VMWare Progress

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Revision as of 13:43, 13 March 2008 by Steve (talk | contribs) (→‎Tests)
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  • Installed two of the 750GB drives into new benfranklin. Need to come up with a partition layout. Maybe just one system per disk (one of which will be virtualized)? I think this is good enough for testing, so that's what I'll do.
  • RHEL5 is installed, as well as the latest version of vmware server. The current (default) configuration seems to be invalid, asking to re-configure via /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl. Reconfiguring with the defaults makes no difference. It says it needs inted/xinetd, but neither is installed. Yum won't work without RHN, so we've gotta set that up. I'm just going to unetitle tomato; we seem to have agreed that that machine's a lost cause. (New Benfranklin). I installed the prerequisites and now it's asking for the 20-character serial number. I got 15 of them from VMWare; the link is in the text above the big shiny "Download" button. I put them in a text file in my home directory. Entered the serial number, and vmware runs.
  • Making a machine on a virtual disk is easy, just follow the default settings for the most part. The virtual disks are split into 2GB files on the real disk, so disk-intensive activities might take a noticeable hit.
  • Making a machine on a partition/real disk requires doing a "custom" setup.
  • Choose NAT for networking so we don't have to mess with getting new IPs, etc.
  • It seems like vmware needs to be reconfigured whenever a new kernel is installed. Not too big of a deal, but something to keep in mind.

VMWare Server

  • Runs on any standard x86 hardware
  • Supports 64-bit guest operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Solaris
  • Supports two-processor Virtual SMP, enabling a single virtual machine to span multiple physical processors ("experimental")
  • Runs on a wider variety of Linux and Windows host and guest operating systems than any server virtualization product on the market
  • Captures entire state of a virtual machine and rolls back at any time with the click of a single button
  • Installs like an application, with quick and easy, wizard-driven installation
  • Quick and easy, wizard-driven virtual machine creation
  • Supports Intel Virtualization Technology
  • Protects investment with an easy upgrade path to VMware Infrastructure

Other docs


I've set up two virtual machines on new benfranklin: One is on a virtual disk on the "real" machine's hard drive (named "TestFile"), and one is on it's own hard drive (named "TestDrive"). Otherwise, they're set up with the same stats: 1024MB RAM, NAT ethernet, 2 processors.

  • Other than being a little slow to read from CD, the installation of RHEL5 to TestFile seems as snappy as a physical installation.
  • Here are two tests that I have in mind. They seem to cover the main uses of our servers:
  1. CPU/RAM test: Compile something big, like X, and compare nonvirtual, virtual file, and virtual disk timings.
  2. Network test: Write a client/server program (or maybe something like this already exists) that just sends data back-and-forth with blackbody or something for a period of time, and compare nonvirtual, virtual file, and virtual disk transfer rates.

VMWare Converter

To turn a physical machine into a virtual one, use Converter, on Windows. We're slightly screwed for this part.

NOTE: Experimental support only is available for Linux-based physical to virtual machine conversions using the Vmware Converter BootCD (cold cloning) if the source physical machine has SCSI disks.