Most every company will face a time where they need to increase their company’s infrastructure and capacity but do not have the room or money to bring in more hardware to satisfy what is needed. In this 2 part series we will describe the obstacles we faced and how we over came them to get our virtualization lab up and running.

OpenStack

One of the first things we tried was OpenStack. Early on we found many things that worked for us. Notably was the CEPH integration. Its WEB based migration was easy and some of the networking worked as we desired. OpenStack was not without its difficulties we had to take are time to work through. There was a lack of control over VM disks, the templates did not always run correctly because of the way the configuration was set up and installing Linux and ISO required many addition steps to get the VMs working correctly. Also, there was a lack of MAC address control. We could not set or change MAC addresses, once we terminated an instance and recreated the instance you could not go back to the old MAC address. There was also a lack of Windows ISO control. There was no Vert IO, HDD, or ID CD-ROM, no support to attach images and no way of attaching a running CD-ROM to VMs.

            During our installation of OpenStack we were able to install some hosts, nodes and the main controller nodes with very few problems or difficulty. We were able to set up the CEPH nodes as well but we found there was no major configuring. In the end we realized OpenStack was not working so we preformed reloads to clear out the CEPH data and to flush out the storage.

            Based on all our findings it was decided that OpenStack was not going to be able to do what we needed to support our virtualization lab. We needed to move on to something else. We needed something that did not have these difficulties.

CloudStack

After OpenStack did not work we moved on to trying CloudStack. During our installation of CloudStack we were able to upload some hosts, nodes and the main controller nodes with little difficulty. We were able to set up the CEPH nodes but just like OpenStack there was no major configuring. We did however need to do some updates to the applications it was running and had to configure the base node. Despite all this extra work we were able to get CloudStack up and running but it was not running at the optimum level and seemed to be running slowly and with some difficulties.

            We looked into what was causing it to run at a less than optimum level and found many things that were wrong. We found that it was not configuring correctly, it also wanted to run its own control host on each and every node. It was heavily dependent on CINTAS 6 and a few applications of CINTAS 7, which is very out dated, and this brought up many security issues. We also ran into many networking issues. A major networking issue was that there was no direct way to set up the HTTP proxy for the internal host. We also found the database had corruption to it.

From all this we came to the conclusion we would not be able to use CloudStack for our virtualization lab. We had to try something else that would better suite are needs and did not have as many difficulties as CloudStack.

oVirt

After trying both of these methods we moved on to trying the oVirt virtualization management system. During the installation process of oVirt we found great success in installing the OS, the controller, the KMOD and NIVDA. We did however have to add an external elrepo kernel for better VM performance. Also, we added the controller for the oVirt engine and added a VM on the controller host for CIDER and OpenStack. We had CIDER installed for CEPH images. We had the base CEPH software installed so we could have better command of the CEPH. We also added the OS to the host. Lastly, all the nodes were installed.

While running on oVirt we have found great success in achieving what we needed out of a virtualization system. The VM migration along with control over the VMs was easy to establish. We also found the host network configuration and host maintenance very easy to maintain. oVirt supported LDAP for authentication. To date the WEB UI has worked like we have wanted it to and looks very good.

oVirt however has not been without a few drawbacks. There have been a few CEPH CIDER issues. Also, it limits the size of the VM names and there are no folders to organize the VMs. Occasionally, some of the templates do not work correctly. We have also found that snapshot does not work within oVirt. oVirt did release a Beta 3.6 version which we are currently running and has resolved some of these issues but not everything is cleared up.

To present date we are still utilizing the oVirt virtualization management system as it still seems to be the best provider for our visualization lab. We are continually researching and testing other virtualization management systems that we feel could be better and more capable to handle what we need from our virtualization lab.