Testing oVirt 3.3 with Nested KVM

We’re nearing the release of oVirt 3.3, and I’ve been testing out all the new features — and using oVirt to do it, courtesy of nested KVM.

KVM takes advantage of virtualization-enabling hardware extensions that most recent processors provide. Nested KVM enables KVM hypervisors to make these extensions available to their guest instances.

Nested KVM typically takes takes a bit of configuration to get up and running: on the host side, you need to make sure that nested virtualization is enabled, and on the guest side, you need to make sure that your guest VM’s is emulating a virt-capable processor.

With oVirt, you can take care of both the host and guest configuration chores by installing a vdsm hook on your host machine(s):

via Testing oVirt 3.3 with Nested KVM — Red Hat Open Source Community.

OpenStack Summit 2013 report

Last week, I attended my first OpenStack Summit as part of a team from Red Hat helping to launch a new community distribution of the popular open source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) project.

I came away from the Summit impressed with the size and velocity of OpenStack. The conference drew some 3000 users, developers, and members of the vendor community, roughly twice the draw from the previous Summit. What’s more, several of OpenStack’s component sub-projects reported a doubling in the number of active developers in their ranks over the past six months.

What impressed me more than the growth of the project, however, was the way that OpenStack embodies one of things I love most about open source, namely, its knack for helping people to peel back or eliminate barriers to innovation. The more freedom we afford ourselves to experiment with and improve the systems we care about, the more amazing results we can achieve.

via OpenStack Summit 2013 report | Opensource.com.

Ubuntu Unity and GNOME Shell: New Looks for Desktop Linux

GNOME Shell represents a new desktop approach intended to make applications easier to access, limit workspace distractions and make more use of modern desktop and notebook hardware.

Canonical, for its part, has broken ranks with GNOME by opting to not participate in GNOME Shell, instead developing for Ubuntu a separate interface, called “Unity.” Unity is rooted in many of the same components and designed with many of the same goals as GNOME, albeit with different implementation details.

Read my review at eWEEK.com, and check out the screen captures I took of GNOME Shell, Unity, and the two environments’ fallback desktops below: Continue reading “Ubuntu Unity and GNOME Shell: New Looks for Desktop Linux”

Novell SUSE Manager 1.2 Taps Red Hat Technology to Rein In Enterprise Linux

Novell’s SUSE Manager 1.2 provides users of the company’s line of enterprise-oriented, Linux-based operating systems with a server management tool built from the ground up with Linux in mind. SUSE Manager, which began shipping in March, is based on Spacewalk 1.3, an open-source project born out of Red Hat’s own server management product, Satellite, the code for which Red Hat freed in 2008. I tested SUSE Manager 1.2 with servers running SLES 11 SP1 and with RHEL 6, using the product to conduct software installation and update tasks, to push down configuration changes, and to monitor services running on the machines. Despite some rough edges, SUSE Manager is well worth evaluating for sites running SLES. For RHEL shops, a move to a combination of SUSE Manager plus Novell-based support for RHEL will be a tougher sell, but having another management and support option can’t hurt.

Read my full review of SUSE Manager 1.2 at eWEEK.com.

Mozilla Firefox 4 Boasts Performance and Usability Enhancements

As a speedy, modern, cross-platform Web browser, Firefox 4 is well worth evaluating for any organization, particularly those with a heterogeneous mix of client operating systems. On this multiplatform front, however, organizations should also keep an eye on Google’s Chrome, which tends to match Firefox in features and performance, and offers Group Policy-based management support that Firefox 4 lacks. For those already running earlier versions of Firefox, version 4 will be well worth the upgrade—provided that any add-ons on which users rely are compatible with the new version.

Read my full review of Firefox 4 at eweek.com.