Simple KVM service

(devproj 202)

Period Hours
2011 T2 32
2011 T3 85
2012 T1 22
2012 T2 7
Total 146 (4.2 weeks)

The goal of this project was to produce a simple KVM based virtualisation service, using Redhat's tools. The aim was to produce a service with similar functionality to the existing VMware service; additional functionality such as migration would be addressed by a future project.

The project delivered :-

  • LCFG configuration for KVM hosts and guests
  • a simple tool (kvmtool) which allows simple creation of KVM guests from the command lines using templates
  • documentation on creating, managing and deleting KVM guests
  • documentation on creating and managing KVM hosts

The project took almost twice (4.2 weeks) the effort than was budgeted (2 weeks). This is at least partly due to time wasted in T3 trying to identify causes for occasional KVM host glitches - these turned out to be caused by a KVM bug which was fixed in SL6.1. The effort figure also includes some operational work associated with commissioning the three active KVM servers. The project has dragged over three project periods largely due to the ongoing SL6 fibre problems affecting availability of kit available to act as KVM host servers.

KVM, at least from SL6.1 onwards, has proved to be very stable and performant, with no sign of the dreaded resource creep that our VMware service suffers.

Manual hot guest migration between hosts not sharing back-end storage has been tested and documented, but as this functionality is still rather immature and unproven it is recommended that we use with care.

Future extensions include automated guest migration, load balancing, creating guests from LCFG resources. Work on some of these is being carried out by Matthew Richardson@see - ideally we could deploy all or part of what he develops. A possibly simple extension might be to use NFS as back end storage to allow manual guest migration - but likely only for a small number of guests per NFS server.

-- AlastairScobie - 14th June 2012

Topic revision: r6 - 14 Jun 2012 - 15:44:47 - AlastairScobie
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