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10 February 2012, 12:23

oVirt's virtualisation software gets a first release

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Zoom The oVirt management web interface
Source: FOSDEM presentation (page 19)

The oVirt project has released the first version of its software for implementing and managing virtualised environments. Among the components in this first release since the project was open sourced is the oVirt Engine, the central interface of the management part of oVirt which runs on a JBoss application server. It has an "Admin Portal" web interface for implementing, configuring and managing hosts and guests, a REST API for custom scripts and programs, and a "User Portal" for logging into guest systems.

Another of the components of the release is oVirt Node, which includes the software needed to build a Linux "mini spin" that includes parts of Fedora 16. This oVirt Node spin allows the rapid implementation of a host system that virtualises guest operating systems using KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and can be managed via the oVirt Engine.

The oVirt Engine and Node are themselves made up of a number of other components such as the VDSM "oVirt Node Management Agent", which handles activities on the host and communicates with the oVirt Engine. The developers say that installing the VDSM and its dependencies will allow other distributions to be managed via the oVirt Engine.

The oVirt components are part of the software that forms the backbone of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV) version 3, which was introduced in mid January: the oVirt Engine can be found in the product's "RHEV-M" management part, while oVirt Node is the counterpart of the RHEV-H mini hypervisor. Initial development of the software was originally done by KVM specialists Qumranet, who were taken over by Red Hat in autumn 2008. While continuing to develop the software, Red Hat has ported the code, which was partially written in C#, to Java and released it under an open source licence, primarily using the Apache 2.0 licence. This code is now jointly developed by Canonical, Cisco, IBM, Intel, NetApp, Red Hat, SUSE and various other contributors within oVirt, a project founded in 2008 by Red Hat to develop virtualisation software.

The oVirt project offers a Yum repository for integrating the oVirt components into Fedora 16; Fedora 17 is scheduled to include them by default. A pre-built oVirt Node image that is only 143 MB in size is also available to download. The project has collected important notes on installing oVirt under Debian and Ubuntu in a dedicated wiki and has provided a link to instructions for Gentoo.

An installation guidePDF contains installation instructions as well as general information on the components and use of oVirt. A good overview of oVirt is available in the slides of a presentation that was recently given at SCALE 10x; background information and numerous screenshots of the web interface can be found in the slides of a presentation at FOSDEMPDF. The oVirt wiki offers further presentation slides with information on oVirt and its components.


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