Last year, I got myself a little more involved in the world of Red Hat and general Linux Kernel based Virtualization. It had been a space that I had basically ignored during the last decade working with VMware based virtualization almost exclusively. As I wrote in this post last year, KVM virtualization was something I had looked at during the investigative days of working through cloud management platforms as at the time I was looking at CMPs like OpenStack, CloudStack and a like.

Updated: oVirt 4.5.2 has now been released with additional enhancements and a ton of new bug fixes

In April of this year oVirt 4.5.0 was releases and with it brought a number of enhancements over the previous release. As mentioned in my look at oVirt and where it sits compared to VMware Cloud Director there was lots of ground to make up still for oVirt to get even somewhat level with VCD (and other CMPs) however given the rising popularity of open-source distributions and what they offer, both in the negative and positive I do feel that giving a bit of commentary on this alternative pathway is worthwhile.

oVirt is a free open-source distributed virtualization solution, designed to manage your entire enterprise infrastructure. oVirt uses the trusted KVM hypervisor and is built upon several other community projects, including libvirt, Gluster, PatternFly, and Ansible.

This release is available now for CentOS Stream 8 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.6 (or similar).

oVirt 4.5.1 What’s New

On the 22nd of June 2022, oVirt 4.5.1 was released with the main documented features listed below from a platform supportability point of view. I found a few improvements in the install process now that we are all on CentOS Stream and they do offer some great documentation on deployment and configuration.

Probably the biggest externally facing addition of 4.5.1 is the addition of Keycloak as a default authentication provider if so desired. This does add some backwards compatibility issues by way of new standard admin username formats, but I think adds more plus than negative. There is also the addition of a separate (but SSO enabled) Grafana dashboard for enhanced metrics that can be called out from the main admin page.

To be fair, I should have done a post about the 4.5.0 update which had a lot more in it by way of enhancements, but you can check those out here. They introduced the concept of a Host Node as well for quicker testing and labbing. oVirt 4.5.1 is available now on x86_64 architecture for:

  • CentOS Stream 8
  • RHEL 8.6 and derivatives

Supporting Hypervisor Hosts on x86_64:

  • oVirt Node NG (based on CentOS Stream 8)
  • CentOS Stream 8
  • RHEL 8.6 and derivatives

and supporting Hypervisor Hosts on x86_64 as tech preview without secure boot:

  • CentOS Stream 9
  • RHEL 9.0 and derivatives
  • oVirt Node NG based on CentOS Stream 9

There are also a bunch of security fixes compared to oVirt 4.5.0, some of which are high impact and in fact in this world, this is where the real worry can be for Operations and Security teams…so I see this area as being in favour of the incumbant.

Obviously, there are a number of bugs from previous releases that are sorted as well which is important from a Veeam Backup for RHV point of view as we continue to improve and enhance that product. Looking through the notes, CBT related fixes get a lot of mentions so that can only be a good thing for backups and data protection… though does feel like we have gone through this 10 years ago.

What I’ve come to understand in working with our product team on this product is that we are a little more exposed to bugs in KVM, RHV and oVirt and that this is a consistently moving target.

For a look at the full list of updates and enhancements, view the full documentation.

Quick Wrap-Up

With every release I get more and more tempted to blow away my ESXi host and install this virtualization and management stack, however I think the reality of that is that we are a long way from that… for the moment, oVirt lives in a nested Hosted Engine setup and this is good enough for now for my needs, but there has been noticeable improvements. At the moment, it’s not going to look as easy on the eye as others, but the functionality and what is under the hood is improving.

I am excited to see how oVirt goes in the short to medium term… I think there is a growing thirst for an alternative platform… but the argument needs to be more compelling than just a undercurrent of perceived bad sentiment towards the incumbent.