oVirt in the Lab

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2011-11-14 Print this article Print


I installed oVirt in the lab on a pair of servers: one for the management server and one for the host, each running Fedora 16. I used the Openfiler server in our lab for Network File System (NFS) shared storage. I compiled the oVirt Engine and deployed it on JBoss 5.1, and installed and configured Postgresql to provide data services for the engine. I installed the typical Linux virtualization stack of Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and libvirt on my host server, along with Virtual Desktop Server Manager (VDSM) from git. Next, I registered my host with the management server and configured a pair of NFS shares, one for hosting VM images and another for hosting CD images.

For the most part, I used the Web-based interface for oVirt to configure my machines, and while I was pleased overall with the Web application, I did run into several operations that had yet to be implemented in the Web interfaces. In these cases, I turned to oVirt's REST API, which exposes most of the product's functionality, and offers users a route to integrating their own applications with oVirt. The oVirt wiki doesn't offer much guidance on this API, but the beta documentation for RHEV 3.0 helped me get on the right track.

I used oVirt to create a handful of Linux and Windows virtual machines, and I was impressed by the performance of oVirt's graphical console features, which are powered by Red Hat's SPICE protocol. I installed the Windows 8 developer preview on one of my VMs, and noted that the OS' compositing desktop interface worked out of the box, and that I was able to watch YouTube videos running on the remote VM at very near full quality.

In addition to the oVirt Engine, the project includes a handful of other components, such as oVirt Node, a stripped-down version of Linux with just enough code for hosting virtual machines. I did not test oVirt Node, turning instead to a minimal Fedora 16 server running KVM, the libvirt virtualization management library, and the VDSM, which acts as a go-between for oVirt Engine and the host's copy of libvirt.

The oVirt project also includes data warehouse and reporting components, based, respectively, on the work of enterprise open-source software providers Talend and Jaspersoft.


As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

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