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[#] Thu Nov 20 2008 17:34:35 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I don't have much interest in desktop virtualization. I'm running a data center.

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 07:32:36 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Funny, virtual box requires xp.
It'll run anything, but reqires xp.
I wonder if I can ru nit in a vmware window running ubuntu.

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 07:57:37 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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That's not true at all. VirtualBox runs on Linux just fine. In fact, I think the free edition is in the Ubuntu repositories.

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 11:15:35 EST from Bryon Roche @ Uncensored

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Depending on your hosting needs, UML or kvm can work just as well, presuming you have new enough hardware.  Does vmware ESX allow you to directly assign a PCI device to a guest OS yet?

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 11:16:32 EST from Bryon Roche @ Uncensored

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Note: those two I tend to prefer, as they are less invasive, at least in linux.  Redhat &c. has also made leaps and bounds in opensource VM management in the last year or so.

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 11:35:51 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I mean it requires xp as in will not run in 2000

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 11:36:25 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I tried installing it in ubuntu and the kernel image thing wouldn't install correctly, probably because it was in a vm. :-)

[#] Fri Nov 21 2008 17:09:20 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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hmmm... doesn't run on my real linux machine either...

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 01:32:04 EST from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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Nov 21 2008 11:36am from Ford II @uncnsrd
I tried installing it in ubuntu and the kernel image thing wouldn't

install correctly, probably because it was in a vm. :-)

Well gee, maybe you should install it in a Real OS that actually has a stable kernel ABI, such as Vista. But noo, that would be too easy. Anyhow, I suppose the problem might actually be that you can't run a VM in a VM. That was in fact impossible under early emulation-based versions of VMware. But I still wouldn't let that get in the way of this rant.

So right now, I am typing this via OpenSSH running inside a Gnome-Terminal on a virtual Linux box running CentOS 5 with the xorg-1.3 rpm's from Fedora 7 installed, running in seamless mode so I have a gnome-terminal sitting on my Vista desktop right next to a Vista Firefox window...

Ford, did you play with russian dolls as a kid? You did, didn't you?

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 01:34:05 EST from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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Did somebody just recommend user mode linux? Have we gone back to the stone age and nobody told me?

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 01:37:08 EST from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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yeah virtualbox is fast. I just tried playing the same youtube flash video, first in a linux firefox via virtualized audio drivers, and then via a native vista firefox, each way seems to have the same cpu utilization... so no excessive overhead here.

of course you need to use HZ=100 or divider=10 on your guest, or you're screwed. I'm not sure about the tickless kernel. I think tickless still devolves to HZ=1000 when you have two processes contending for the cpu..

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 09:54:34 EST from Bryon Roche @ Uncensored

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Yes, I did just recommend UML. For many applications is there really a need to simulate a whole 'nother computer?  Yes, they have their clear and immediate uses, but VMing everything tends to strike me as a pretty severe second-system syndrome at times.  To use a horrible analogy, if I have to use a hammer on that screw, I'd at least like to use a smaller hammer to limit the collateral damage.

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 10:09:50 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Look, y'all know that I'm always among the first to endorse an open source product over a non-free product, even if the non-free product has a few more features or whatever, because the open source model is inherently better for everything and everyone. But my experiences with VMware have just been so far ahead of everything else that I've just gotta stick with it for now, build entire virtual data centers with it, etc. etc. etc.

VirtualBox does look promising, if Sun manages to not go out of business.
I had some trouble installing it, but that was only because I insisted on sticking with what was in the Ubuntu repositories (which at ne point was broken).
I also was disappointed that it required manual configuration of tun/tap devices in order to get the network running. Have they fixed that yet? Can you just tell it "bridge to eth0" like with VMware now?

Oh, and once you've seen VMotion running, it's hard to even think about anything else. Moving a virtual machine from one physical computer to another *while it's running* is just jaw-droppingly amazing. I wonder if that's why I'm the only one here advocating VMware ... is anyone else playing with the high-end stuff, or just dabbling with the desktop and low end server versions?

As for UML ... been there, done that. It works, but why bother? If you're looking for a low-overhead solution and don't need to support non-Linux operating systems, you could just build everything in chroot jails.

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 17:49:00 EST from dothebart @ Uncensored

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I like colinux for the other way arround. I think its a derivate of UML?

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 20:11:16 EST from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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IG, my employer uses Xen extensively. I'm told that Xen has an equivalent to VMotion. All of our middle tier servers (which means every new server that we build, except the ones that have to run Oracle) are based on Xen. It seems to work ok. Occasionally, the guest instances will print "soft lockup" messages to the kernel log. Not sure about the root cause but this is the only real issue that I know of. Paravirtualization is compelling. It's the technically correct way to approach the virtualization problem: teach the guest OS to be aware that it's in a virtualization environment, and use hypercalls everywhere feasible, for performance enhancement.

Why bother with UML indeed? It has all the overhead of simulating a "whole 'nother computer", as Bryon put it, yet it approaches the problem in a highly inefficient fashion. Last time I checked, Xen performance was way better.

As for VirtualBox: it is a desktop virtualization platform. It's not for servers. It works reasonably well. The "seamless mode" is a little bit quirky, but the bugs can be avoided once you learn the quirks. It's fast. The networking setup is only mildly annoying on Windows, because it's pretty easy to tell Windows to add the TAP adapter to a bridge. This is less intuitive than VMware, but less of a pain than a command line setup would be.

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 20:16:47 EST from Bryon Roche @ Uncensored

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How new is VMotion? Xen and kvm have done migration before vmware I think.. :)

Colinux is a driver + kernel hack to run a linux kernel as a win32 process, or as a linux process in priviledged space.  UML is supposed to allow you to run a linux kernel as a non-priveledged process.   Just some 'subtle' differences there.

Ig: I basically build and code datacenter sized storage products for a living.  At least, that's effectively what the company i'm with is doing.  At the moment, we run our administrative database and product build/test stuff out of KVM VMs.  With so much of the virtualization needing being actually handled in x86 hardware these days, VMware just doesn't add much value for us to consider it.   Some of our devs still use it, as it's definitely the fastest one on windows.  I'm uncertain is to wether Parallels or VMware wins out on macs.


[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 20:26:11 EST from Bryon Roche @ Uncensored

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Sun Nov 23 2008 08:11:16 PM EST from LoanShark@uncnsrd

Why bother with UML indeed? It has all the overhead of simulating a "whole 'nother computer", as Bryon put it, yet it approaches the problem in a highly inefficient fashion. Last time I checked, Xen performance was way better.

Caveat: most of my UML experience is in the context of UML the way linode does it where most of the process switching and IO/path had alot of custom speedup work before mainline UML had it.

[history?]Everything Mr. Shark says about paravirt I agree with though.  There are numerous debates you can read about wether KVM or VMWare or Xen do that architecturally better. Xen certainly has the academic foundation behind its work.  Personally, I think KVM's approach does it better in terms of connecting the host->guest (present virtualized devices as 'simplified' PCI devices, accessible via normal OS apis.).  Xen's paravirtualization work in the VM was pretty much pure work at overcoming X86's vm deficincies that you had to deal with before the newer vmx/vt cpus were available.

During this time, VMware had a definite performance lead when you had to deal with windows, as it had that nifty trap/dynamic recompilation setup.[/history?]

I expect that VMware will remain competetive, they definitely have a leg-up right now in ease-of-management.  For my money though, management is the easy problem to deal with, and VMware just isn't and never has been unique enough for me to want it.  I have to admit, of course, the primary reason for that is that windows has never been a primary platform for me. (I went from dos->win31->linux)


[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 21:29:26 EST from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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Yeah, most of us also went from dos->win31->linux... but some of us actually went back to Windows after Windows stopped sucking so damned much, and started being a reasonable multitasking/internet/memory protection platform. Oops, I just got myself burned at the stake, didn't I?

Anyway, Umm, I think Xen paravirtualization is, although maybe a lot of the techniques they use are no longer quite so relevant now that VT cpu's are mainstream, paravirt is still important because device drivers in general perform better when they are working via hypercall instead of some crappy emulated hardware interface.

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 23:02:39 EST from Bryon Roche @ Uncensored

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What if the hypercall is implemented with the same API as a hardware interface?  I like the way KVM goes with that..

[#] Sun Nov 23 2008 23:39:03 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Are there any hypervirtualization environments that Windows will cooperate with (HyperV doesn't count) right now?

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