[ubuntu-za] Virtual Machine Server

Deon Spengler deon.spengler at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 22:23:52 BST 2009

> Lee Sharp wrote: 
> > Charl Wentzel wrote:
> >   
> > 
> > > Hi Guys
> > > 
> > > Would like to get some advice from the virtual machine gurus.
> > > 
> > > I have a customer that has been advised to buy a new server for
> > > Goldmine.  To curb future spending, we decided that going the virtual
> > > route might be a good idea.  This would allow him to upgrade hardware
> > > without doing reinstalls in the future and consolidate a few smaller
> > > servers into one machine.
> > > 
> > > He was given the following spec for the machine:
> > >   Mecer Omega Server
> > >   Intel Xeon 3000 Dual Core CPU 
> > >   2GB PC 800 DDR2 Module X2
> > >   Adaptec Raid 5405 SATA/SAT 256mb
> > >   147GB Fujitsu SCSI (SAT) HDD X4
> > >     
> > 
> > 
> > Your memory is light.  Each VM will need it's own dedicated memory that 
> > comes from the system.  I would go with a 64bit server install and have 
> > 16gig of ram in there.  That way you can assign 4 gig to WinServer, and 
> > several gig to other systems.  And I would use KVM.
> > 
> > Also, make sure you can add a processor later, and get a dual socket 
> > motherboard.
> > 
> > 			Lee
> > 
> >   
> I second the recommendation for 64 bit server OS and more RAM. But
> depending on how many virtual systems they're going to run, 8GB might
> be more than enough. As long as they can upgrade later.
> I would use VirtualBox but only because I have no experience of
> kvm :-) 
> - Joe

I would recommend nothing less than 8GB of ram (with room for later
upgrade), quad core xeon cpu and a dual socket mother board. By the
looks of the amount of disc's I assume that you will be using raid 10.
If it is raid 10 that you are going to be using the adaptec raid card
will not benefit you much compared to mdadm in conjunction with lvm. One
can get a mother board with sas onboard, then one can use mdadm and lvm
to achieve the same and more compared to what one would have gotten from
the adaptec card.

KVM virtualization in conjunction with libvirt is what I would
recommend. The other important part is that one should use "virtio" for
both network and disk I/O to improve performance.

Just a heads up, if you are going to be installing Windows 2008 R2
64-bit server as a guest and you decide to use virtio, there is quiet a
bit of work envolved to sign the drivers.

Just some points that might be of interest or help, use ubuntu server
64-bit server for all above suggestions and install snmp on the ubuntu
server so that one can monitor the server with something like zenoss.

If you need any further info or help I will be more than willing to help


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