KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) under Linux is an excellent virtualization environment yet it is still lacking in some areas. To manage your virtual machines, there isn’t a single management interface, so you are left with using Virt-manager which can be a bit of a pain.
RHEV (ovirt) has some promise as it is a solid web interface and does pretty much everything. An agent (vdsm) is required on each hosts and ovirt needs to be installed/running on a separate physical machine (it can be on one of your hypervisors, but not recommended as a virtual machine. However, it has a fundamental flaw in its design: everything must be imported in to its file system design. It creates a new directory hierarchy which doesn’t allow for existing virtual machines to be added with ease (you have to first create the virtual machine, then move /copy your existing hard drive image over). Using ISO’s is as easy as dropping your ISO files in to a particular directory.
Archipel comes at it from a slightly different design, and, frankly, it sounds weird! Using a specialized jabber server (XMPP) to communicate between libvirt and the archipel agent, you get a rather intuitive result for managing virtual machines on one or many hypervisors.
Installing Archipel on a Fedora 16 system is relatively easy. The instructions on their site cover just about all of the steps, but some small pieces are missing. The boiled down steps are:
Install and Configure ejabberd (on any host)
- Install ejabberd and the erlang environment
yum -y install ejabberd erlang-dev erlang-xmerl erlang-xmlrpc erlang-tools
- Create a NEW /etc/ejabberd/ejabberd.cnf file as documented here.
- Replace MGMT_FQDN with the full host name of your management server (myhostname.mydomain.com)
- Patch ejabberd systemd definition, append the following to /lib/systemd/system/ejabberd.service:
- Set ejabberd to start automatically
systemctl enable ejabberd.service
- Start ejabberd
systemctl start ejabberd.service
- Set your ejabberd admin password (replace MGMT_FQDN and yourpassword)
ejabberdctl register admin MGMT_FQDN yourpassword
Install and Configure Archipel agent (on hypervisors)
- Install required packages
yum -y install python-nose numpy python-imaging python-sqlalchemy
- Install the client
- Initialize the installation (replace MGMT_FQDN and YOURPASSWORD accordingly)
archipel-tagnode –jid=admin@MGMT_FQDN –password=YOURPASSWORD –create
archipel-rolesnode –jid=admin@MGMT_FQDN –password=YOURPASSWORD –create
archipel-adminaccounts –jid=admin@MGMT_FQDN –password=YOURPASSWORD –create
archipel-vmparkingnode –jid=admin@MGMT_FQDN –password=YOURPASSWORD –create
archipel-vmparkingnode –jid=admin@MGMT_FQDN –password=YOURPASSWORD -a hypervisor_jid@MGMT_FQDN
- Set the agent to start automatically
systemctl enable archipel.service
- Update /etc/archipel/archipel.conf
xmpp_server = MGMT_FQDN
- Start the agent
systemctl start archipel.service
Install the Archipel web interface (any web server host)
- Pick a place in your web server tree. For example: /var/www/html/Archipel
- Download the interface from the Archipel Web Site
- Uncompress the download in the directory within your web server tree
Using Archipel (any desktop)
- Navigate to the URL of your Archipel Web Interface
- Log in using the admin credentials you created as part of your ejabberd install
- Under Contacts->Add contact, enter in your hypervisor(s) in the format of HOSTNAME@MGMT_FQDN
- You will see the hypervisor in the left, but no VM’s.
- To import a VM that is already running, click on the Hypervisor, then click on “Virtual Machines”. For each machine listed (it will list it as an unmanaged vm), import them.
- The pages take several seconds to refresh when you click on an item. Be patient.
- The VNC console works about 50% of the time. When it stops working, it will not correct itself.
- Initial imports of VM’s will list them as “off” in the summary on the left, but clicking on them will reveal that they are running.
- All problems are usually solved by restarting the archipel agent on the hypervisor in question.