Relative newcomer Convirture holds that it is plugging a major hole by specializing in managing open-source Xen, KVM virtualization and private cloud deployments.
VMware's ESX hypervisor and its vCenter control
suite are thought to be operating in more than 80 percent of all enterprise IT
systems. And some IT people believe that number is too conservative.
Microsoft's Hyper-V, still getting its bearings in the market, is growing in
use but its market share is still mired in the single digits. That leaves 10 to
15 percent of all the rest deploying other virtual systems middleware, mainly
the open-source XenServer and KVM hypervisors that come bundled in most Linux
Front-line open-source data center middleware packages like XenServer (not
Citrix's premium Xen-based hypervisor) and KVM have considerable benefits: zero
licensing fees, workload-tested stability and a dedicated community of developers.
But the main problem always has been with hypervisor management: There hasn't
been a go-to toolbox for open-source hypervisors. Most shops are forced to
build their own controls.
What if you can't roll your own? That's where relative newcomer Convirture
believes it is plugging a major
hole. It specializes in managing open-source Xen, KVM virtualization and
private cloud deployments.
The company on July 29 released Version 2.0 of ConVirt Enterprise to address this gap in open-source
virtualization platforms. It is attempting to compete on the level of VMware
A freely downloadable, open-source version of ConVirt has been available since
just after the company launched in 2006. It has been downloaded more than
30,000 times and is broadly deployed and well-tested in a number of data
centers, according to the company. ConVirt1.x, in fact, is bundled in most
major Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Open SUSE and Debian.
"We solve the same problem for the Linux data center that VMware/vSphere
solves for the ESX deployments in the Windows part of the data center," CEO
Arsalan Farooq told eWEEK.
"Virtualization is now a part of the operating system. Microsoft is
certainly playing it that way, and with Linux this has been the case for a
while. KVM is part of the Linux kernel, so every distro known to man carries
it; Xen is also packaged with quite a few distros, so it's impossible to not
recognize that you have a triple-A grade hypervisor as part of the operating
What's new in Version 2.0
ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise extends the ConVirt Open Source offering with advanced
automation and scalability features for running large-scale or mission-critical
virtualized environments, Farooq said.
Other new or augmented features in v2.0 include server pool-based management,
templates-based provisioning, monitoring and configuration management,
comprehensive virtual machine administration, and highly scalable, three-tier,
That's not all. ConVirt 2.0 has a lot of storage-related features, including
automated backup and recovery functions,
private cloud management, storage and network automation, and a separate
enterprise integration suite of capabilities, including an open repository, command
line interface and programmatic APIs.
"I think they [Convirture] are representative of a number of companies,
many centered on open-source software, that are providing alternatives to
traditional, proprietary virtualization and cloud computing technology,"
The 451 Group analyst Jay Lyman told eWEEK.
"There are some customers that prefer the 'one throat to choke,' but we
are finding there are equal or greater numbers of users and customers that want
alternatives and multiple technology providers, and this stands to benefit
companies such as Convirture."