One of the many large projects I'm working on at the OSUOSL has been migrating all of our virtualization over to Ganeti and KVM. Needless to say its kept me from updating my blog but I hope to make up for it. I thought I would give a rundown of how we use Ganeti at the OSUOSL and where we plan to move forward from there.

So far we have 10 clusters ranging in size from single nodes up to 4 node clusters. Each node is running Gentoo and managed with our cfengine setup. There are approximately 120 virtual machines deployed across all the clusters with the majority (~70) in our production cluster of four nodes. Each node in the production cluster is running between 17 to 18 KVM instances.

Project Ganeti Clusters

Several hosted projects including OSGeo, phpBB, and ECF have their own clusters which we fully manage on the node level. It works well for them as they don't have to worry about maintaining the virtualization cluster while giving them the flexibility of deploying dedicated VMs on their own hardware. I've been recommending moving towards this direction for current projects and new projects we get requests for. So far it seems to be working well for both the OSUOSL and the projects we host.

Image Deployment

For deployment we use ganeti-instance-image which is something I wrote to help make deployments faster and more flexible. It uses various types of images (tarball, filesystem dump, qemu-img) to unpack a pre-made system and deploy it with networking, grub, and serial fully functional. Creating the images is currently a manual process but I have it semi-automated using kickstart and preseed config files for building systems quickly and predictably. The amazing part is deploying a fully functional VM in under one minute using ganeti-instance-image.

Web-based Management

An upcoming tool that the OSUOSL is working on is a web-based frontend for managing Ganeti clusters called Ganeti Web Manager. Its written using the django framework and connecting to Ganeti via its RAPI protocol. Our lead developer Peter Krenesky and many of our students have been hard at work on this project in the last month and a half.


Some of the goals of this project include:

  • Permission system for users and how they access the cluster(s)
  • Easy VM deployment and management
  • Console access
  • Empower VM users

We're very close to making our first release of ganeti-webmgr which should include a basic set of features. We still have a lot to work on and I look forward to seeing how it evolves.


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