Canonical and Convirture Partner On Ubuntu Virtualization
Canonical has made a lot of headlines lately as it pushes desktop Ubuntu in uncharted directions. Lest the company’s commitment to the server market be questioned, however, it recently announced a partnership with Convirture for delivering enterprise-grade virtualization infrastructure based on Ubuntu. Here’s the scoop, and why it matters.
But first, a little reminiscing: as recently as a few years ago, VMware’s proprietary virtualization solutions were the only real show in town when it came to the enterprise market. Open-source virtualization technologies, such as KVM and (to a slightly lesser extent) Xen, remained in development and lacked the management tools for easy deployment across large environments.
Today, however, KVM and Xen have fully matured and can deliver the features and stability demanded by the enterprise. At the same time, third-parties have introduced tools to help manage KVM- and Xen-based virtualization infrastructures. Among them is ConVirt, a utility developed by Convirture and available in open-source and enterprise versions.
On the heels of the introduction of ConVirt version 2.0, Canonical and Ubuntu announced a partnership to make the new release of the software available via Ubuntu’s partner repository, as part of an effort to enhance the virtualization tools available on Ubuntu servers.
Why It Matters
Granted, the availability of the software in Ubuntu’s partner repository may not be the most rousing news you’ll hear this week. But the significance of the announcement becomes evident when viewed within the context of the broader context of Canonical’s virtualization and cloud strategies.
For one, this move provides Ubuntu server users with a better alternative to vCenter, the proprietary virtualization-management solution offered by VMware. Choice is always a good thing, and having alternatives to VMware’s offerings that are easy to integrate within Ubuntu can only benefit users.
In addition, because ConVirt can be used to manage virtual machines that form a private cloud, Canonical’s partnership with Convirture underscores the former company’s aggressive pursuit of the cloud niche. It has been clear for some time that Canonical hopes to set Ubuntu server edition apart from other enterprise-grade Linux distributions by streamlining Ubuntu’s compatibility with cloud setups, and the Convirture news provides further evidence of this endeavor.
Last but not least, it’s encouraging to see Canonical working closely with the developers of ConVirt because that tool represents the only major alternative to Red Hat’s VirtManager. As much as I’ve tried to love VirtManager, I’ve never been particularly satisfied with it due to lack of stability and general bugginess. The application remains in development and may well work better at a future date, but for the time being, I’m happy to have ConVirt 2.0 as an alternative.