Convirture ConVirt Enterprise Cloud - KVM and Xen virtual data centers

Private, public and hybrid clouds are of interest to many organizations. Some, however, believe that VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft's license fees are too high and the terms too restrictive. Conviture is working to address their concerns.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Convirture recently announced ConVirt Enterprise Cloud which is designed to manage virtualized data centers and enterprise cloud deployments. Convirture promises that ConVirt will make it possible to manage virtual data centers based upon KVM or Xen from a single dashboard. This tool makes it possible for  IT administrators to manage the mix of how data center resources are allocated between applications, private clouds and public cloud resources such as Amazon EC2.

Quick Summary of ConVirt Enterprise Cloud

Here's what Convirture has to say about its new product:

ConVirt Enterprise Cloud is the newest addition to the ConVirt product family, which is being used by tens of thousands of users worldwide.

ConVirt Open Source provides the core functionality for managing virtualized environment, including monitoring, configuration management, templates-based provisioning, and live migration. ConVirt Open Source is free to download and use, while support from Convirture is there when needed.

ConVirt Enterprise extends ConVirt Open Source with advanced automation and scalability features, such as high availability and dynamic resource allocation, necessary to run large scale or mission critical virtualization environments. ConVirt Enterprise is a commercially licensed product.

ConVirt Enterprise Cloud adds management support for private and hybrid clouds side-by-side with the rest of the virtualized environment.

Features include:

  • Ease of private cloud setup – Designate which parts of an existing infrastructure (server pools, networks, storage, and templates) should be used for the cloud deployment and ConVirt will take of the rest.
  • Hybrid cloud support – Integrate Amazon EC2 deployments into the ConVirt console. View and provision new virtual datacenters and virtual machines from within ConVirt.
  • Virtual datacenters - Provision new cloud clients within seconds, by specifying how much compute, network, and storage capacity to allocate to the each virtual datacenter. Each client gets access to ConVirt’s highly interactive web-based user interface, where they can manage their virtual machines without having any visibility into the underlying physical infrastructure.
  • Resource quotas - Limit the compute, storage, and network resources that cloud clients can use, ensuring that they do not go above the allocated quota.
  • Flexible service offerings - Pre-configure a set of service offerings, such as small, medium, large virtual machines, and make those available to cloud users. Alternatively, allow users to create and upload their own templates. Whether using public or private templates, cloud users can provision new virtual machines with a few simple clicks.
  • Full multi-tenant security – ConVirt Enterprise Cloud delivers fine-grained, role-based access control, allowing sharing of infrastructure resources among multiple clients while ensuring full isolation.
  • Advanced networking - Provides flexibility in setting up networking for cloud clients. Administrators can choose to put a client on an existing corporate network, pre-configure VLANs for them, or allow them to create their own VLANs within a specified quota. ConVirt Enterprise Cloud also manages allocation and configuration of Public IP addresses.
  • Optimized cloud resource usage - Optimize cloud resource usage in accordance with business priorities. Define high-level policies, such as “run the cloud in the power saving mode” or “distribute load evenly across the cloud”, and ConVirt Enterprise Cloud will automatically re-allocate resources to meet business objectives.
  • Highly available cloud - Protect clients against virtual machine and server failures by using ConVirt’s high availability features.
  • Enterprise integration – Use ConVirt’s comprehensive set of APIs to achieve tight integration with enterprise applications, such as self-service portal.
  • Support for third party private cloud infrastructure platforms – Integrate existing private cloud infrastructure deployments, such as Eucalyptus and OpenStack, into ConVirt to gain a centralized view of a virtualized datacenter.

Snapshot analysis

I've spoken with the folks from Convirture in the past (see Is now the time for KVM? and A Convirture user profile for more information) and think that their virtual data center concept makes sense -- making it possible to see the resources in use and managing those resources in complex virtual environments regardless of whether they are on-premise, in the cloud or some combination.

Convirture is a member of the open virtualization alliance and is offering products and services for those organizations that want the benefits of a virtualized environment but find the offerings from companies such as VMware, Citrix and Microsoft too expensive or the imposed terms and conditions too restrictive.

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