Fedora 16 arrives with a portfolio of snazzy cloud and virtualization tools designed to make it easier for administrators to manage virtual environments.
Fedora's latest release, Verne, features several cloud and
virtualization enhancements and capabilities designed to make it easier to
build large cloud deployments.
The new virtualization and cloud features in Fedora 16 allow
administrators and users to launch, run and manage cloud environments,
according to the project announcement on Nov. 8 from Red Hat sponsors The Fedora
Project, which is a community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
However, Fedora developers tend to include latest
cutting-edge technologies into Fedora, long before they are included in RHEL or
"Fedora 16 combines the newest advancements in open
source virtualized and cloud computing environments with significant under-the
hood-improvements-all while continuing to improve the operating system's
usability," said Jared Smith, a leader with The Fedora Project.
Fedora 16 includes multiple infrastructure-as-a-service
platforms for cloud computing, OpenStack, Condor Cloud and Aeolus. Users can
use the Aeolus Conductor, a Web-based user interface to manage virtual machines
in the private cloud or in various public clouds in a heterogeneous
Administrators need to have a standard deployment in order
to get the benefits of the cloud, according to Gunnar Hellekson, chief
technology strategist for Red Hat's United States public sector group. "If
every major application has its own database configuration, messaging
infrastructure and operating system build, all the agility and flexibility of
the cloud and virtualization infrastructures won't help you," he wrote on
his One People blog.
With Aeolus, administrators can use one set of tools
regardless of the cloud provider and avoid being locked into the vendor's
management tools, according to Fedora.
OpenStack provides users with services for setting up and
running computing and storage infrastructures.
OpenStack can be used to build both private and public clouds, according
to the project team.
Pacemaker-cloud provides application service high
availability for cloud environments, according to Fedora. The latest project
release also includes HekaFS, the project formerly known as CloudFS. HekaFS is
built on top of the open source GlusterFS file system to create a cloud-ready
storage file system with stronger authentication, authorization, encryption and
Red Hat acquired open source cloud storage
software vendor Gluster, which developed GlusterFS, for $136 million last
Fedora developers made changes to improve virtual networking
support and added virtualization in Fedora 16 tools, such as Virt-manager guest
inspection tool. With Virt-manager, users have read-only access to browse
through guest file systems, applications, and the Windows registry, according
The Virtual Machines Lock Manager prevents users from
starting the same virtual machine twice. It can also be used to lock virtual
disks so that it can't be accessed by multiple virtual machines simultaneously.
Fedora administrators can use the advanced version of Simple
Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE)-based virtual desktop
infrastructure (VDI) included in Fedora 16 as a basis for a thin-client desktop
system. SPICE depends on server-based Kernel Virtual Machines to run VDI
thin-client desktops. SPICE allows guest operating systems to share USB ports
and two-way audio messaging, as well.
Red Hat has been working on its cloud-strategy, and the
increased focus of virtualization and cloud features in Fedora is a sign the
company is exploring new technologies to expand into virtualized environments
and cloud data centers. "Cloud computing is about elasticity and
flexibility. It's about moving away from encumbering capital investments and
towards operating expenses," which are more elastic, Hellekson wrote.
The next version of Fedora is expected around May 2012.