For quite some time I have heard that Hyper-V was a low player when it came to virtualization. It came with Windows and was the hypervisor of choice, but it had its limitations. In my environment, we had local storage and no clustering of hosts and consequently no high availability or fail over. This brought the first pain point – we need high availability.
On one of my hosts, the broadcom Ethernet driver kept triggering flow control and would not resume causing all of the VM Guests to go offline. This triggered the second pain point – I need high availability yesterday.
What matters most in a hypervisor environment is the tools you use to manage it.
I took this principle as a guide when searching for a hypervisor environment. I first looked at Hyper-V and the new licensing costs it would accrue. Next I looked at the popular VMWare ESXi, but I heard the neat features were at a premium price and all I needed was high availability. I looked at Open Source versions like KVM, Xen, and OpenStack (which appeared to be too big for my 40 VM environment). Then I found RHEV’s community version – oVirt. It had all the bells and whistles I needed – Linux hosts and high availability.
oVirt’s install documents were surprisingly simple as I quickly found 3 servers to set up: an engine server, a file server, and a VM Host. Once set up, I tinkered with it, and to my delight – everything worked right out of the box (on old hardware too!) My next step was to install a few VMs and test the high availability features. It was evident that oVirt was the solution to my pain points.