VM and cloud management with openQRM

Everything Under Control

Virtualization with KVM

OpenQRM already comes with a very powerful hypervisor in the form of KVM, on the basis of which I will now be provisioning a couple of virtual machines as examples. Please note that if you are running Windows on a virtual machine on KVM, you need to enable the Intel VT/VT-x CPU extensions in the BIOS. If this has not already happened, fire up the plugin manager again and install the following plugins: dns , dhcpd , tftpd , network-manager , local-server , device-manager , novnc , sshterm , linuxcoe , kvm .

The plugins have mutual dependencies in part; therefore, you need to watch out for small yellow pop-ups during installation. These pop-ups are very subtle reminders of unresolved dependencies in the dashboard. To resolve these, simply install the desired plugins in the specified sequence.

Setting up a Network Bridge

For openQRM to be able to add virtual machines and other internal and external resources to its network management scope (DNS/DHCP) later on, you need to set up a network bridge on the host system's network interface card. To do so, click on Edit for the openQRM server object and change to Plugins option Network | Network Manager and click Add new network bridge .

In the dialog that appears, you need to assign a Name for the new bridge (br0) and enter the static IP that you assigned to the physical server during the installation below IP (here, this is on the interface eth0). Fill out the Subnet ( and Gateway ( fields appropriately. In the background, openQRM sets up the new network bridge and installs Debian packages required for this purpose.

If the system seems to freeze when setting up the network bridge, this may be because name resolution is not working correctly on the server. In this case, check that the /usr/share/openqrm/plugins/dhcpd/etc/dhcpd.conf file Standard configuration directives option domain-name-servers has the correct name server entry or entries and change the settings if needed.

You can also prevent openQRM from autonomously modifying name resolution on your system by setting


in the /usr/share/enqrm/plugins/dns/etc/openqrm-plugin-dns.conf file.

LVM Storage for VMs

Compared with Blockfile Storage , using KVM LVM Storage offers greater flexibility (snapshots, cloning). I will thus be assigning the partition prepared during the installation of Debian (but not previously assigned) as LVM storage for the virtual machines. Each VM will then later have its own logical drive from the LVM storage pool.

When it comes to enabling the KVM LVM storage, openQRM again handles the configuration of the required Debian LVM packages in the background. Click on the Manage button for Storage | KVM LVM Storage and then select Add new volume group . Select the partition you want to assign from the drop-down menu (e.g., /dev/sda3), type a name (e.g., kvmg) and confirm with Submit .

The next step is to set up a virtual machine in KVM. The installation is like other virtualization systems after creating the virtual machine: You need an installation medium with the operating system – typically an ISO image. Then, mount this image as the primary boot medium before you start the virtual machine; the installation will start directly from this virtual CD drive.

Note that openQRM has a plugin for LinuxCOE (Linux Common Operating Environment) [2]. LinuxCOE is an open source tool by HP that generates ISO images for CentOS, Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, and many other Linux distributions. The special thing here is that the tool also supports these distributions' automatic installers. In other words, you can easily create installation ISOs that run automatically. To discover how to use LinuxCOE with openQRM, check out the exhaustive tutorial on the openQRM website [3]. If you prefer not to work with the COE plugin, then copy an ISO image of your Linux distribution choice to a directory on the openQRM server.

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