In a nutshell
Archipel is a solution to manage and supervise virtual machines. No matter if you have a few locally on your computer or thousands through data centers, Archipel is a central solution to manage them all. You can perform all basic virtualization commands and many other things like live migration, VMCasts, packages, etc.
Archipel uses XMPP for all communication. There is no webservice or custom protocol. You just need at least one XMPP server — like eJabberd — to start playing with it. This allows Archipel to work completely real time. You never have to refresh the user interface. You'll be notified as soon as something happens. You can even use your favorite chat clients to command your infrastructure. Isn't it great to be able to open a chat conversation with your virtual machine and say things like "How are you today?" or "Hey, please reboot"?
Virtual machines on Demand
All your virtual machines in one place
All hypervisor's virtual machines are displayed into one place. You can see their current state, name and company related informations. You can create or remove new ones with a single click. If you have dozens of VMs, you can simply filter them.
Lack of inspiration? you don't know how to name these 10 virtual machines? Let Archipel do it. It will use one random poetic name elected from the list of all known Asteroids of the solar system.
You already have some existing Libvirt domains you would like to manage with Archipel? No problem. Archipel will detect existing virtual machines you can manage them in a non-destructive way with a single click.
Real time statistics
With Archipel you are aware of the the health of your hypervisors in real-time. Memory usage, CPU load, CPU time, free disk space, load average or total amount swapped memory, everything is right here.
The Archipel Server's logs of physical machines are also available from the Health module. If you see a usage peak, you can easily try to figure out why, using filtering.
Built-in VNC client
VNC anytime, anywhere
Archipel includes a VNC client right from one of its module. You can control your virtual machine's screens. If your virtual machine is a graphical terminal (Linux Xorg or Windows), you can use your mouse right from your browser to do anything you want, just like you were in front of a real computer.
The retail store
In this module, you manually build your virtual machine. Three CPUs, 2Go or RAM, one drives, two network cards etc. you pick up what you need.
You can decide what type of media or device you plug in your virtual computer. An install DVD of Linux or Windows, a virtual drive, a network card you plug in a defined hypervisor's network, you decide which device you add.
Here are your VMs, Sir
Register to existing VMCasts
VMCast are some RSS feeds containing virtual machines. With Archipel, you can register to these VMCasts, download and use already packaged appliances (including drives and configuration).
You have made an awesome virtual machine you would like to save or share? That's not a problem. Each hypervisor has its own VMCast feed and can package any of its virtual machines. These packages will then be available for registred user of the VMCast.
Play, Pause, Stop
Archipel provides you with all controls you can imagine for a particular virtual machine. You can start, stop, shutdown, unplug, pause, resume a virtual machine with a single click. Archipel is also smart enough to take into account all external events. If you stop a VM with virsh, controls will be updated right into Archipel.
Maintenance needed on a Hypervisor? No problem, just double click on any available hypervisor to migrate your running VM to a new host without any service interruption.
You, in! You, you're out!
Archipel has a very precise permissions management system. From just being allowed to see hypervisors or virtual machines, to total control over them, you can decide what a user can do. You can also create shared groups combining users, virtual machines and hypervisors to build data-center "zones".
You can create roles. A role is a template of permissions. You can even apply many roles to a user in a row. A new role is published ona PubSub, and all adminstrators can use it for their data center "zones".
Networking made easy
Route, NAT, isolation. You decide
The hypervisor's network module allows you to split your network into segments in no time and add virtual machines into them. Network can be in NAT mode or in a routed mode.
DHCP and address reservation
You can define several range of IP adresses virtual machines will use. You can also resrve some to given hostname or MAC address.
You want more?
Archipel supports snapshoting. You can freeze the state of a virtual machine and go back to it at any time. See it as a checkpoint. Something goes mad? Just revert the VM to last good snapshot, and it will be like the evil never happens.
Archipel embeds a scheduler. You can set ponctual action, like removing a virtual machine at a given date, or recurrent task, like snapshoting virtual machine every week, or giving special roles to a user for a definite period of time.
Libvirt supports live migration and so Archipel. You can with a single click decide to change the hypervisor of a running virtual machine without having to stop it. People using the machine would never notice this change, this is absolutely transparent.
Archipel relies on Libvirt. You can reuse some existing platforms without having to install a full custom distribution. This is not a bare-metal solution. See it as a light weight agent installed on physical machines and a web interface you can install anywhere.
You can use several XMPP servers as replica or as different access points. With the server-to-server feature, you can communicate with entities all over the world. This allows Archipel to be very robust. If a part of your datacenter fails, the rest remains fully operational. Moreover, Archipel is scalable and makes easy to size your infrastructure.
And guess what? All this work is released under an open source licence (AGPL). Anybody can participate to improve Archipel's code, features and documentation. We use a lot of Open Source software to build Archipel. It is perfectly normal that Archipel is itself open. For the sake of our users!