Convirture delivers enterprise grade management for Linux virtualization

Has the dearth of management tools held you back from deploying virtualization on a Linux platform? Now there is an enterprise version of the open source management software ConVirt that actually exceeds the base feature set of VMWare's vCenter. ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise might be just the tool you need to help Linux flourish in your virtualized data center.

There's no longer any doubt that data center virtualization is the new enterprise computing model. Everyone is on the bandwagon to save money, increase agility, and get better utilization from their resources.

When it comes to the preferred virtualization platform, VMware is the market share leader by a wide margin, but Linux has a respectable foot in the data center door. One of the reasons why VMWare has such a lead is that the company offers a large family of management tools that help you provision, manage, secure and protect your environment and applications. On the Linux side of the house, there is a dearth of enterprise management tools.

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This has resulted in two pain points for data center managers who really want to use open source platforms for virtualization. One, it's easy to deploy virtualized Linux platforms, but it's hard to manage them because of the lack of tools. And two, it's hard to integrate Linux with the rest of the data center due to this lack of manageability.

The founders of Convirture saw this as an opportunity, and in 2006 they launched their company to provide an open source set of management tools for Linux hypervisors. The first product, ConVirt 1.x, has been available for more than three years and is broadly deployed and well tested in data centers. In fact, it has been downloaded more than 30,000 times and is included in most major Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Open SUSE, Debian and others.

The latest ConVirt 2.0 Open Source software was made available back in March and it already has about 3,000 production deployments. It is the basic platform that provides administration of a Xen or KVM hypervisor with a Web interface. It can be used by multiple administrators for managing a pool of servers and includes templates for provisioning VM images. Plus, the software provides historical usage data, configuration information for VMs, as well as the ability to drag-and-drop live migration of VMs. With this open source version, users need to rely on the free community support.

Now Convirture is bringing a higher value product to the marketplace. ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise extends the open source software with advanced automation and scalability features necessary for running large-scale or mission-critical virtualized environments. Among these features are virtual and physical machine failover and integration capabilities with higher level system management software from HP, CA and IBM Tivoli.

Betting that the future of cloud computing is based on Linux, Convirture built a cloud management feature set into ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise. It includes multi-tenant security, delegated control, scheduled provisioning, resource limiting and the ability to create virtual appliances that comply with corporate standards and publish them effortlessly to cloud users.

In addition, ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise has other management features that were previously available only for proprietary virtualization platforms, including a full backup and recovery feature set that ensures successful recovery from planned and unplanned outages. Scheduled and on-demand backups are supported. Restore modes can be for the most recent state or any earlier backup. Both virtual machine state and storage are captured, so virtual machines are brought up in a consistent state. ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise also significantly streamlines the error-prone and time-consuming tasks of configuring network and storage in a virtualized environment. Storage configuration standardizes storage across a server pool by automating configuration of all storage types, including NFS, iSCSi, AOE, Fiber Channel and LVM.

ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise is officially certified for the following platforms:

* Xen: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10/11, and CentOS 5.

* KVM: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10/11, CentOS 5 and Ubuntu 10.4 LTS.

ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise is available immediately direct from Convirture. Pricing starts at $1,495 per host for up to 10 hosts, with volume pricing available for larger environments. A "per virtual machine" pricing package is also available for ISPs and hosting providers. The purchase price includes support from Convirture.

Download and try ConVirt 2.0 Open Source for free and see if that meets your needs; otherwise, you can download a ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise for a 30 day free trial. Both can be found at www.convirture.com/downloads.php.

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