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Cloud computing is no longer a technology boom at its peak again that technology is a valuable and important fundamental is changing the way we use and development applications. As you would expect, Linux ® and open source platform to provide cloud (infrastructure for public and private). Be the study cloud structure, its architecture and open source technologies used to build the computing platform and storage scalability and dynamic.

The use of cloud as an abstract concept is quite common in distributed systems is the Internet, but the last few years have shown that this abstraction is extended to incorporate the infrastructure is capable expansion and virtualized high-level, easily offered as a service (either locally or remotely).

1. Cloud structure

This article starts by considering abstract concepts of core cloud architecture (from infrastructure as a service [IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service]), and then walked out the building blocks to more integrated solutions.

Although not a requirement, but virtualisation technologies bring unique benefits to build structures with dynamic scalability. In addition to scalability, virtualization is the ability to move virtual machines (VMs) between physical servers for load balancing purposes.

Figure 1 shows that the virtualization components are generated by a software layer called a hypervisor-hypervisor layer (sometimes called virtual machine monitor [VMM]). This layer creates the ability to simultaneously run multiple operating systems (and their applications) on a single physical computer. On the hypervisor layer is called a virtual machine object that contains the operating system, applications and configuration.

Optionally, the device simulation can be created in the hypervisor layer or as a virtual machine. Finally, due to the dynamic nature of the new virtualization technology and the new possibilities brought by it, needs new management schemes. The management is best done in stages, taking into account the local management at the server, as well as infrastructure management a higher level, creating the overall coordination of the virtual environment. 

Figure 1. The core elements of a node in the cloud

If you get the network nodes as shown in Figure 1 and multiply them up several times on a physical network with shared storage, coordinated management across the entire infrastructure, and provides load balancing of the initial connected to (whether by setting up public or private) with quick storing and filtering, you have a virtual infrastructure called cloud.

This new structure is shown in Figure 2. The machine does not operate the power can be turned off until needed additional computing power (generated better performance), with the balance virtual machine (even mobile) on the button depending on their own load. 

Figure 2. Infrastructure cloud computing

The basic architecture of a cloud defined, we now find out what open source is being applied where to build infrastructure, mobile cloud computing.

Background Linux is witnessing a wave of development focused on the virtualized infrastructure for virtualization, management and integration of large scale cloud package. Let's start looking at open source in the individual node level, then move up the entire infrastructure to see what is happening here.

The hypervisor layerBasis of cloud nodes at the hypervisor layer. Although virtualization is not a requirement, but it provides an indispensable ability for the architecture scalability and performance.

There exist a number of solutions to open-source virtualization, but there are two main solutions are converted into a Linux operating system layer hypervisors: KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine Linux

- Linux Kernel Virtual Machine) and Lguest. KVM is the hypervisor layer solution officially, to be deployed in a production environment. Lguest is a solution focused on Linux, just run Linux virtual machines, but are integrated in the kernel (kernel) and is being used more widely.Apart from converting to Linux hypervisor layer, there are other solutions chosen approach focuses on guest VMs.

UML (User-Mode Linux - Linux in user mode) is an approach, modify the (kernel) Linux client to run on the Linux operating system (no extensions hypervisor layer).

Since most users want to run an unmodified, so the full virtualization solutions (such as KVM) is preferred.

This approach is also very popular UML, but requires hardware virtualization (such as console, virtual disk and network connection).

Simulation devices

Floor hypervisors provide the means to share CPU with multiple operating systems (virtual CPU), but to provide full virtualization technology, the entire virtualized environment to the virtual machine. The computer simulation - or platform - can be done in several ways, but a popular open source packages to support some of the hypervisor layer is called QEMU.

QEMU emulator and the floor is super full supervision. But KVM uses QEMU to simulate the device as a separate process in the user space (see Figure 1).

An interesting feature of QEMU is because it offers simulated disk (via qcow format), so QEMU provides advanced features such as snapshots and virtual machine live migration.

Since the 2.6.25, KVM virtio used as a means to optimize virtualization performance input / output. Virtio accomplish this by introducing the drivers have a part to virtualization hypervisor layer with the hook from the client to bring the performance to a close as the original. This is done only when the operating system can be modified for this purpose, but found a way to use the Linux client in the scenario of Linux hypervisor layer.

Currently, virtio and QEMU work together so that the transactions were simulated device can be optimized between Linux client and QEMU emulator for the user.

Networked Virtual

Because the virtual machine consolidation of physical servers, so the networking needs of the platform increases. But rather than force all network connections and virtual machines to the physical layer of the platform, to replace the internal communications can be virtualized. To optimize network communications between virtual machines, virtual switches are included. VSwitch virtual switch works just like a physical switch, but the virtualization platform (see Figure 3).

In this figure, the virtual interface (VIF) were associated with the virtual machine communication through the virtual switch to the physical interface (the PIF). 

Figure 3. High-level view of Open vSwitch with the virtual interface, the physical interface
Open source is also solved this problem, with a very interesting solution called Open vSwitch.

In addition to providing a virtual switch for virtual environments, vSwitch can also integrate across platforms and provide physical enterprise level features such as virtual local area networks (VLANs), Quality of Service (QoS) based on priority, transit and support for hardware acceleration (such as virtual network adapter in / out an original [IOV-single-root I / O virtualization]).

Open vSwitch is available for the 2.6.15 and supports a wide range of virtualization solutions based on Linux (Xen, KVM, VirtualBox) and management standards (Remote Switched Port Analyzer - Analyzer port switch remote [RSPAN], NetFlow, etc..).

Tools and virtual machine technologies

Because the virtual machine is a combination of operating system, file system, and the original configuration, so this space is ripe for development tools. But to clear the full potential of virtual machines and tools, there must be a way to assemble them mobile.

Current approach, called the open virtualization format (OVF: Open Virtualization Format) is a flexible virtual machine architecture, performance and portability. OVF encapsulates a virtual disk images in a defined XML package configuration of virtual machines, including the networking configuration requirements, the processor and memory, and a series of extended metadata to define the demand for image and its background.

OVF capability that provides important portability is to distribute the virtual machine in a way that hypervisor layer can not be known.There are a number of utilities for managing virtual machine images (VMI) and convert them to and from other formats. ovftool VMware is a useful tool that you can use to convert VMI (for example, to convert from format development kits VMware virtual disk [VMDK: VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit] to OVF).

This tool and other tools are useful when you have a VMI, but what happens if you have a physical server that you want to convert into a VMI? You can use a tool called Clonezilla useful for this purpose.

Although at the beginning of Clonezilla was developed as a tool for copying the disk to recover after a disaster, what can you use it to convert a physical server into a virtual machine to physical deployment ease a virtualized infrastructure. Many other existing tools (such as utilities built on libvirt) or are being developed to manage the transition and OVF format is accepted.Local ManagementThis paper learn how to manage from two perspectives.

This section discusses how management platform, later expanding into the infrastructure management at a higher level.

Red Hat introduced the libvirt library as an application programming interface (API) for managing virtualization platforms (hypervisors floors and virtual machines).

What makes it interesting is that libvirt supports a number of hypervisor layer solutions (KVM and Xen are two of them) and associated API provides a number of languages ​​(such as C, Python and Ruby).

It provides the "final step" of management, direct communication with the hypervisor layer and platform API to extend the solution to the management of larger infrastructure.

With libvirt, to start and stop virtual machines is very simple and it provides the API for many more advanced operations, such as moving virtual machines between platforms. When using libvirt, can use the shell (shell) of it (built on libvirt), called virsh.

3. The open source technology infrastructure

Now that you've seen a number of open source solutions in virtualized network node level, consider some other open source application infrastructure support. This article explore three categories.

Two first category is the technology infrastructure of complementary solutions discussed above.

Third category consists of integrated solutions to transplant all the pieces together makes deployment easier.

The technology in / outBuilding a Web architecture can be extended depending on the balance and the ability to balance traffic across Web servers perform the following functions floors. Some load balancing solution is, but recently, Yahoo has open source solution called server traffic (Traffic Server).

Traffic Server is very interesting, because it contains a large number of possibilities in a package for cloud infrastructure, including session management, authentication, filtering, load balancing and routing .

Yahoo! initially purchased this product from Inktomi, but now has expanded and introduced the open source product.

Infrastructure Management

The management of infrastructure larger scale (multi-level manage hypervisors and virtual machines even more) can be done in several ways.

Two of the most common solution is a solution built from the same platform (libvirt).

OVirt package is a virtual machine management tool open scale from a few to thousands of virtual machines running on the virtual machine host hundreds. OVirt package, developed by Red Hat, is a management console based on the Web, in addition to traditional management, automation also supports clustering and load balancing.

OVirt tool written in Python language. VirtManager, also based on libvirt and developed by Red Hat, is an application with a GTK

+ user interface (instead of relying on the Web as oVirt). VirtManager screen presents a much richer graphical (live performance and resource usage) and includes a display guest virtual network computing (VNC: Virtual Network Computing) with a graphical console full virtual machines remotely.Also Puppet is an open source software package designed for infrastructure data center (a cloud).

Although not designed specifically for virtualization infrastructure, it simplifies the management of large infrastructure by abstracting the details of the peer OS. It does this through the use of Puppet language. Puppet is ideal for automating administrative tasks on a large number of servers and is widely used today.

4. The integrated solution IaaS

The following open source packages have a more comprehensive approach by integrating all the necessary functions in a single package (including virtualization, management, and security interfaces).

When added to a network of servers and storage, the package creates the infrastructure of cloud computing and storage flexibility (IaaS).


One of the popular open source packages to build the infrastructure of cloud computing is Eucalyptus (which stands for Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs to Useful Systems - utility computing architecture for flexible joint end of your program with the utility system).

What makes it unique is its interface is compatible with flexible cloud computing Amazon - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2 - interface of Amazon's cloud computing). Also included Eucalyptus Walrus (Walrus), is a cloud storage app compatible with simple storage service from Amazon - Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3 - interface of Amazon cloud storage).

Eucalyptus supports KVM / Linux and the Xen hypervisor layers and involves the Rocks cluster distribution to cluster management.


OpenNebula is an open source application interesting (under the Apache license) was developed at the University Complutense de Madrid.

In addition to supporting the construction of private clouds, OpenNebula supports the idea of ​​the hybrid cloud. Enables hybrid cloud combines an infrastructure for a private cloud infrastructure, public clouds (such as Amazon) to enable higher levels of expansion.

OpenNebula supports Xen, KVM / Linux and VMware and is based on elements such as libvirt to manage and self-examination.


Nimbus is a different IaaS solutions focus on scientific calculations.

With Nimbus, you can lease remote resources (such as resources provided by Amazon EC2) and manage them locally (configure, deploy VMs, monitoring, etc.).

Nimbus has been transformed from the project workspace-Service

Workspace Service (part of Due to depend on Amazon EC2, Xen support should Nimbus and KVM / Linux.

Xen Cloud Platform

Citrix Xen integrated into an IaaS platform, using Xen as the hypervisor layer while the ability to integrate other open source Open vSwitch.

Another interesting advantage to Xen solution is focused on management based on standards (including OVF, Task Force Distributed Management [DTMF: Distributed Management Task Force], General Information Model [CIM : Common Information Model] and Virtualization Management Initiative [VMAN: Virtualization Management Initiative]) from Project Kensho.

Xen stack management support for the security of the service agreement (SLA), along with detailed metrics to pay later.


Last but not least is OpenQRM, are classified as platform data center management.

OpenQRM providing a single console to manage the entire data center virtualization, the center of this architecture allows plug to integrate third-party tools.

OpenQRM support combined with high availability (through redundancy) and support a wide range of floor hypervisors, including KVM / Linux, Xen, VMware and Linux Vserver.

5. Further

One could have written many books on leadership that is welcoming open source cloud field and virtualization, this paper also gives a brief introduction to some common and easy solutions that have available today.

Whether you're looking to build a cloud based on your own requirements from individual pieces or simply want to have a solution ready to be mounted immediately, then open source is enough for your support .

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