[ubuntu-za] Virtual Machine Server

Charl Wentzel charl.wentzel at vodamail.co.za
Wed Oct 21 23:21:21 BST 2009

On Wed, 2009-10-21 at 23:23 +0200, Deon Spengler wrote:
> > > > 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

> 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.

Are you saying that mdadm ("software RAID") is faster than this
particular RAID card or that the speed difference is not significant?

Looking at the spec again I see it's a SATA card, which probably
eliminates hot-swapping of hard drives, which is probably one of the
main benefits of having hardware RAID.  

Luckily I'm familiar both mdadm and lvm, so going this route won't be a
problem for me.

> 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.

Is there anything else I need to install from ubuntu server edition
other than KVM (from tasksel) for the above?  i.e. Do I have to add
libvirt after installation?

> 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 when I thought it was going to be easy!!  Any documentation/links
you can refer me to so I can start preparing myself?

> 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.

This is going to get interesting.  Granted this is a single server,
there's probably lighter-weight free applications I could use.

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

Thanks, I just might.

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