Abiquo 2.2 – Branding (white labelling) Web Application

It’s time everyone got into Abiquo branding! Our customers can completely re-brand the whole product and adapt the platform to their logos, brands and corporate style.

But before Abiquo 2.2, this capability required time, effort and knowledge. Users had to know how to work with the Flex files, folders and logos and compile the user interface themselves. We are sure that many users were frustrated by this process. This is the typical project that starts out as a great proposal from the marketing department but quickly becomes a nightmare for someone with too much on their plate and too little time!

That’s why Abiquo has created the first release of the Abiquo Theme Generator (ATG) that allows anyone to edit and configure branding themes that can be easily incorporated and used in Abiquo.

The tool is very easy to install and use. It’s a web app that allows anyone to visually edit and prepare themes. It was created in the labs for everybody to use and it will really help out by simplifying the branding process.

The Abiquo Theme Generator is completely open source and we’d be happy to receive your feedback to help us continue improving it.

You can follow the documentation on our wiki, including the user guide here. And you can use our bugtracking system to report your issues and requests. All the code is hosted in a git repository.

It’s simple, easy and most importantly: useful! Get to work on styling your Abiquo now!

As you would know, Abiquo is distributed in a CentOS 5.7 ISO image with all the components included. And when the users are installing the product, they can select the profile to install (Monolithic install, Distributed install, KVM Cloud node, etc.).

In order to continue the evolution of our ISO, we are preparing the migration to the newest CentOS 6 distribution.

In order to perform this migration gradually, and because KVM is one of the most important hypervisors used in Abiquo in our customers’ production environments, we have decided to start with the migration of the KVM Cloud node profile so as to provide the benefits of using the new KVM version included in CentOS 6.

For example, in CentOS 6, the new KVM version is now fully integrated into the kernel. Other improvements include the ability to assign CPU affinity for guests, and Kernel Same Page (KSM) technology, which allows the kernel to reuse identical memory pages across virtual machines. That’s certainly very useful for a cloud environment 🙂

Abiquo will continue to provide our ISO based on CentOS 5.7 but we have also prepared a special package that can be installed after a basic CentOS 6.2 install, for customers that wish to use KVM. It includes all the packages required for running KVM and all the components necessary to work with Abiquo (libvirt, abiquo-aim, etc.).

As you would know, Abiquo has the capacity to account any resource allocated and used by users in order to allow cloud providers to generate bills using their billing systems or using an Abiquo billing connector.

Accounting data is obviously one of the key parts of the product because it’s valuable data that tells Abiquo customers exactly how their users are consuming cloud resources in the platform.

As in other parts of the product, the engineering team are using information received from customers and labs in order to improve scalability. And accounting is a critical part of the platform because as the platform grows, the data generated keeps growing every hour/day/week, so the processes that consolidate the data need to have a very good response time.

In Abiquo EE 2.2 we have reviewed this processes and we have improved a lot the performance numbers measured in previous releases.

The following points sumarize the enhancements of this improvement:

  • Improved security: separate ‘kinton_accounting’ schema to hold the new accounting tables and views so accounting queries do not access the main Abiquo schema
  • Improved storage efficiency: saves 50-75% of space used by the pre-upgrade accounting table
  • Improved VIEW performance: greatly improved query performance on large accounting tables
  • Improved recovery handling: you can now recover missed accounting periods

This diagram is an overview of the Abiquo 2.0 accounting system. The accounting tables are part of the kinton schema.

After the upgrade to Abiquo 2.2, the accounting tables are now part of the kinton_accounting schema, as shown with the darker orange and green boxes in the following diagram.

After the upgrade, by default the system will retain accounting data for 90 days. You can manually recover missed accounting periods.

You should now access accounting data using the template queries in the new accounting schema.

Finally… I think that seeing a comparison is better than more words in this post.

Enjoy your bills! 😉