News from the libvirt / virtualization universe

Posted: November 2nd, 2007 | Filed under: libvirt, Virt Tools | No Comments »

Alot has been going on in the libvirt universe recently as it continues on its path to world domination. A couple of days ago Daniel Hokka Zakrisson (that’s the 4th Daniel involved in libvirt!) surprised us all by announcing the start of a Linux-VServer driver for libvirt. This is the second container based virtualization driver, following on from the previous OpenVZ driver work. On the KVM front we now have support for save & restore thanks to Jim Paris, and the Xen & KVM drivers can also do CDROM media changes which will make Windows guest installs much more friendly. A bunch of work is taking place around NUMA to allow guests to be intelligently placed to take advantage of the capabilities of large NUMA boxes.

I’ve been working on integrating SASL support into the remote management driver. This will augment our existing SSL/TLS + x509 security model, to provide fun stuff like Kerberos integration (single sign on!) and plain old username/password auth (with data encryption thrown in too though). This will tie in very nicely with the FreeIPA project which is providing a way to get a pre-integrated Kerberos + LDAP solution for Linux users to compet with ActiveDirectory. I installed FreeIPA in a Fedora 7 guest a few weeks back and can say it is looking very impressive indeed.

There have been lengthy discussions & arguments about how to represent & manage storage from within libvirt, which is a key requirement for being able to provision guest OS from a remote host. Once this all gets fleshed out we’ll be able to manage plain old files, QCow/VMDK files, LVM volumes, iSCSI volumes, disks/partitions and even FiberChannel with NPIV from within virt-manager and other libvirt based apps. This will improve the admin experiance significantly.

Rich Jones has put together all sorts of fun apps ontop of libvirt in recent months. virt-top is a command line tool to provide a ‘top’ like display of CPU, disk & network activity in all guest machines on a host. Virt-P2V is a Live CD based on Fedora which allows you to take an existing physical machine and turn its disk images into a virtual guest running under Xen / KVM fullvirt. Nagios-Virt is a plugin for the Nagios monitoring system which gives status on virtual machines. There are various other interesting admin tools along these lines in the works, so watch this space….

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