TechEd NA 2014 – Windows Azure Pack versus OpenStack

Speaker: Damian Flynn, MVP

OpenSource options

  • Eucalyptus.
  • Apache CloudStack: open sourced by Citrix.
  • Open Nebula: Poor support for hypervisors. Not there for Hyper-V.
  • OpenStack: Youngest of the four.

Then we have the Microsoft Cloud OS.

A handful of the room are running open source cloud, managing Hyper-V. Windows Azure Pack and SMA are the front end to VMM/SPF.

OpenStack clearly dominates the forum chatter.

Cloud OS Basic Deployment

Management network for WAP, SysCtr stamp, Network resources (NVGRE g/w) on Control Plane and External networks, and Compute on Control Plane and External networks.

Tip: download Damian’s deck from the Channel 9 site in a few days.

Architecture of OpenStack

Portal manages network, compute, image and blob. Identity drives all of those. Block storage also added.

The names of the components are … random codenames, e.g. Horizon, Heat, Trove, etc. See Damian’s deck. Same 3  networks are used, but the stack is simpler.


  • WAP: only supports Hyper-V. vSphere and XenServer are supported by SysCtr.
  • OpenStack: Hyper-V, vSphere, XenServer/XenCloud, KVM, QEMU, UML

Hyper-V gets “a fair amount of love” from OpenStack. Microsoft Cambridge UK are writing support for OpenStack.


  • VMM will manage the storage fabric elements. Based on industry standards like SMI-S and MSFT-owned stuff like SMB 3.0/Storage Spaces.
  • OpenStack: Swift does BLOB/file-based storage. Cinder does block based storage. Relies on a lot of work by the storage vendors.


  • SCVMM: Store images here. Tag those images using POSH.
  • Openstack uses Glance: Uses a workflow. Unlike what is in SCVMM. Glance needs to do a lot of prep work –before- deploying a VM. Cloud OS uses Hyper-V KVPs for a lot of that work on running VM during deployment phase.


  • Cloud OS: WAP authentication sites. Authenticate against local DB, .net (build your own stuff), or using ADFS (potentially any authentication system via federation).
  • OpenStack: Keystone. Everything must talk to Keystone to authorise actions. Keystone does better role-based access control – what a user can do within their tenancy.

User Experience

  • Cloud OS: WAP Admin and Tenant portals.
  • OpenStack: Horizon. Single portal doing some admin and tenant roles.

Damian says “God damn this is complicated” regarding OpenStack administration. A nightmare to figure out where you start and what to do.

Italian company called Cloud Based IT that make a product to make OpenStack work. They configure Windows with all that jazz you need. And it’s way out date.

Damian reckons RedHat would have been a better choice for his lab. Went with Ubuntu. Installing: easy. Configuring: not so easy.


  • OpenStack: Public. Modules built within the stack.
  • Cloud OS: Microsoft do not talk futures publicly. MSFT focusing on bringing in partners to expand the eco system. SDK allows you/others to build add-ons.


  • MSFT engineering supporting 3rd party platforms.
  • Openstack is “free” – requires LOTS of engineering to customise and deploy

Cloud OS

  • One platform
  • Built on proven & documented System Center
  • Familiar and fully supported tech

Requires an incredible amount of work with HUGE hidden costs. Don’t let “free” fool you or your boss.

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