The structure of a cloud with open source (Part 2)

As you expect, Linux and open source have provided the foundation for the cloud for public and private infrastructure.

Virtual machine tools and technologies

Since virtual machines are a combination of the operating system, root file system, and configuration, this space is ripe for tool development. To clearly see the full potential of virtual machines and tools, there must be a mobile way to assemble them. The current approach, called Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a flexible, efficient and portable virtual machine architecture. OVF encapsulates a virtual disk image in an XML wrapper that defines the configuration of the virtual machine, including networked configuration requirements, processor and memory, and a broad set of extended metadata for further definition. The image needs and its foundation. The important ability that OVF provides is mobility to distribute virtual machines in ways that the superintendent layer does not know.

There are a number of utilities for managing virtual machine images (VMI) as well as converting them to and from other formats. The OVF Tool of VMware is a useful tool that you can use to convert VMI (for example, to convert from the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit format to OVF). This tool and other tools are very useful once you have a VMI, but what happens if you have a physical server that you want to convert into a VMI? You can use a useful tool called Clonezilla for this purpose. Although at the beginning, Clonezilla was developed as a disaster recovery tool for disaster recovery, you can use it to convert a physical server entity into a virtual machine for easy deployment in a disaster recovery virtualization infrastructure environment. Many other tools exist (such as utilities built on libvirt) or are under development for conversion and management when the OVF format is accepted.


Local management

There are two viewpoints about management: how to manage the platform, and how to manage the infrastructure at a higher level.

Red Hat has introduced the libvirt library as an Application Programming Interface (API) for managing platform virtualization (super supervised layers and virtual machines). The thing that makes libvirt interesting is that it supports some super supervised flooring solutions (KVM and Xen are two of them) and provides API links with some languages ​​(like C, Python, and Ruby). It provides the ultimate "stepping stone" of management, direct communication with the platform's super supervising floor, and extends the APIs to larger infrastructure management solutions. With libvirt, to boot and stop virtual machines is very simple and it provides APIs for more advanced operations, such as moving virtual machines between platforms. When using libvirt, it is possible to use its shell (built on libvirt), called virsh.


Open source technologies of the infrastructure

Let's look at some other open source applications that support the infrastructure. The three types of solutions include two technology-grade and third-tier infrastructure solutions, including integrated solutions for pairing all pieces together for simpler deployment.


I / O technology

Building a web architecture can be broad and balanced depending on the ability to balance Web traffic across servers performing post-layer functionality. Some load balancing solutions are available, but recently Yahoo has opened up a solution called Traffic Server. The Traffic Server is interesting, as it contains a large number of capabilities in a package for cloud infrastructures, including session management, authentication, filtering, load balancing and routing. Yahoo! initially acquired this product from Inktomi, but has now expanded and introduced the product in open source.


Infrastructure management

Managing large-scale infrastructures (multi-layered management, super monitoring, and even more virtual machines) could be done in a number of ways. Two of the most common solutions are: each solution is built from the same platform (libvirt). OVirt is an open virtual machine management tool that scales from several virtual machines to thousands of virtual machines running on hundreds of servers. The oVirt package, developed by Red Hat, is a Web-based management console, in addition to traditional management, and supports clustering automation and load balancing. The oVirt tool is written in Python.

VirtManager presents a much richer graphical display (on live performance and resource utilization) and includes a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) display driver with a full graphical console for remote virtual machines.

Puppet is another open source package designed for data center infrastructure (a cloud). Although not specifically designed for virtualization infrastructures, it simplifies the management of large infrastructures by abstracting details of the peer-to-peer operating system. It does this through using the Puppet language. Puppet is ideal for automating administrative tasks on a large number of servers and is widely used today.


Integrated IaaS solutions

The following open source packages have a more comprehensive approach by integrating all the necessary functions into a single package (including virtualization, management, interfaces, and security). When added to a network of servers and storage, these packages create flexible cloud and storage infrastructure (IaaS). For details about these platforms, see References below.



One of the most popular open source packages for building cloud infrastructures is Eucalyptus (Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs to Useful Systems). Link your programs to useful systems.) What makes it unique is that its interface is compatible with Amazon's Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). In addition, Eucalyptus includes Walrus, a cloud storage application compatible with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).



OpenNebula is another interesting open source application (under the Apache license) developed at the Complutense University de Madrid. In addition to supporting its own cloud building, OpenNebula supports the idea of hybrid clouds. Hybrid clouds allow the integration of a private cloud infrastructure with a public cloud infrastructure (such as Amazon) to allow for higher levels of scalability.



Nimbus is another IaaS solution that focuses on scientific calculations. With Nimbus, you can rent remote resources (such as resources provided by Amazon EC2) and manage them locally (configuring, deploying virtual machines, monitoring, etc.). Nimbus is transformed from the Workplace-Workspace Service project (part of Because of its dependence on Amazon EC2, Nimbus supports Xen and KVM / Linux.


Cloud platform

Citrix has integrated Xen into an IaaS platform, using Xen as the super supervising layer while integrating other open source capabilities like vSwitch Open. An interesting advantage with the Xen solution is its focus on standards-based management (including OVF, Distributed Management Task Force, DTMF, CIM [CIM] Common Information Model and Virtualization Management Initiative from the Kensho project. The Xen management stack supports the security of the SLA, along with detailed statistics for subsequent charges.



Last but not least, OpenQRM is classified as a data center management platform. OpenQRM provides a single console for managing the entire virtualized data center, which in this central architecture allows plug-ins to integrate third-party tools. OpenQRM incorporates support with high availability (via redundancy) and supports a variety of super supervised layers, including KVM / Linux, Xen, VMware and Linux VServer.

By: Alex Murphy

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