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.
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.
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 email@example.com