[nSLUG] Virtulization Solution/Environment

Devan Goodwin dgoodwin at rm-rf.ca
Wed Dec 23 12:51:16 AST 2009


On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM, derek mahoney <derekmahoe at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hello All,
>
> I was wondering if someone here could provide me with some insight. Recently
> I bought a Refurbished IBM Thinkcentre with a Pentium D 920 processor and
> 3GB's of RAM. My hope for this machine is to use it as a linux virtulization
> server for now, until I can build a really nice one for the same purpose.
>
> Over the past couple weeks I have been playing around with Distros and
> visualization software to try to accomplish having a remote virtualization
> server that I can administer from my laptop or another computer on the
> network. My goal is to have a bare bones linux installation (no gui) that
> sits in the corner with nothing else but a ethernet cord plugged in to it
> which would allow me to setup and manage vms from a remote PC.
>
> I first tried Ubuntu 9.10 Server with VMWare server 2 on it. I really like
> the direction VMWare went with Server 2 with having the management console
> as a web interface. However, upon monitoring the system resources, it looked
> like there was a memory leak. Because without any VM's running, RAM usage
> kept increasing until there was no physical RAM left. I tried a reinstall of
> everything, but same result. I figured it might have been ubuntu.
>
> So I tried CentOS 5 Server installation with VMWare server 2. All was well
> until I started really using the Web Interface. It began becoming really
> unresponsive and would loose the connection to the server daemon, then when
> I would try to reconnect it wouldn't be able to do so. The only thing that
> would fix it is a daemon restart. I did some research and found out that a
> lot of other users had the same frustrations and some would even call VMWare
> Server 2 a failure. Anyway I figured I would try another solution.
>
> I then reinstalled CentOS 5 with Xen virtualization. Easy to install and
> setup of vm's can be done via command line (which is cool) However when I
> went about trying to create A windows XP virtual machine, I had some more
> trouble. It seems that it wanted to create it as a paravirtulized machine,
> which I am not too familiar with, and because of that, I am unable to
> install from CD or an ISO image. It seems the only option I have is from
> http/ftp/ or nfs. and for the most part it seems its more geared towards
> installing Linux virtual machines instead of Windows VM's. It also said I
> needed to have VT-x enabled from BIOS for my processor to run it as a true
> virtual machine (not paravirtulized). I did some research in to this as well
> and my processor does support it, i just have to figure out how to turn it
> on if not already. I checked the bios and didn't see any reference/option
> for it. I am going to try tonight when I go home to see if it's enabled or
> not.
>
> I am going to continue to try different methods but I am at the point now
> where  I am looking for advice. I was wondering if someone here would have
> any comment/suggestions /advice about a method or a product.
>
> I would really like to have a remote solution that would allow me to manage
> and run these things from any computer as I have mentioned.
>
> Thanks for you help and time.
>
> Look forward to hearing from you.
>
> Derek.
>

Does that processor have VT extensions? (I think you'd look for "vmx"
in a cat /proc/cpuinfo) Looks like it does based on other replies.

If so I'd really highly recommend giving Fedora 12 with KVM and
virt-manager a shot. I use this for all my virt needs on both my
systems, one of which is in the basement of my house. I currently fire
up virt-manager on that system over SSH with X forwarding but
virt-manager can be configured to connect to a remote host quite
easily IIRC. You can likewise do a remarkable amount even without the
virt-manager GUI going straight from the CLI.

It's been awhile since I've used VMWare or Virtualbox but I'm really
pleased with the virt tooling in Fedora and RHEL/CentOS, very simple
and provides all the features I need. It's open source and readily
available in the distribution.

KVM appears in RHEL/CentOS 5.4 but you'll get newer tools in Fedora
that haven't yet fed into RHEL.

Cheers,

Devan


-- 
Devan Goodwin <dgoodwin at rm-rf.ca>
http://rm-rf.ca



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