The UnifiedSessionsManager for Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Posted by Arno-Can Uestuensoez on 2008, Updated...2011

The UnifiedSessionsManager offers an integration framework for operations and management of virtual and physical machines for personal usage. The scalability spans from single-user workstations to distributed IT landscapes including various numbers of datacenters, subsidaries, and home-offices.

Therefore a generic abstraction layer is defined in order to provide a seamless service oriented view with a common generic interface to all provided session types.


The session is defined within the UnifiedSessionsManager quite simmilar to common IT definitions with the additional type-relation to specific plugins. The plugins define specific technologies comprising the required access functionality to special runtime environments. These could be ordinary logins onto hosts of type HOSTs, management and login to physical machines of type PMs, or the management and login to virtual machines of type VMs.

The framework provides a runtime environment for the seamless integration of the plugins into a common generic interface to all provided session types resulting into a single service oriented view.


The UnifiedSessionsManager provides the conceptual building blocks comprising elements for the establishment and management of location independent resources of interactive and server based services. this particularly comprises the integration of physical and virtual machines into a stack of virtual machines - v-stacks - which founds the base for the enhanced features of virtual components within Cloud-Computing environments. This provides for customizable generic software services as SaaS.

The components comprise functions for application and administration of location independent, interactive and batch oriented services.

The current version supports:

  • KVM, Qemu, VirtualBox, VMware(Workstation/Server/Player), and Xen
  • Linux: CentOS, debian, Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Scientific Linux, SUSE, UnbreakableLinux, Ubuntu
  • FreeBSD, OpenBSD
  • OpenSolaris, Solaris 10
  • UserInterface: Shell/bash, RDP(rdesktop), X11, VNC(TightVNC/RealVNC), XTerm, GTerm, Emacs
  • Physical Machines: Automated handling of Wake-On-LAN
  • Security: SSH, sudo, ksu

Next versions are foreseen to support additionally:

  • OpenVZ, VMware(iESX), XenServer
  • NetBSD
  • FreeOS, QNX, uCLinux, RTEMS

For next additional information refer to:

  1. Your personal CloudComposer
  2. User Centric Service Clouds
    A short overview of basic features and user interfaces.
  3. Whitepaper: UnifiedSessionsManager - A Service Management Approach for CloudComputing (html)  - (pdf)
  4. GUI-Automation - Four Steps to your personal Cloud
    Just 4 Steps for the automation of inventory creation and menue integration of distributed PMS and VMs.
  5. Datasheets:

The UnifiedSessionsManager - A Blueprint

Posted by Arno-Can Uestuensoez on 2008, Updated...2011

The main advance offered by the UnifiedSessionsManager is the simplified provisioning and use of complex runtime environments.

The contained tools, such as the automated scanners for the collection of present virtual machines into a spread-sheet compatible filedatabase, and the common call with a batch applicable shell interface are designed for painless usage once some basics are established. Particularly the usage of huge numbers of virtual machines could be simplified by various user defined identifiers for usage as call shortcuts. This comprises for example the possibility to define groups and use them together similar to a single machine.

In addition to the management of the user sessions including the involved physical and virtual machines a user interface for the presentation is included. The Interface is based on X11 and offers an abstraction layer with logical addressing of single screens as well as monitor arrays. Specific features such as the conventional DISPLAY forwarding and a new defined CONNECTION forwarding are introduced. This allows the transparent handling of local and remote clients and the automated establishment of SSH tunnels for interconnection.

The UnifiedSessionsManager particularly provides the usage of nested virtual machines similar to a nested containment stack. The virtual stacks - v-stacks - offer a containment hierarchy as the environment for the assembly of multiple VM based services into an encapsulated new service, accessible by it's virtual gateway only. The internal interface could be of any conventional network communications type, whereas the actual assembly could be handled by the administrator solely by means of conventional network administration.


This offers an adaptable approach for generic software configuration on server farms and blade clusters, but fits to a multi-core desktop perfectly as well. This is the basic facility for the introduction of virtual components - v-components - as new building blocks for virtualized network centric services.

Specific advanced features are supported as part of the implemented concept of v-stack:

  • Implicit and automated boot and shutdown of underlying physical and virtual machines. This is supported for the boot of an operating system as well as for a specific contained application.
  • Automated scanners, which scan local and remote filesystems for specific VMs and detect the appropriate type by specific match-filters. The results are stored into a local caching database compatible to popular spreadsheets.
  • Virtaulized nameservice v-DNS, which includes v-host and v-ping. Various identifiers could be used to address a machine, including user defined labels.

The main features comprise:

  • Management of distributed and stacked Virtual Machines.
  • Management of Desktops and Workspaces on Multiple Monitors.
  • Seamless access to all types of sessions.
  • Support of encrypted connections only, based on SSH.
  • Contains various tools for handling of a few up to several thousand VMs and PMs.

For next additional information refer to:

  1. ctys-user-manual-online
  2. ctys-howto-online
  3. ctys-command-reference-online