oVirt, in my opinion, is the biggest contender with VMware vSphere. oVirt has the weight and development resources of Red Hat behind it, which has undoubtedly slingshotted it ahead of the rest of the open source virtualization solutions out there. It has almost all of the “out of the box” features vSphere has, and it works extremely well.
There have been two major holdback concerning oVirt in the past. First, early on it only supported Fedora. This definitely scared many people away, myself included. That is no longer the case as it now supports Fedora, RHEL, and CentOS. The second major drawback is the complexity of installation. Overall the methodology is pretty simple. At a minimum, you need two machines. An oVirt Engine, which is the brains of the operation and powers the web interface, and you have the oVirt Node, which is the “hypervisor.” Although the overall methodology is simple enough, it can really be a pain to install and get working. But, that’s improving as well.
I wrote this guide to help you get your oVirt infrastructure built on CentOS 6.6 easily, and quickly. You will need two servers, at minimum. The good news is that one of them, the oVirt Engine, can be virtualized, running on your currently configured hypervisor of choice. As far as specs, you’ll want to try to be close to the following.
oVirt Engine Minimum Server Specs (can be virtual or physical machine)
- CentOS 6.6 x64
- 4 CPU Cores
- 4GB Memory
- 25 GB Hard Disk Space
oVirt Hypervisor Node (must be on physical machine)
- oVirt Node 3.4 ISO installed as OS
- 4 CPU Cores
- 6GB Memory
- 40GB Hard Disk (or iSCSI / NFS storage available)
This is enough to work with and get a good idea of what the oVirt platform is capable of. It’s also a solid foundation that can be grown and expanded on to form a production worthy infrastructure. So, lets get started.
How to build an oVirt infrastructure on CentOS 6.6
First, we will build the oVirt Engine. Go ahead and install CentOS 6.6, minimal installation. Once finished, SSH into the server and continue.
Lets make sure everything is updated and upgraded.
yum -y update
Install nano and edit your hosts file. Both servers need to be able to resolve to each other via hostname and FQDN.
yum -y install nano nano /etc/hosts
192.168.1.20 ovirt-engine ovirt-engine.domain.local 192.168.1.22 ovirt-node1 ovirt-node1.domain.local
Now we need to subscribe to the oVirt project repo for version 3.4.
yum install http://plain.resources.ovirt.org/pub/yum-repo/ovirt-release34.rpm
Next, install the oVirt Engine.
yum -y install ovirt-engine
That will take a few minutes, depending on your connection speed. When it’s finished you can run the oVirt Engine installer.
For the most part, the defaults are fine. You will need to enter the admin password at some point. It’s best to choose a secure password. You will use this password to log in to the web interface with the username admin.
Once that’s finished, you are done with the oVirt Engine. Now, you need to configure the oVirt Node.
Setting up the oVirt Node
The node installation is extremely easy. It’s very similar to ESXi or Xen Server installation. Simply boot from the ISO and go through the installation. Be sure to set the IP address and hostname you entered in the hosts file on the oVirt Engine.
Once the installer is finished and node is booted, you are ready to proceed.
Adding the oVirt Node to the oVirt Engine
To add the node, you will need to log in to the Engine’s web interface. To do so, open a browser and head over to https://
The username is admin and the password is the password you selected during the engine installation.
Once you have logged in, expand Clusters > Default > Hosts. Select New. This is here where you will add your oVirt Node.
Once you click Add, fill in the appropriate info for the Node.
Now that you’re node is added, you have created the basic building blocks of an oVirt 3.4 infrastructure. You are ready to create virtual machines. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. Thanks!