Specifications

History:

Aventurin{e} has been in active development since 2006. It started out as a fork of the Open Source project BlueQuartz by two of the junior developers of the BlueQuartz project: Brian N. Smith and Michael Stauber. The idea was to use core elements of the BlueQuartz GUI interface and to mate it with the OpenVZ container based virtualization engine in order to create and manage OpenVZ Virtual Private Containers. The initial version of Aventurin{e} with the model number 6102R ran on CentOS 4 and was released in 2007. In 2008 Aventurin{e} 6105R on CentOS 5 was released and it was also the first version of Aventurin{e} with optional Cluster support. In 2011 we released Aventurin{e} 6106R on Scientific Linux 6, which retained the optional Cluster support.

The latest version of Aventurin{e} is currently Aventurin{e} 6108R on Scientific Linux 6. Development of Aventurin{e} 6109R on CentOS 7 is in the very early stages with a tentative release date of first quarter 2017.

Aventurin{e} version numbers:

  • Aventurin{e} 6109R - CentOS 7 + OpenVZ 7 + Chorizo GUI - Pre-Alpha and in active development
  • Aventurin{e} 6108R - SL 6 + OpenVZ (Legacy) + Chorizo GUI - Stable Release
  • Aventurin{e} 6106R - SL 6 + OpenVZ (Legacy) + Sausalito GUI - Old Stable Release - EOL in January 2017
  • Aventurin{e} 6105R - CentOS 5 + OpenVZ (Legacy) + Sausalito GUI - EOL since March 2013
  • Aventurin{e} 6102R - CentOS 4 + OpenVZ (Legacy) + Sausalito GUI - EOL since March 2012

General Technical Overview:

Aventurin{e} is available as ISO image and can be installed on x86_64 compatible PC or server hardware. The install is as easy as it gets: Boot off the CD, press return in the CD boot menu and lean back. The rest of the install is fully automated. The disk(s) will get erased, partitioned and - if two disks are found - software RAID is activated. The package selection and installation is totally hands free and within 10-30 minutes (depending on the speed of your hardware) the installer will ask you to remove the CD and to perform a reboot. During the first login into your freshly installed Aventurin{e} the login details will be shown on the login console. A shell based setup assistant is automatically started upon first login to allow you to configure the network. Once this is done, you can directly go to the GUI interface of your freshly installed Aventurin{e} and can start to create and manage OpenVZ virtual private servers.

The base OS of Aventurin{e} 6108R is Scientific Linux 6, which - like CentOS 6 - is a free and open source clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. We chose Scientific Linux 6 over CentOS 6 because the choice between the two doesn't really matter. They are as good as binary compatible and you can use RPMs for one of them on the other as well. SL6 is (like CentOS 6) an RPM based distribution and uses YUM as package manager.

The GUI interface of Aventurin{e} runs on an Apache webserver (on special ports for HTTP and HTTPS) and uses PHP, jQuery, CSS3, Perl, Shell scripts and a special daemon written in C+ called CCEd. The GUI uses an Object oriented database called CODB to store management information. This GUI interface is called "Chorizo" and has about 80% commonality with the Open Source GUI interface of BlueOnyx - our sister project. BlueOnyx has been around since 2008 and traces it's origins back to BlueQuartz and the Cobalt RaQ's. The general design philosophy of the GUI interface emphasizes security. GUI users are authenticated against the PAM database and strict ACL's are applied to limit the scope of actions a user can take. Various levels of ACL's exist and define which parts of the GUI interface are accessible to a user. As any other web based GUI interface the Aventurin{e} GUI needs to perform certain transactions with elevated privileges ('root' access) in order to modify system config files and to manipulate system services. Aventurin{e} does this with security first and foremost in mind. All GUI transactions run as unprivileged user and are routed through the CCEd and CODB backend. Certain CODB transactions then - if all security related parameters are met - trigger a handler, which executes a very limited and specific transaction with elevated privileges. This allows for a very robust and secure GUI with all the flexibility we need and the robustness that we want.

Specifications for a 6108R Server:

It really depends on the expected usage. If you just want to run a single small hobby related VPS or a small intranet server, then the required hardware demands could be as low as this:

  • x86_64 compatible single core CPU (2 GHz or faster)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • +30 GB of disk space

That would be enough for some hobbyist usage, but don't expect too much off it. It is also possible to install and run Aventurin{e} on blades, like IBM blade centers. Of course the typical blade comes with only 2.5" disks and typically diskspace is a limiting factor that not really allows you to run many large VPS's. However, some key features of Aventurin{e} - like easy migrations, independence of hardware and the built in backup facility - make it desirable to run Aventurin{e} even though you'll run only a single VPS on that hardware.

Virtualization under Linux lives and breathes with CPU cores, fast RAM and fast I/O throughput of speedy hard disks. The more and the faster, the better the end result. Intel i3, i5, i7 or Xeon's with multiple cores are always a good choice. The i3 only for light weight stuff (due to lack of enough cores). For a long time our own Aventurin{e} servers for the BlueOnyx and Aventurin{e} project ran on 4 cores (Intel i5) and made do with 32 GB of RAM and 1-2TB of disk space each. We have since a bit outgrown that, but both back then (and today) we did run up to 30 VPS's per node. We do have clients who run Aventurin{e} on monster hardware with dozens of CPU cores, 200GB of RAM and terabytes of storage attached. In some cases these clients also started small on modest hardware. And eventually outgrew them. But in those cases they could simply "vzmigrate" the running VPS's off the old Aventurin{e} and live-migrate them to the new one.

Included OS Templates:

Aventurin{e} 6108R comes with the following OpenVZ OS templates, which will get installed during the first YUM update right after the initial setup:

  • BlueOnyx 5209R
  • BlueOnyx 5208R
  • BlueOnyx 5207R

Additional OS templates are also available via YUM:

  • BlueOnyx 5108R
  • BlueOnyx 5107R
  • BlueOnyx 5106R
  • CentOS 7 (minimal)
  • CentOS 6 (minimal)
  • CentOS 5 (minimal)

Further precreated OS templates for OpenVZ can be downloaded and installed from other sources as well.

Aventurin{e} Licensing and Terms of Usage:

In the past Aventurin{e} was closed source commercial software. We decided to change our stance on this. It is now partially open source and partially closed source. The closed source parts are those that directly deal with the interface between OpenVZ and the Chorizo GUI Interface. The licensing has been relaxed, so that it's now permissible to distribute unmodified binary copies of the Aventurin{e} 6108R ISO image.

The freely available version of Aventurin{e} 6108R allows you to create and manage a single OpenVZ virtual private server. That will also allow you to give Aventurin{e} a test ride before you commit to a purchase. Or if you are a hobbyist user who just wants to manage a single VPS, then you're welcome to run Aventurin{e} 6108R without ever purchasing a license extension.

A commercial license needs to be purchased if you want to unlock the GUI in order to run and manage 5, 10, 15, 20 or an unlimited number of OpenVZ VPS's. In that case you will receive a serial number and license key, which can be installed via the GUI interface. Once activated the GUI unlocks the ability to manage as many VPS's as your license extension allows.

Further details about the terms and conditions can be found in the Aventurin{e} License Agreement.

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