VMWare Progress

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Revision as of 13:32, 14 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. Boots/reboots can be very sluggish, though.
  • 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: Use ttcp compare nonvirtual, virtual file, and virtual disk transfer rates.
  3. This page should be helpful: [1]. Now we won't have to write any custom tests. In that case, ttcp seems like the simplest for network tests, and maybe one of those NASA ones to test computing performance.

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.