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An Overview of Virtuozzo Linux 7

Sergey Maximov

Technology Corner

virtuozzo linux

Virtuozzo has a long and successful collaboration history with the Linux community. We created the first container technology for Linux and have developed a great deal of new capabilities in related projects. In the latest, Virtuozzo’s bare-metal version of the OS is bundled together with virtualization and storage components.

As time has passed, we’ve realized that there are plenty of workloads and use-cases for a special datacenter tailored OS by itself. Today, our version of Linux is available as a separate product. It was designed to run any classic and/or modern virtualization technologies.

There are a number of different Linux distributions available today. However, certain issues need to be addressed. Free distributions have no guaranteed SLA for publishing security updates and there is no support option. Classic commercial versions are enormously expensive even if you are running typical generic workloads. Our internal Linux was designed to address these issues from the beginning. Here are the key design goals behind Virtuozzo Linux:

  • Security
  • Cut down maintenance costs
  • Professional and affordable support

Virtuozzo Linux 7 is based on the CentOS7 distribution and offers full compatibility with CentOS and the RedHat family. It supports the same hardware list as the official RedHat distribution. It is a clear-cut, no frills system designed as a foundation for any virtualization technology, including: virtual machines, system or application containers, and virtualized storage.

Security

By removing unused components we made a smaller overall footprint which is much easier to keep updated and secured. The key element in keeping your data secured is the timely installation of updates. Unfortunately, the need to reboot a server after an update requires careful planning to negotiate maintenance windows, and it often involves a lot of after-hours effort. Such complex procedures often delay update for weeks and sometimes even for months. Optimizing operational costs makes your installation vulnerable to attacks. Virtuozzo Linux provides ReadyKernel zero downtime kernel updates. There is no need to reboot a server, and updates will be applied instantly without affecting any running workloads. Unlike some alternative solutions, ReadyKernel is based on a standard upstream technology called kpatch. Each update is carefully prepared and tested by Virtuozzo engineers, and can be easily and safely rolled back at anytime. As a result, the system administrator fully controls the update process, keeping risks at a minimum.

Cut Down Maintenance Costs

Downtime and dealing with dissatisfied users is a thing of the past, as are costly and effort-intensive maintenance procedures. Let’s assume that downtimes are not acceptable. If you don’t have a way to update a node without rebooting, you’re forced to live-migrate all your workloads first. Even with shared storage, this process take a lot time and creates unnecessary network load.  It also requires constant attention- it’s no secret that live migration can sometimes fail. As a result, updating a medium sized datacenter might take a day. And a mid-sized organization could quite possibly have dozens of them. All of these efforts deserve a better application. ReadyKernel updates the node instantly, in just a fraction of second- it’s impossible to spot the freeze time. Simple script can apply the latest security patch in a cluster, reducing incident risks to a minimum. Our recent research estimates a reduction of about 200 man hours per month for an IT administrative staff operating in a 10K server environment.

Production Support

Virtuozzo has a dedicated Linux engineering team which is comprised of a well-balanced blend of industry veterans and the smartest talent from top technical universities. Our folks are well recognized contributors in the Linux community. Virtuozzo has supported Linux solutions for decades and committed more than 1200 patches to the mainstream during the last 3 years. Our professional multi-region support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no exceptions. Our support service level agreement defines 24 hours as the normal time to publish critical updates, in some complex cases it could take up to 48 hours. We go beyond standard support activities and are eager to help you with testing and optimization for your specific workloads.

We also believe that the main contributor to successful support is quality assurance before a new update is published. Our robust testing process involves both automated and manual testing procedures. Our engineering team gets telemetry from more than 100K hosts running Virtuozzo Linux. This allows us to tackle most issues proactively, and as a result we can dramatically reduce overall support costs. Monthly Virtuozzo Linux production support is just $5 per node with no hidden costs, and volumes discounts are available. To find out more details, get in touch with our sales team.

The next step to learning more about Virtuozzo Linux it is try it! Download and install a free 30-day trial now and please let us know what you think about it.

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