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Up and Running with oVirt 3.5

Last week, version 3.5 of oVirt, the open source virtualization management system, hit FTP mirrors sporting a slate of fixes and enhancements, including a new-look user interface, and support for using CentOS 7 machines as virtualization hosts.

As with every new oVirt release, I'm here to suggest a path to getting up and running with the project on single server, with an option for expanding to additional machines in the future. First, though, a quick rundown of the different single-machine options for trying out oVirt:

  • oVirt Live ISO: A LiveCD image that you can burn onto a blank CD or copy onto a USB stick to boot from and run oVirt. This is probably the fastest way to get up and running, but once you're up, this is probably your lowest-performance option, and not suitable for extended use or expansion.
  • oVirt All in One plugin: Run the oVirt management server and virtualization host components on a single machine with local storage. This is a more permanent version of the Live ISO approach, and had been my favored kick-the-tires option until the rise of…
  • oVirt Hosted Engine: The self-hosted engine approach consists of an oVirt virtualization host that serves up its own management engine. This route is a bit more complicated than those above, but I like it because:
    • oVirt 3.5 supports CentOS 7 as a virtualization host, but not as a host for the management engine. Running oVirt Engine in a separate VM allows you to put CentOS 7 on your metal, and keep CentOS 6 around for the engine.
    • With the All-in-One approach, your management engine is married to the machine it's installed on, limiting your expansion options. The Hosted Engine can move among hosts.

For this howto, I'll be walking through the steps you can follow to get oVirt 3.5 up and running on a single machine with a self-hosted engine, and with self-hosted storage, courtesty of GlusterFS.

In my next post, I'll describe how to add two more machines to the mix to give yourself an installation hardy enough to bring a machine down for updates and maintainence without everything grinding to a halt.

If you have access to good external NFS or iSCSI storage to use with your oVirt exploration, I'll point out where you can skip the GlusterFS bits and use your external storage resource.

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oVirt Dockerized: Part 2

Yesterday in oVirt Dockerized: Part 1, we learned how to run oVirt on a virtual machine or server, and the "fun part" of making oVirt go. In Part 2, we dive deeper into running oVirt with a remote database and as a standalone container, interactive configuration of an oVirt container, and how to clean up your environment.

Run oVirt with a Remote Database

In this scenario, the oVirt container is connected to the data containers and are linked within the same namespace

cd oVirt-Dockerized/Run && sudo make ovirt-run

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oVirt Dockerized: Part 1

oVirt logo As we moved toward the release of oVirt 3.5.0, the oVirt team started exploring how can we maximize the ease of the deployment process. Steps have already been taken in that direction, with the migration to otopi based setup infra, hosted engine, and oVirt virtual appliance. But still there is nothing like “Poof! I got oVirt!!” for any major Linux distribution. Until now.

Running oVirt now can take only a matter of seconds. Depending on your Internet connection, by the time you finish reading this article, you could have an ovirt-engine 3.5.0 GA instance up and running, thanks to Docker.

To run oVirt on a virtual machine or server of your favorite Linux distro, use this command after installing Docker on your system:

docker run --privileged -dt -p 80:80 -p 443:443  --name ovirt goldboi/ovirt-sa-configured-3.5.0

With this single Docker command, you can download and install a working instance of oVirt in moments. Downloading the Docker image layers will take some time, but because the container should already be local, things will even run much faster the next time you run this Docker command. You can also use one of its parent images in building new images using Docker cache.

I'd like to discuss the work process done on this project. If you just want to play around, jump over to “The Fun Part” section.

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User Stories, Dialogs Are Central Theme of oVirt Workshop

The latest iteration of the oVirt Workshop rolled into Düsseldorf on October 16th, with loads of new content to share with participants and the start of new dialogs about the future of the open source virtual datacenter management platform.

The day started with a well-received presentation from Michal Skrivanek on what's new in oVirt 3.5, which unbeknownst to the attendees, would be released the very next day.

Next up, Antoni Segura Puimedon walked everyone through the details of how oVirt and OpenStack are integrating, which generated some good discussion, primarily because of all of the technologies out in enterprise IT, people are very interested in OpenStack and how they can use it. This is a topic worth exploring in detail in the near future.

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oVirt 3.5 Rolls Out

oVirt logo To say that October was a big month for oVirt would be a little bit of an understatement.

This past week was the KVM Forum, a three-day event in Düsseldorf that brought together the entire KVM community, which included oVirt users and developers. The October 16th oVirt Workshop, a free-of-charge event co-located with the KVM Forum, focused on the oVirt datacenter platform and its use in business and academic worlds.

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GNOME Boxes 3.14, Unboxed

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Boxes of Boxes, a bi-monthly virtualization, containerization, and turduckenization column. Given the title and subject matter of this column, and the fact that version 3.14 of GNOME desktop environment has recently shipped, I decided to take a look at the project's built-in application for running virtual machines: GNOME Boxes. I took GNOME Boxes for a spin on Fedora 21 alpha, which also shipped recently, sporting GNOME 3.14 as its default desktop environment.

The GNOME 3.14 release notes point to support for Debian as a newly added "express installation" target for GNOME Boxes, so I started off by pointing the app at a Debian Wheezy installation ISO I'd downloaded. The express installation feature suggests a set of sane defaults for virtual disk size and for VM memory, asks for a password, and promptly chefs up a fresh VM instance, and the feature worked as expected with the installation I'd kicked off.

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CentOS Community Update -- All About SIGs

Welcome to a new column that is publishing at least twice monthly on Tuesdays on to talk about what is happening in the expanding CentOS Project.

One of the most exciting aspects of the expanding CentOS Project is the work being done by Special Interest Groups, or SIGs, to bring emerging technologies to the CentOS community.

The work of these SIGs happens on top of the CentOS Linux core release, providing new software alongside the core in the form of repositories or images. In some cases SIGs may replace core packages as part of making a variant targeted at a specific audience. SIGs can do this because members must come from the involved upstream project, and thus are authoritative about what that software and its community needs

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GHC '14: Advancing the Work from Home Option

The Thursday afternoon Advancing the Work from Home Option Birds of a Feather (BoF) session, led by IBM engineer Lauren J. Schaefer, offered a chance for attendees to share tips for working from home, to network, and to brainstorm on how to encourage other organizations to offer opportunities for working remotely. Although Lauren led the BoF, attendees actively contributed to the discussion in smaller groups and then summarized what they discussed for the room of approximately 80 women.

When the BoF started, Lauren encouraged the attendees, who were scattered across the tables throughout the room, to gather together and fill the seats at fewer tables to help foster the smaller group conversations. I sat at a table full of women from Thomson Reuters, Apple, Microsoft, and GitHub, for example. Lauren took a poll of attendees and we learned that the majority rarely work at home, several occasionally work at home, and a few women (myself included) work from home full-time. The women at my table reflected the mix of attendees gathered in the room.

Lauren said that her goals in the BoF were to build a work from home community, share tips and techniques for being successful remote employees, and, most ambitiously, to develop a plan for making the work from home option available for new employees of other organizations.

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GHC '14 - OpenHatch Open Source Workshop & Getting Into GitHub

The first day of the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration started off with a session welcoming newcomers to GHC '14. Last year, ~4,000 people attended the event, and the number doubled for 2014, which means a lot of newcomers to welcome. Next, the auditorium filled up as attendees filed in for the opening welcome, awards presentation, and a cryptography-focused keynote by Shafi Goldwasser (2012 recipient of the Turing Award). Sessions started after the lunch break, including an open source track, which included a code-a-thon where attendees could work with representatives from various projects.

Back in 2010, I read an article, Ready to be an open source contributor but don't know where to start?, which explained OpenHatch. The OpenHatch project was only about a year old back then. I decided to sit in the GHC '14 OpenHatch session today to see what the project is up to now.

I was surprised that Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Program Director at OpenHatch, didn't actually discuss the project much. Instead, she gave a quick, practical introduction to open source, which makes sense because the vast majority of GHC '14 attendees aren't active in open source communities. Yet.

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GHC '14 Opens Up with Open Source

The 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is this week, October 8-10, in Phoenix, Arizona, with 8,000 attendees expected to converge on the annual event. Open source skills can give you a big advantage in the tech industry, so it's fitting that GHC '14 kicks off with a bunch of open source action.

According to Priyanka Sarkar in a recent article on, FOSS Skills That Will Get You Hired This Year, candidates with OpenStack, web and mobile app development, and programming experience, for example, are in demand. These are a few of the areas that will be covered in Wednesday's Grace Hopper Open Source Day, which includes a Code-a-thon for Humanity as attendees pick up new (or improve current) open source skills. Registered code-a-thon attendees can choose to work with participating organizations, such as OpenStack. In the OpenStack workshop, for example, attendees with basic familiarity with SSH clients get a crash course in cloud computing, OpenStack, and how OpenStack is used in humanitarian apps.

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