ConVirt: the New Tool in Your Virtual Toolbox
The navigation pane is logically divided into a tree with your Data Center at the top with Server Pools and Templates listed underneath it. This outline reflects how resources are organized in ConVirt: Data Center→Server Pool→Managed Server (host)→Guest. Your Data Center is the top-most delineation of your virtual environment. It could be a site or an organizational unit. Under the Data Center are Server Pools that group together like managed servers that share common items like storage and virtual network configurations. Managed servers are placed in the server pools along with any guests/VMs that reside on them. Templates fall into their own category, but also are available from the navigation pane. Templates are pre-configured groups of settings used at provisioning time to carve up/define the virtual resources available to new guests (processors, memory, storage and NICS).
The next step in your deployment is to prepare your hosts to become managed
servers. Specific hypervisors have individual requirements before being
added to the CMS, but the process for preparing each host is roughly
the same for each. Create a network bridge on each host, download the
ConVirt tool from the site and install any dependencies. Then configure SSH
on each managed/server host for root access, and finally, run the
convirt-tool setup command. Debian/Ubuntu users should
you will need to set a password on the root account manually in order
to manage any hypervisor from the CMS. I also suggest that you name any
bridges you create with identical names (for example, KVM=br0, Xen=Xenbr0), as
this helps standardize your guests' networking options. For this article,
I created two KVM servers and one Xen server to manage with ConVirt.
With the hosts prepared, you now can add them to the CMS. This starts by adding hosts to a server pool. You can use the pre-configured Server Pools (Desktop, Server, QA Lab) or create your own. I created an additional pool to play with that I named "Production", and in case I messed anything up, it wouldn't affect the default pools. When you have your pool selected, right-click on it and select Add Server. On the resulting screen, select your platform, either Xen or KVM, and fill in the hostname or IP address.
If you have not configured SSH for root access on the host, the server will fail. If the server is added successfully, it now should display under the server pool you chose with a little K (K) or X (Xen) icon (Figure 3). Click on the newly added server to see performance information about your host displayed in the center pane (Figure 4). From this display, you also can view the number, type and status of the guest running on the host.
Figure 3. Our New Server Group
Figure 4. Real-Time Performance Stats on One of Our KVM Servers
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