ConVirt easily manages virtualized data centers that use Xen and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) for virtualization while providing a central management console.
The latest version of ConVirt Enterprise Cloud adds cloud provisioning to its array of management options, thereby enabling IT managers with Linux-based servers to move workloads to private or public cloud platforms.
ConVirt Enterprise Cloud is an amalgamation of open-source and proprietary technologies that manage how data center resources are allocated between applications, private clouds and public cloud resources such as Amazon EC2, Eucalyptus and OpenStack.
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ConVirt Enterprise Cloud is available to run with a few different Linux Distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS6, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 10.04. I tested the product using CentOS6. I tested ConVirt Enterprise Cloud version 3.1, which ConVirt started shipping May 2 and costs $1,495 per host.
During the installation process, I configured which virtual servers and virtual machines ConVirt should manage. There are a few options available here, depending on how you want to define your cloud infrastructure. I used Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to set up my virtual platform. I could have used ConVirt Enterprise Cloud to manage systems running on Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) or XEN platforms or a combination of the different platforms.
The heart of the ConVirt Enterprise Cloud is the CMS, or ConVirt Management Server, which is accessed using Firefox. The management console uses a dashboard that allowed me to drill down into the different aspects of the CMS. I liked the console layout and large number of virtual machine templates, as well as the fact that I could work with Xen, KVM and EC2 from a single management interface.
Several tabs/pull-down menus are available for monitoring, managing and provisioning. One of the more interesting features of the product is its ability to transform virtual infrastructures into a private cloud, with just a few mouse clicks. The process involves using the infrastructure as a service menu and selecting to add a new IaaS element.
Here I chose between the infrastructure options, such as selecting a local infrastructure to use, and then giving it a cloud name. After naming the new private cloud, I then chose what virtual infrastructure elements were available for that private cloud. Those elements include servers, networks and so on, all of which were readily available via a drill-down screen.
Of course, those elements need to be previously defined, and incorporated into the CMS, which is a straightforward process that occurs during primary installation and configuration. With this said, I had the flexibility to add elements before venturing into the IaaS screen to define private clouds.