage multi-tenant cloud infrastructures. Cloud Director enables the creation and management of virtual data centers, allowing users to provision and manage compute (VMs), networks, storage, and other cloud resources in a scalable and automated manner.
Cloud Director also offers applications (object storage, data, and messaging services), cloud-native solutions (Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters), and accelerated computing (vGPUs). Cloud Director reduces the effort and time required to manage and operate a cloud service — and its respective virtualized infrastructure — resulting in greater efficiency and lower costs.
Previously, VMware had to do custom work to support object storage within this offering. These custom engineering projects add unnecessary complexity — they aren’t sustainable or scalable.
To simplify the integration process, VMware launched the Object Storage Interoperability Service (OSIS). This allows any S3-compliant vendor to officially integrate directly into the VMware Cloud Director UI.
As a result, Scality is the first S3 object storage vendor to self-certify as an OSIS-compliant partner for VMWare Cloud Director. The new RING OSIS integration with VMware Cloud Director, using the VMware Object Storage Extension (OSE), surpasses previous vendor integrations that have existed for years as one-off, time-intensive engineering engagements.
A little history
VMware OSE is a VMware offering that allows service providers to enable object storage for Cloud Director tenants. Initial integrations with OSE required custom development from VMware.
However, when VMware introduced OSE 2.0, this opened up new avenues for extensibility, enabling seamless integration with any S3-compliant object storage platforms within Cloud Director. This evolution continued with VMware’s introduction of true IAM (identity access management) standard support in OSE 2.2.1. VMware called this new extension point OSIS.
As a leader on Scality’s engineering team, I’ve worked closely with the VMware OSE team to align on integrations, and this has paved the way for Scality to be the first object storage vendor certified by VMware for OSIS.
Having worked extensively with VMware, I’ve gained a deep understanding of how our two companies can integrate and align to ultimately better enable our customers. Bringing the power of our object storage to VMware not only addresses current customer needs but also sets a path for future success for those leveraging both VMware and Scality.
Why did VMware create OSIS?
OSIS exposes a set of APIs that allow OSE to communicate with any S3-compliant object storage to exchange tenant and user information. Cloud Director tenants access object storage in a consistent, unified manner independent of the storage vendor. This standardized approach allows VMware to better scale and support an ecosystem of object storage partners. Gone are the days of cumbersome, difficult-to-sustain custom development projects!
This diagram illustrates a high-level architecture of Cloud Director with the new OSIS extension.
Introducing the Scality RING OSIS Adapter
With VMware assistant, Scality built an OSIS Adapter for our industry-leading Scality RING object storage platform. RING is used by service providers around the world to deliver Storage-as-a-Service, Backup-as-a-Service, Ransomware-Protectionas-a-Service, and many other “aaS” offerings.
We’ve implemented the following capabilities within our OSIS Adapter:
- Stateless services packaged with S3 Connector stack (disabled by default)
- Ability to be enabled and deployed using Ansible playbook on S3 cluster
- Deployment over all stateless nodes for HA as a container
- Ability to communicate with
- RING Redis server for storing encrypted IAM credentials created through VCD
- RING IAM service for control channel and IAM APIs
- RING S3 service for bucket/object ingestion
- Compliance with VMware Object Storage Extension (OSE) v2.2.2 starting RING 8.5.7 and 9.2.0
Scality and VMware use slightly different language when describing the components of our products. The following table compares Scality’s terms to VMware’s terms.
|VMware Cloud Director
|Super admin credentials
|System administrator / Provider
|Account / Root-user
|Tenants / Organizations
|IAM users in an Account
|Users in a Tenant / Organization
|IAM user access keys
|Tenant user access keys
|S3 buckets / Catalogs
How to configure Scality’s OSIS Adapter
Scality’s OSIS Adapter can be configured in three simple steps:
- Scality RING supports the concept of “services.” We treat the OSIS Adapter as just another service, and it is configured with a few simple entries in a configuration file.
- Deploy with stateless OSIS Adapter on all relevant nodes. Scality RING uses Ansible Playbooks for this task.
- Configure VMware Vcloud Director Object Storage Extension to point to a Scality RING OSIS and S3 endpoint.
These steps are all described in detail for our customers and partners in our documentation.
At this point, you can use the VMware Cloud Director UI to configure and manage object storage in Scality RING.
What users gain from the VMware and Scality partnership
At Scality, our goal is always to make our solutions as easy for users as possible, and we continue to grow and strengthen our integrations with partners like VMware.
Together, Scality and VMware are enabling an integrated object storage solution for thousands of service providers worldwide — and with RING OSIS, we are future–proofing our integration.
At the end of the day, we’re making it simpler for Cloud Director administrators to manage, provision and monitor RING storage directly from the Cloud Director portal, which simplifies management.