Category Archives for "Captain KVM"

OVN and Red Hat Virtualization: Provisioning OVN

Hi folks, in this final post on RHV and OVN I’m going to show you how to utilize everything we’ve learned and installed up to this point. We’ve installed the packages, now it’s just a matter of deploying some virtual machines and attaching them to the new OVN provided SDN. As before my colleague, Tony James walks us through the process. Let’s get started.

Like any other integration in Red Hat Virtualization, we access OVN by way of the External Provider feature. In short, the External Provider allows RHV to take advantage of resources managed by external sources, in this case SDN.

Let’s post the video first, the walk through follows:

Add an External Network Provider

The External Provider dialog is launched from the “tree” menu on the far left of the dashboard. We give the network a name and because the OVN controller was deployed on the RHV-M host, the external provider simply points at the local host and port 9696. The external provider type is “External Network Provider”, and the “Read Only” box is unchecked.

Add a Network

Under the “Network” tab, click “New” and enter a name for the new SDN. Check the “Create on external provider” Continue reading

OVN and Red Hat Virtualization: Installing OVN

Hi folks, in the last article I provided an overview and introduction to OVN. This time around, I’ll provide a walkthrough on how to actually install it in your RHV environment. My colleague Tony created an Ansible playbook to automate the installation, and I’ll share the link to that at the end. Let’s get started.

Necessary Channels and Subscriptions

One of the first thing that Tony covers in the demo is that he used the standard channels for both RHV-M (engine) and Hosts (hypervisors) – nothing special is needed from a subscription standpoint as all of the packages are now included in RHV 4.1. Using the `ovs-vsctl show` command, we see that even though the openvswitch package is pulled in as part of the host install, nothing is configured by default.

Automate the Installation with Ansible

Next, we see Tony’s Ansible playbook. It covers 2 plays, one for the engine (RHV-M) and one for the hosts. Not only does it install the packages, but it configures firewalld. Specifically, the playbook does the following:

On the Engine:

It installs “ovirt-provider-ovn” package then it starts/restarts multiple services, north and southbound connections are set.

On the Hosts:

It installs the “ovirt-provider-ovn-driver” package. Continue reading

Introduction to OVN and Red Hat Virtualization

Hi Folks, recently my friend and colleague, Tony James prepared and delivered an excellent webinar internally at Red Hat on how to configure Open Virtual Networking (OVN) in Red Hat Virtualization. For those of you that are unfamiliar with OVN, or what it offers, allow me to provide you with the proper illumination.


Way back in the dark ages, the only way that mere mortals could get encapsulation, segmentation, and other benefits of SDN in RHV was via third party integration. Or if there was an OpenStack deployment that could be tapped into via the RHV Neutron integration. Recently though, native SDN (via OVN) is in Tech Preview in RHV 4.1, and I’m going to spend the next few posts going over the basics.

NOTE – Tech Preview is Red Hat’s way of providing the software bits for folks to try out, but there is no support for software in Tech Preview. The official statement is here. In short, the more interest and bugs filed against Tech Preview, the sooner it gets put in production.

The current fully supported virtual networking in RHV is built around “Linux Bridging”. It’s solid and it’s simple. That is to say that Continue reading

Best Practices for RHV 4

Hi folks, one of the many things that I’ve been working on behind the scenes has finally seen the light of day: Best Practices for Red Hat Virtualization 4. This takes over where the product documentation leaves off.What I mean by that is this:

The product documentation is (mostly) great about telling you “how” to do the many activities related to deploying Red Hat Virtualization.

This new document tells you “why” to do many of the activities related to deploying Red Hat Virtualization. It does NOT have code examples, but it DOES have lots of things to consider. Things like:

  • “Standard” deployment or “Hosted Engine” deployment
  • RHEL host or RHV host
  • NAS or SAN
  • Lager or Ale (just kidding)

In other words, when you go to plan out your deployment, this is the document that you want to read before you paint yourself into a corner. Many of the items are best practices, like “don’t turn off SELinux”. Others are more considerations and implications, like “NAS or SAN”.

If this is something you’re interested in, you can download it here:

Best Practices for Red Hat Virtualization 4

Hope this helps,

Captain KVM


The post Best Practices for RHV Continue reading

High Availability for Red Hat Virtualization Manager 4.1

Hi folks, if you missed Red Hat Summit 2017 last week, it was great time in Boston. As promised, I’m uploading my presentation on HA for RHV-M 4.1 – hosted engine. Although, I’m doing it a little differently this time. I took the time this week to actually re-record it including the demos! This way you get a flavor of how I actually presented it last week.It turned out a little shorter in the re-recording, as it only clocked out at about 30 minutes and my session was about 10 minutes longer. But it’s all good. I walk through what hosted engine is, how it compares to standard deployment, why you would care if RHV-M goes down, and how to actually deploy hosted engine.

The embedded demos walk through the deployment of RHVH, the deployment of hosted engine via Cockpit, then a forced failover courtesy of a guest Velociraptor. Ok, not really, I just yanked the power on the underlying host.. but watch the demo anyway..

(best viewed in full screen, give it a moment to get in focus..)

One of the things that I really tried to emphasize in both the original presentation and the re-recording Continue reading

RHV 4.1, Hosted Engine, Red Hat Summit

Hi folks, I’m still heads down on a lot of different things. The release of RHV 4.1 is right around the corner, as is a new product that involves RHV 4.1. I’ve also cut some new demo’s on Hosted Engine using RHVH – just like I promised I would several weeks ago. Ok, a couple months ago. You’ll just have to come see me at Red Hat Summit to see them…Or wait until just after Red Hat Summit. I still don’t have my “new” lab, but I did get my hands on some good gear that allows me show you the goodness that is Hosted Engine, especially with RHVH (Red Hat Virtualization Host). Hopefully I’ll have the new lab soon…..

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m presenting at Red Hat Summit again this year, focusing on providing HA for RHV – by way of Hosted Engine. Here are the session details if you’re going to be there:

Thursday, May 4, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM – Room 152
Red Hat Summit, May 2-4, Boston, MA

I promise to give the full write-up and share the demo’s post Summit.

Captain KVM

The post RHV 4.1, Continue reading

Speaking at Red Hat Summit 2017

Hi Folks, I know it’s been a few weeks but I assure you I’ve been heads down on good stuff. You’ll get to see much of it on the blog, but also at Red Hat Summit 2017 in Boston, MA if you’re so inclined.

So what will I (and my colleagues) be talking about at “Summit” this year?Well, there are several RHV & KVM specific activities at Summit that I’ll have something to do with, 2 directly and multiple indirectly:

Breakout Session – High Availability for Red Hat Virtualization Manager 
This will be my primary presentation on RHV, where I talk about and provide demo’s on RHV Hosted Engine, mostly in the context of HA (why and how), but also in the context of how it’s used in a new Red Hat product… (cue dramatic music..)

Breakout Session – Red Hat Virtualization and KVM Roadmaps
This is my colleagues’ session, and typically standing room only. I may help organize, but the Product Managers (Moran & Yaniv) will knock this out. It lays out the future of both Red Hat Virtualization and the core technology, KVM.

Lightning Talk – Reporting and Metrics Update
Again, my colleague’s session (Yaniv), but Continue reading

Upcoming Interview with “The Cube”

Hi folks, as I mentioned earlier in the week, I’ll be in the Northeast next week for the VTUG Winter Warmer event. If you can be there, great.. if not, Stu Miniman of “The Cube” has been gracious enough to invite me to an interview and will be broadcasting it on Thursday, Jan 19th.

Here are the details:

Thursday, January 19th, 2017 @ 1:30 p.m. EST

Many thanks to Stu!

Captain KVM

The post Upcoming Interview with “The Cube” appeared first on Captain KVM.

Boston VTUG Winter Warmer

Hi Folks – if any of you are going to be at the VTUG Winter Warmer at Gillette Stadium, come find me, I’ve got a keynote at 10am at “West Side South”. If you’re going to be in the area, it’s an event that’s been going on for several years now and should be fun..

I’ll be talking about Red Hat’s strategy in the Hybrid Cloud and especially how RHV fits into that.

I believe (don’t quote me on this) that the event is free for VTUG members, and that all you need to do is register to become a VTUG member (I believe that is also free) before the event.


VTUG Winter Warmer Agenda

Date: January 19, 2017
Location: Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place, Foxboro MA

Hope to see you there,

Captain KVM

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How to Setup HA for RHV-M pt3

Hi Folks.. the last time I left off, we had just finished setting up the initial pieces for hosted engine (RHEL configuration) in order to provide HA for RHV-M. Today we’re going to add an additional host and test things out.

Let’s get going!Once hosted engine is setup, adding another RHEL host to the configuration is almost identical to a standard configuration. There is only 1 additional step that involves ensuring that the HA pieces specific to hosted engine get installed along with the RHV packages.

The workflow itself is simple:

  1. Deploy a RHEL host, subscribe it to Red Hat CDN or Satellite and update it
  2. Add the Cockpit package and enable it (we won’t highlight that here, but you can see it in the previous post)
  3. Log into RHV-M, go to the “Hosts” tab, select “New”, fill in the relevant information, be sure to visit the “Hosted Engine” tab and select the “deploy” radio button.
  4. Once it finishes installing, give everything a minute or so to sync up, then test!

As usual, I recorded a walk through so that things are more clear. I sped things up significantly as my home lab is ~very~ slow.. Maybe I’ll get Continue reading

How to Setup HA for RHV-M pt2

Hi folks, I’m finally getting around to the high availability for RHV-M (hosted engine) walk through demo that I promised. The truth is that due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to go to “plan b”. The end result is still the same, and the workflows are almost identical, but the “in betweens” are just a bit different.

Allow me to illuminate..

So when I last left off, I was explaining the virtues of both the lightweight virtualization host (RHVH) as well as the hosted engine configuration for use as a means of providing high availability for RHV-M, the management piece for RHV. Hosted engine can support either (not both at the same time) RHVH or RHEL hosts as the hypervisor nodes.. While I really wanted to show you how get things up and running with RHVH first, I’m going to show you the “RHEL way” first. I’ll come back around the RHVH, I promise.

The workflow for getting things up and ready is very similar when comparing RHVH and RHEL – hosts, networks, and storage all get setup. DNS (forward and reverse, FQDN for hosts and RHV-M) is configured. Subscriptions are set and hosts are updated. The biggest differences are Continue reading

How to Setup HA for RHV-M 4 pt1

Hi folks! After plowing through my home lab, I’m ready to walk you through setting up RHV-M in a “self-hosted engine” (HA) configuration. I’ve talked about this in some previous articles if you need to familiarize yourself with what the significance is or why someone might want to go with this approach over a standard deployment.

Let’s get to it.


Sounds funny, right? “Pre-setup”.. like you’re going to setup before you setup? But really, that’s what you need to do. In this case, everything needs to be right before you just dive right into the deep end of the lake, or you’re going to hit rocks. What I mean is that your underlying environment needs to be right, or things will not go smoothly at all.

Specifically, you’re going to need to pay attention to the requirements of the hosts and RHV-M software.. the specs are well published. For example, you need to have fully qualified domain names for all of your hosts and RHV-M, and they need to resolve (forward and reverse!) in some form of DNS. Just using “/etc/hosts” isn’t going to cut it here.. Don’t have running DNS in your lab, don’t sweat it, look Continue reading


Hi folks, here’s another “pre” post. What I mean by that is that in the process of creating a demo and the surrounding article, I found I needed to create a sidebar article in order to show how configure an important component. In this case, the requirement to fulfill forward and reverse name server resolution in RHV has lead me to create a basic DNS server. In this case, “dnsmasq” is a perfect solution…

Let me be clear here: I am NOT recommending dnsmasq for production DNS. For production I would recommend deploying BIND, Red Hat IdM, or something else. I’m using dnsmasq because I need something for my home lab and I think you might benefit from the configuration I’m using in your home or test lab. I don’t have that many systems, and a lightweight service like dnsmasq will work nicely.


The RHV 4 documentation is very clear about the requirement for FQDN and fully functional DNS. Simply relying on “/etc/hosts” isn’t going to cut it anymore. Dnsmasq will provide a great and simple solution for small labs. For the uninitiated, dnsmasq provides DHCP, TFTP, DNS, and DNS forwarding. We’ll really only be concerned with the DNS Continue reading

NFS & Firewalls in RHEL 7

Here is a quick post for you guys. I’m in the midst of creating a follow up to one of my other articles and it dawns on me that I need to do this particular post first.. A post within a post, or before a post, or something. In either case, I need to provide an update to configuring NFS to poke through a firewall in RHEL 7 for the purpose of RHV in a home lab.. or other use cases. Read on, if you will…


In some older posts, I show you how to configure NFSv3 to use predictable ports in RHEL so that it is more IPtables friendly. You don’t want to shut your firewall down and leave your security wide open. And if your firewall is also doing other work for you like port forwarding, then your ~really~ can’t shut it down…

So here’s the skinny: I’m in the process of setting up new systems for “RHV w/ Hosted Engine”, and I’m using an NFS server for the storage. It’s a home lab, so I’m not exactly worried about performance. I really don’t recommend using a Linux server for production NFS in virtualization, but again, this Continue reading

High Availability for RHV-M

Hi folks, so time ago (years?) I wrote about how to put together High Availability for RHV-M. At the time the actual configuration that I proposed was solid, if a little unorthodox. Still, it certainly left room for improvement. In this week’s post, I’m updating the configuration with something that Red Hat fully supports. They refer to the configuration as Self-Hosted Engine.

Why Hosted Engine?

The primary benefits to using the Self-Hosted Engine, or “HE”, is that it provides a fully supported HA configuration for RHV-M as well as a smaller overall footprint as compared to a traditional deployment of RHV. Also, RHV-M is delivered as an appliance for the HE configuration, so the entire process is streamlined. Who doesn’t like that?


Let’s go back to the smaller footprint statement a few times though.. First off, in a traditional deployment of RHV, you have RHV-M, plus hosts. That deployment of RHV may be on a bare-metal host or it may be on a VM in a different virtualization environment. Regardless, you’re already using up resources and software subscriptions that you may not want to use. Not to mention the fact that it may cause you to cross-deploy resource across Continue reading

Temporary Time Out

Hi folks, the Captain is taking a few weeks off as he has a brand new instance being spun up this week, if you catch my drift… ? You know, the kind of instance that takes 9 months to boot… I expect to be back at the keyboard by the end of October, but don’t be alarmed if you don’t see much in the way of posts, demos, or tweets. It’s all good.

The post Temporary Time Out appeared first on Captain KVM.

Integrating RHV & OpenStack with Neutron

Hi folks, I recently posted an article on one of the official Red Hat blogs about the new Neutron integration between RHV and RHOSP. I have to say it’s very cool and might change the way you look at networking capabilities in RHV, at least if you’re also using RHOSP in the same data center.

As a side note, I’ve mentioned my friend and colleague, Tony James in recent posts and he makes another appearance this week. He helped pull together the configuration steps as well as the demo that we recorded. Big kudos to to “Big T”.

Back to the actual integration. If you don’t want to look at the other article, the condensed version of “why should you might care” is as follows:

  1. Run applications across RHV & RHOSP – front end of the app on RHOSP and the back end on RHV using the Neutron integration to bridge the network gap.
  2. Add SDN capabilities to RHV via the Neutron integration, even if the app only exists in RHV.
  3. Manage the SDN network topologies for both RHV and RHOSP from a single management space (web or programmatic).

Those are the 3 big use cases, in a nutshell. If Continue reading