Looking Back At oVirt Workshop

By Jon Benedict


The first oVirt Workshop of 2013 was held this past week at NetApp headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. It was a great event and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout as these workshops are critical to growing the oVirt community of developers and users. Before I get into why it was a success and some of my favorite highlights, I’d like to provide a little background in regards to oVirt.


oVirt, or Open Virtualization, is the open source project dedicated to developing the software ecosystem around the KVM hypervisor, as well as the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. The oVirt project was launched by Red Hat at LinuxCon 2011 in Vancouver as part of Red Hat’s effort to not only open source their Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) platform, but to encourage a larger open source community around it. IBM, Intel, Cisco, SuSE, and NetApp were all asked to join oVirt at the board level. And make no mistake about it, NetApp is proud to be the only storage vendor on the board and is represented on that board by the author of this article.


Now onto the workshop that was held last week at NetApp headquarters. NetApp’s director of standards, David Dale, and VP of Data Center Platforms, Patrick Rogers kicked off Day 1 with their respective keynotes. David provided great detail on the trade organizations and standards groups that NetApp is involved in, while Patrick brought the focus much closer to his organization’s commitment to contributing to open source. This was followed by technical presentations and discussions.


The first presentation that I’d like to highlight was NetApp’s own Chris Morrissey, lead developer for Red Hat integration, who presented progress made on the “Virtual Storage Console” (VSC) for RHEV. This is a plugin that will allow a RHEV administrator to discover and provision storage directly from the RHEV management interface. Additionally, VSC for RHEV 1.0 will also include a rapid cloning utility for NFS-based virtual machines. The audience was very impressed with the progress made by NetApp and several folks mentioned that no one else had created plug-ins that were anywhere near the scope of the VSC for RHEV.


Red Hat’s director of RHEV engineering, Itamar Heim, gave the next presentation that I’d like to highlight. His presentation was centered on the integration of oVirt and Quantum, which is a network-as-a-service that was originally developed as part of the OpenStack cloud platform. Quantum provides a common API that supports many software-based networks. Integrating oVirt, and therefore RHEV, with Quantum greatly adds to the virtual networking tools available such as Open vSwitch, Cisco UCS/Nexus plugins, and others.


So what about the “success” that I mentioned in the beginning? I measured this success for this event based on a couple of key indicators - healthy attendance, substantive content, and constructive dialogue driven by the first two indicators.


Nearly 100 open source enthusiasts registered for the event, which was attended by top customers such as Yahoo, key engineers across a range of leading technology partners such as Symantec, board members, key oVirt contributors, and lots of enthusiastic users. From the content standpoint, I tend to judge a presentation based on the questions asked and conversations sparked. Here too was a great success in that each presentation generated great inquiries as wall as multiple “hallway” discussions.


In wrapping up, I’d like to invite you to join us for any future oVirt events. We keep things updated fairly well on the oVirt website - And in the case of this specific event, we’ve even made some of the presentations available for those that could not attend. If you’d like to see more examples of how Red Hat and NetApp are integrating, you might check out, a KVM and NetApp-centric blog.