Convirture manages open source Xen, KVM virtualization and the private cloud

ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise edition addresses the management gap in open source virtualization platforms and attempts to compete on the level of VMware vCenter

In February Convirture unveiled the 2.0 version of its open source virtualization management tool designed specifically for the open source Xen and KVM virtualization platforms. The company also said at that time it had plans to deliver an Enterprise version of the management software. Five months later, Convirture makes good on that promise with the release of a 2.0 Enterprise edition that offers more advanced automation, improved scalability, and extensive enterprise integration necessary to manage a large-scale or mission-critical virtualization environment.

As virtual machines built on top of Xen and KVM technology continue to grow in popularity, it is becoming evident there is a huge void where its virtualization management is supposed to be. Convirture believes they have the answer with ConVirt 2.0.

[ Also on InfoWorld: David Marshall asks whether this the end of the road for VMware's free hosted virtualization platform, VMware Server? | And what's going on with the Red Hat SPICE protocol? A new release could be a year away | Make sure to keep up with all the latest virtualization news with InfoWorld's virtualization newsletter. ]

As the hypervisor itself becomes commoditized, the market share battles will shift toward the management stack that surrounds the platform. We are already seeing that play out: Microsoft Hyper-V has System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM); Citrix XenServer has XenCenter; and VMware vSphere has vCenter. And $200 million later, VMware continues to try and fill out its management stack with the Ionix IT management technology acquired from parent company EMC only five months ago. Software vendors that make up the partner ecosystems of these virtualization giants are also going after a slice of the management pie. This seems to be the next frontier to conquer in the virtualization world.

This growth and advancement in management tools is good news for organizations deploying these proprietary technologies. But what about the people who are deploying the open source Xen and KVM hypervisors? Linux shops deploying these virtualization platforms have for the most part been without a sophisticated management toolset. Red Hat has been trying to fill that void with its own management software; however, its rebranded Qumranet management tools haven't gone over so well with Linux users because that management platform must still operate on top of a Windows operating system, which doesn't exactly make a Linux administrator's wish list.

This is the challenge Convirture has taken on. The company may not exactly be a household name, but it has been around since 2006, and the company's open source version of ConVirt has been available for more than three years now. It has been downloaded over 30,000 times, and the company claims it has been broadly deployed and well tested in real-world data centers. In fact, ConVirt 1.x is included in most major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, openSuse, and Debian to name a few.

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