Package Includes Powerful Virtual Data Center Tool

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-07-23 Print this article Print


To create the private cloud, I defined and chose the VLAN pools, the public IP that is addressed and the corporate network elements that will be used by the private cloud. Behind the scenes, ConVirt handled all the networking elements, automating the assignment of public IPs to virtual machines and isolating virtual networks from each other (if needed) and all of the other IP-related chores that normally must be done by hand.

I found one of the most powerful components of the CMS to be the virtual data center tool, which allowed me to quickly create virtual data centers that also offered self-provisioning capabilities to users. This meant I could build a virtual data center, allocate the available resources and then deliver that element as a €œprivate cloud virtual data center€ to others, such as customers or departmental network administrators.

Each virtual data center can be set up with its own users, administrators and VLANs, allowing full separation between virtual data centers, yet still provide centralized monitoring and management. I was able to create multiple virtual data centers under private clouds with ease. I found that very useful for creating a working virtual data center for cloud-based use as a line-of-business solution, while creating another virtual data center for prototyping and testing.

Simply put, I was able to beta-test applications on my second virtual data center, and then quickly transfer them over to my line-of-business virtual data center. The only obvious downside I came across during testing was that the product could use more comprehensive reporting, a critical capability that is a must for those using ConVirt as a provisioning platform for their customers€™ virtual data centers. Also, the installation process can be somewhat complex, requiring knowledge of several open-source technologies, as well as a keen understanding of how various virtualization platforms work.

Of course, there are many other ways to build virtual data centers. Many public cloud service providers offer tool sets that enable administrators to build custom offerings, create virtual data centers and deploy virtual infrastructures.

Also, a vast number of IaaS vendors exist, each with their own take on how to manage and deploy virtual offerings and cloud services. However, ConVirt brings everything one needs together into a single, simple-to-use package that leverages both open-source technologies and works with cloud services providers, such as Amazon€™s EC2, Eucalyptus and OpenStack platforms. That is what helps make ConVirt unique among a plethora of cloud-enablement tools.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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