[et-mgmt-tools] Virt-factory 0.0.3 Released

Michael DeHaan mdehaan at redhat.com
Thu Jun 28 22:02:31 UTC 2007

Virt-Factory?  What's that?

Basically, Virt-factory is our ongoing project to make better tools for 
managing a very large number (like a datacenter's worth) of Xen machines 
and virtual appliances.    


For virt-factory to help command infrastructure, it has to have a pool 
of physical hosts assigned to it.   You can either PXE new machines from 
the VF server, or register existing ones using a command line 
registration tool.    From there, you can use the Web UI to add more 
virtual machines to any of your hosts and control the virtualization 
state of those machines.   Currently it's not quite up to speed with 
virt-manager in terms of feature parity, but it does have 
start/stop/pause/shutdown/etc controls -- we're getting there.    
Supporting migration is on the roadmap.

Virt-Factory is different from other management apps in a few key 
areas.   We use the concept of Profiles to say what a machine does.    
This integrates systems management (Puppet) with the provisioning 
process (Cobbler) all in one easy step -- and all controlled with a very 
simple user interface.    Administrators can create (or import) 
profiles, assign them to existing machines, and share them with other 
virt-factory users.   ISVs could also create profiles for commercial 
software.  Basically, profiles are a lightweight way of building 
software appliances.   

Future releases will also concentrate heavily on batch management, such 
as finding good candidates to migrate virtual machines to when taking a 
physical host offline, or doing interesting things with tagging and 
reporting.   So, by integrating systems management tools in with good 
batch management solutions, we'll have a unique (and free) solution
for doing a lot of interesting things around virtualization management.

This particular release adds several new things:

-- More streamlined setup process 
-- User interface is now rethemed and improved -- (thanks to Máirín 
Duffy for help on this)
-- The server now sets up and runs PostgreSQL automatically -- as 
opposed to sqlite
-- Changes to work with newer builds of Puppet
-- Localization framework (though no included translations yet)
-- Lots of code/architectural cleanup and bugfixes

Our plans for future releases are detailed here:  

Keep in mind this project is still getting off the ground somewhat, so 
it's not quite ready for production use.  The next release (0.0.4) will 
address a lot of those critical features.
If you have comments, questions, or ideas ... as usual, we'd love to 
hear them.   Check out http://virt-factory.et.redhat.com, email us here, 
or stop by on IRC.    We have a channel #virt-factory on irc.freenode.net.

Downloads are here:  http://virt-factory.et.redhat.com/download.php


Michael DeHaan
Adrian Likins
Scott Seago

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