Virtualization has been a buzz word for a few years now. Some people think it has been over-hyped but I'm not one of those people. The big competing products seem to be: VMware, Xen, KVM, VirtualBox, Parallels (including OpenVZ), and Hyper-V.
Is there too much choice out there? Choice isn't bad, is it? Will there eventually be a market shake up with a thinning of product candidates as a result? Will someone try to proclaim that they are the virtualization "standard"? I don't really know. I certainly like competition and don't think having a number of competing products is bad. There are both proprietary products and FOSS products. As you can guess, I lean towards the later if at all possible.
Update: Full article now includes two embedded flash videos from Red Hat.
Proxmox VE is a “bare metal” ISO Linux distribution that is a virtual machine platform. It is geared towards enterprise users and designed to be installed on enterprise grade hardware. The Proxmox VE distribution combines two virtual machine technologies; KVM and OpenVZ as well as a web interface to manage everything. Proxmox VE also integrates into its web interface a way to manage multiple computers as a cluster. For the rest of the article Proxmox VE shall be referred to as PVE. This article is written about PVE 1.1, the latest stable release.
I was wondering just how many OpenVZ containers I could create on a beefy machine and how many processes the Linux kernel would be happy running so I decided to do an experiment.
I have two OpenVZ hosts... one is the primary and the other is a backup machine. Both of them are HP Proliant DL380 Gen5 machines with dual, quad-core Xeon processors, 32GB of RAM, 32GB of swap, and a 600GB /vz partition. I decided to use the backup OpenVZ machine for the experiment.
Wow, being a guest on The Linux Link Tech Show... with fantastic hosts Dann, Linc, Allan, and Pat... was great. I had a lot of fun. Yes, there were some technical problems at the beginning of the show that caused it to start a little late... and unfortunately I didn't have a way to boost my volume... and I don't know how it sounded live because I wasn't tuned into the live stream... but the archive recording isn't too bad. I'm guessing Dann cranked up the volume whenever I was talking.
For those who missed the live show, here are links to the .ogg and .mp3 archives:
The first "Introduction to OpenVZ" screencast that I did was over 1.5 years ago and it has become somewhat outdated... so I decided to make a new one.
If desired, you may download the full-quality Ogg Theora video:
openvz-brief-intro.ogv (114MB) (Right-click, Save Link As...)
Robert Nelson released an updated version of vzpkg2, pkg-cacher as well as OS Template Metadata packages for Fedora, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu. In all there are 48 different OS Templates that can easily be made using this software and I'm wanting to get more people in the community interested so I made a screencast.
If you want the full-quality version, right-click on the following URL and save as. It is an Ogg Theora video and recorded with gtk-recordMyDesktop:
vzpkg2-screencast.ogv (69MB) (Right-click, Save Link As...)
Robert Nelson seems to have come out of nowhere with an update to
vzpkg. Before we get started let me briefly review what
An OS Template is what OpenVZ uses as install media so you may install a Linux distribution into a container... since you cannot use a traditional CD-ROM / DVD nor .iso disk image. An OS Template is a
.tar.gz file that represents a somewhat stripped down version of an installed Linux distribution as you would find it installed on a disk filesystem. So, if you want to create a CentOS 5.2 i386 container, you need to find an CentOS 5.2 i386 OS Template.
There are a number of recipes on the OpenVZ wiki for building OS Templates for various Linux distributions but the general process takes several steps and is quite a bit of work. Any tool that can simplify the creation (and updating) of an OS Template is a welcome addition. OpenVZ comes with
vzpkgcache (part of the
vzpkg package) which is designed to facilitate OS Template creation for Red Hat based distributions.
I'm a long time reader and subscriber to LWN (Linux Weekly News). LWN is probably the best Linux news site out there with regards to covering kernel development and I often find myself eating up considerable amounts of time sifting through their articles. This week they had an article covering some recent progress in the mainline kernel on checkpointing and restoring of processes and containers of processes... and I wrote a somewhat lengthy response that I decided to share here. I would link to the LWN's original article but it won't be anonymously accessible until next week.
I sent this to the centos-virt mailing list today... and thought I'd share it here as well.
I'm a big OpenVZ fanboy. I've sent a few emails on this list that proves that... and I'm sure I've annoyed some people... but be that as it may... I would like to draw everyone on this list's attention to Proxmox VE. What is Proxmox VE?