1.3 Product Components

There are several new architectural components in VM Management that function with the Orchestrator Server and Orchestrator Console. These elements give you additional functionality, including ZENworks Orchestrator Monitoring designed to function with the overall monitoring capabilities of the Orchestrator Server.

The list of architectural components includes the following:

1.3.1 Component Introduction for ZENworks VM Management

The following are the additional and other components involved in making sure the managed VMs are able to function with the Orchestrator Server and help you in running your data center.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Xen Server

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Xen Server is a robust, production-proven virtualization layer run on physical servers that abstracts processor, memory, storage, and networking resources into multiple VMs. The following is an excerpt from the SUSE Virtualization Basics section.

The basic components of a virtualization environment based on Xen are the Xen hypervisor, the VM host machine, any number of other guest operating system VMs based on Xen, and the tools, commands, and configuration files that let you manage virtualization. Collectively, the physical computer running all these components is referred to as a virtualization host server because together these components form a platform for hosting VMs.

The Xen Hypervisor

The Xen hypervisor, sometimes referred to generically as the hypervisor or VM monitor (VMM), is an open source software program that coordinates the low-level interaction between VMs and physical hardware.

The VM Host Machine

The management VM has the Xen hypervisor directly installed on the hardware and serves as the hardware abstraction layer. The host operating system runs in the Host Xen domain in the first layer of the hypervisor. VMs can only be installed and run in the Host. The host machine is comprised of several components, such as:

  • The SUSE® Linux operating system, which gives the administrator a graphical desktop and command line environment to manage the virtualization host server components and its VMs.

  • The xend daemon, which stores configuration information about each VM and controls how VMs are created and managed.

  • A modified version of QEMU, which is an open-source software program that emulates a full computer system, including a processor and various peripherals. It provides the ability to host operating systems in full virtualization mode.

Virtual Machines Based on Xen

A VM based on Xen, is a Guest and runs the guest operating system. Guests can only be run on the Host and cannot run another VM. VMs based on Xen consist of the following components:

  • At least one virtual disk that contains a bootable operating system

  • VM configuration information, which is managed by the xend daemon and can be modified modifying a text file

Management Tools, Commands and Configuration Files

There are a combination of GUI tools, commands, and configuration files that help you manage and customize your virtualization environment.

For further information on the Xen hypervisor that is shipped with SLES 10 SP 1, see Introduction to Xen Virtualizationin the Novell Virtualization Technology: Virtualization Technology Guide.

ZENworks Client and VM Management Interface

These tools are interfaces that allow users to connect to the Orchestrator Server or individual Xen VM host machines from a SLED 10 SP 1 remote machine. The VM Management Interface is an Eclipse-based rich-client environment that allows you to use the VM Builder, VM Warehouse, and ZENworks Orchestrator Monitoring. For more information on the VM Management Interface, see Section 2.1, The VM Management Interface.

The Orchestrator User Portal

The ZENworks Orchestrator User Portal is used to connect to a Web location to allow the user to run a job. The jobs and available resources will be assigned to the user by the Orchestrator administrator. For information about the Orchestrator User Portal, see Using the ZENworks Orchestrator User Portal in the Novell ZENworks Orchestrator 1.2 Job Management Guide.

Oracle Cluster File System 2

Oracle Cluster File System 2 (OCFS2) is a high-performance cluster file system for Xen Server VMs. It is a general-purpose journaling file system that is fully integrated in the Linux kernel 2.6 and later. OCFS2 allows you to store application binary files, data files, and databases on devices in a SAN. All nodes in a cluster have concurrent read and write access to the file system. A distributed lock manager helps prevent file access conflicts. OCFS2 supports up to 32,000 subdirectories and millions of files in each directory. The O2CB cluster service (a driver) runs on each node to manage the cluster.

ZENworks Orchestrator

ZENworks Orchestrator dynamically allocates and balances computing across collections of resources. VM Management functions as an expansion of available services to ZENworks Orchestrator to allow ZENworks Orchestrator to manage physical and VMs. For more information on ZENworks Orchestrator, see the Introduction section in the Novell ZENworks Orchestrator 1.2 Installation and Getting Started Guide.

ZENworks Virtual Machine Builder

The ZENworks Virtual Machine Builder (VM Builder) provides the ability to create and build a VM on a variety of different servers as designated by the physical capabilities of the machines in your VM Builder group. For more information on the VM Builder, see Section 1.3.2, Virtual Machine Builder.

ZENworks Virtual Machine Warehouse

The ZENworks Virtual Machine Warehouse (VM Warehouse) stores and versions VMs as they are checked in. These VMs can be checked back out, edited and modified, and then be checked back in to increment the next version number.

1.3.2 Virtual Machine Builder

The ZENworks VM Builder is a service of VM Management that allows you to build a VM to precise specifications required for your data center. You designate the parameters required: processor, memory, hard drive space, operating system, virtualization type, if it’s based of an auto-install file, and any additional parameters. When you launch the build job, VM Builder sends the build request to a machine that meets the hardware requirements of the defined VM and builds the VM there.

These VMs are built using the Xen hypervisor through the VM Builder Wizard in the VM Management interface. The following figure is a sample VM Builder Wizard page:

Figure 1-3 Virtual Machine Builder

ZENworks Orchestrator 1.2 Xen VMs can be fully virtualized or, for SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 and Red Hat* Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5, they can be paravirtualized. For details on building VMs and the functionality of the VM Builder, see Section 4.2, Building a Virtual Machine.

1.3.3 Virtual Machine Warehouse

The VM Warehouse contains the VMs you have created and discovered. When you check a VM into the VM Warehouse, it is brought under version control. Any time you make modifications to the VM, in a development, testing, or production environments, you can check these modified versions back into the VM Warehouse to have the VM assigned the next version number.

When you have built and tested sufficient VM versions, and a VM version has been certified for deployment in your production environment, you can designate that version as the Gold Master. From that point forward, any time you deploy an instance of that VM through the Orchestrator Server, the Gold Master deploys. You can change the Gold Master designation at any time inside the VM Warehouse. For more information on operating the VM Warehouse, see Section 4.4, Storing and Versioning a Virtual Machine.

1.3.4 ZENworks Orchestrator Monitoring

The VM Management interface gives an additional perspective for ZENworks Orchestrator Monitoring. The added perspective in the VM Management Interface of Monitoring. This perspective gives you the ability to get a web-based report on any of your VMs, VM hosts, and all other managed nodes (including physical machines). In order to be monitored, the ZENworks Monitoring Agent must be installed. For more details about what can be monitored and how to monitor with the Monitoring Server, see Section 5.2, Monitoring Virtual Machines.

1.3.5 ZENworks Orchestrator Console Elements

The VM Management interface helps you make the best use of your VMs in the data center. VM Management works with the Orchestrator Server, and it contains many elements necessary to manage your VMs. You can use the Orchestrator Console to tell the Orchestrator Server to detect and list your VM host machines, pre-existing VMs, and the Gold Master versions. The list of VMs appears in the Repository section of the Orchestrator Console allows you to select specific VMs (Gold Master versions) to be deployed to host machines. For details on managing your VMs with the ZENworks Orchestrator Console, see Section 2.2, The ZENworks Orchestrator Console.

Discovering Virtual Machine Hosts

When you first start the Orchestrator Console, it lists no VMs and no VM hosts. When you click Provision > Discover VM Hosts, the Orchestrator Console searches through all ZENworks Orchestrator Server Provisioning Adapters and finds all the VM hosts in your data center that you have chosen to register with the Orchestrator Server. These are listed under the VM Hosts section of your tree in Orchestrator Console. For detailed instructions on discovering VM hosts, see Section 3.2.1, Discovering Virtual Machine Hosts in the ZENworks Orchestrator Console.

Discovering Virtual Machine Images

Click Provision > Discover VM Images to have the Orchestrator Server find any VMs in your data center and VMs with the Orchestrator Agent installed. This action also lists (in the Repository section) all VM Images available to the Orchestrator Server. For detailed instructions on discovering VM images, see Section 4.3, Discovering Virtual Machines.

Using the ZENworks Orchestrator Console to Deploy Virtual Machines

In order for joblets and jobs to be deployed to the VMs, the Orchestrator Agent must be installed as an application on the VM. VMs that have been started and are running the Orchestrator Agent are listed as available resources for ZENworks Orchestrator to use in the Repositories and Resources sections in the ZENworks Orchestrator Console. These VMs are made available by moving them into the Resources list. You can move unstarted VM Templates into the Resources list to make clones of the templates available as resources. As the Orchestrator Server requires a server meeting the requirements of the VM Template, it clones and launches a VM of that type. For more information on deploying VMs in the Orchestrator Console, see Section 5.1, Deploying a Virtual Machine As a Resource.