VMs: creating from bare metal install?

Mark van Harmelen markvanharmelen at gmail.com
Sun Jun 6 12:29:43 UTC 2010

Serge  and Hennign, thanks

Just some informational replies:


Sou mentioned "if you prefer Xen, go with Debian Lenny, or CentOS 5.5." We are
pretty much limited to Ubuntu for this config, we are running a specific
customised version of (the generally flakey) Red5 open source media server
that we know works on 9.10, so we are there for a while. Actually we are
pretty much standardised on Ubuntu, and will move to the next LTS when we
can. We do use CentOS to run a particular triple store, but we'd rather
standardise on Ubuntu.

Disc performance is very important to us, so its good to hear your pro-Xen
"If performance is key, IMHO you need to go with Xen (or avoid doing
virtualisisation, obviously :-) ), especially when it comes to disk
For info, we have a disc-activity intensive set of web services (web 2.0
social networking services), potentially for use by large numbers of users.

So are we in the world of paravirtualisation? We are running quad-core intel
CPUs which support hyperthreading.

Hennig, yes a reinstall is obviously the way to go, but its worth a quick
trial to see what we get from a short cut procedure. Actually thinking about
it we should be able to do a complete reinstall and test in a day. Hmmm....

It seems that the largest task here is negotiating the different options :)


On Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 11:40 AM, Serge van Ginderachter <
serge at vanginderachter.be> wrote:

> On 6 June 2010 12:10, Mark van Harmelen <markvanharmelen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Has anyone got any experience converting a bare metal server to a virtual
>> image? For some free target, maybe KVM or one of the Xen products. Xen is
>> run by one of our friend-companies, so there is a slight preference for
>> that. We are interested in minimising any potential virtualisation
>> overheads, so the less interventionist the virtualisation technology, the
>> better. But if method A is quick and easy to do and is only somewhat slower
>> than method B, we'd in the first instance go method A (time is tight right
>> now).
> You basically just need to give you VM Host access to a container which has
> the disk image(s) of your original server, and tell your vm system to boot
> that image, possibly with a specific kernel in case of Xen.
> Make an image of your offline server with dd, and output that to an LVM
> volume on your vm host. Once you got that image, you might need to tweak
> something to provide a specific kernel, depending on your chosen vm
> techology, and maybe tweak fstab if you have different partitions next to /
> in your vm guest. Consider paravirtualisation with Xen.
> If Ubuntu is your server of choice, KVM will be your best option. If you
> prefer Xen, go with Debian Lenny, or CentOS 5.5.
> If performance is key, IMHO you need to go with Xen (or avoid doing
> virtualisisation, obviously :-) ), especially when it comes to disk
> performance.
> KVM on the other hand is more easy to set up and to manage.
> HTH,
> --
>     Met cordiale groet,
>     Serge van Ginderachter
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