ConVirt: the New Tool in Your Virtual Toolbox
Continue adding all of your hosts as managed servers to the console until they have all been added. You then can import any pre-existing VMs on your hosts by right-clicking the managed server and selecting Import Virtual Machine Config Files. You also might notice from this same menu context that you can move servers between pools. This feature is useful during organizational changes or when moving test servers into a production environment. Be aware that moving a server between pools also moves any that reside on it, so be aware of any configuration changes that might be applied by moving your server/guests into the new pool. You also are required to power down any running guests before moving the server.
Because I already have covered how to add existing guests to managed servers, let's create a new guest from a template (this also is called provisioning). To get a feel for all of your options, let's provision a guest VM from CD as well as clone a guest from a golden image using a reference disk.
Out of the box, ConVirt has two pre-configured templates for use with provisioning. These templates contain common configuration settings for a specific OS installed from a CD. Provisioning from the built-in templates is easy. Simply right-click a template, and select Provision to create a guest on your selected managed server.
For this example setup, let's create a Linux desktop from the existing Linux CD template. After clicking on Provision, you are asked on which server to place the new guest VM, and then you're prompted to provide a name for the it (Figure 5). ConVirt then creates a guest based on your name and creates a 10GB virtual hard drive and maps the guest to the physical CD/DVD of the host on which it's provisioned.
Figure 5. Provisioning a Guest from the Linux Template
Next, insert your physical install media on the host's physical drive. Once the guest VM appears under the host, power it up by right-clicking on the new guest and clicking Start.
If you do not want to use CDs, you also have the option to boot from an .iso file. To do so, change the path of your /dev/cdrom to an accessible .iso file (Figure 6) in the settings of a template or the guest itself. Once the VM has been started, right-click on it and select View Console. If you have a Java-enabled browser, you can access the new VM's desktop via the Web console, or if you choose another VNC client, ConVirt will display the IP and port required to access the VM. If you prefer to administer your host via SSH, you also can launch a session from the guest's right-click context menu.
Figure 6. Mounting an .iso to the Guest CD-ROM