It is a proven fact that Virtualization technologies have grown exponentially over the last decade. It is also true that new technologies such as Containers successfully replace traditional Virtualization in certain scenarios in which they fit best at the productive level. But traditional IT systems are still necessary in many use cases and this means that there is still a long life left to Virtual Machines.
Because of the experience I have had in these two decades as a professional in the IT world, I could say with almost certainty that one of the companies that has had the most to do with the success of Virtualization has been VMware Inc I vaguely remember my first contact with a VMware Workstation installed on a Windows Operating System, I remember about 2002. In those days it was still a curiosity, a small tool that allowed me to install Linux without using the odious two disk partitions that we had to alternate on the PC when we wanted to install Windows and Linux at the same time.

From then until now, VMware Inc. has become de facto one of the leading companies that commercialize Virtualization environments, but along this route they have come out serious competitors. One of the most interesting alternatives in my opinion is oVirt since it offers the same benefits of a Business Virtualization solution, but one hundred percent based on Free Software.

oVirt was born as a community project founded by Red Hat Inc., which in turn based its commercial product Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. It is a stack that covers all levels of Virtualization, including Hypervisor, centralized administration, API and graphical interface.

For someone who has experience working with VMware vSphere, the learning curve to adapt to an oVirt environment can be very short in time. Already in the first contact you will find many parallels between one environment and another. For example, the equivalent of the ESXi hypervisor is called oVirt Node and it is an RHEL or CentOS operating system with KVM enabled and a VDSM service (Virtual Desktop and Server Manager) that allows it to be controlled by oVirt Engine, which would be the equivalent to vCenter.

Like vSphere, oVirt is 100% scalable, just add Hypervisors to the Virtualization cluster. Of course it allows the High Availability of the VMs, as well as the online migration of these. In the storage part, we can provision the nodes with shared disks from an external storage system by FC or iSCSI, but the most interesting thing is that oVirt Engine provides the integration with Gluster storage using the disks of the Hypervisors, which allows us to implement a complete Hyperconvergence solution.

oVirt offers a very interesting solution based on Free Software for those implementations that do not require critical levels of support, such as desktop environments or workstations based on Linux or Windows supported by the client. It also allows us to implement a proof of concept to test before implanting in a Virtualization environment based on productive RHEV.

In short, a Virtualization solution with Enterprise environment features, at zero cost.

Do you want to know more about virtualization?

Pedro López

Pedro López

Training Manager and IT Solutions