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Linux Virtualization

As a system admin, I need to use additional hard drives for to provide more storage space or to separate system data from user data. This procedure, adding physical block devices to virtualized guests, describes how to add a hard drive on the host to a virtualized guest using VMWare software running Linux as guest.

It is possible to add or remove a SCSI device explicitly, or to re-scan an entire SCSI bus without rebooting a running Linux VM guest. This how to is tested under Vmware Server and Vmware Workstation v6.0 (but should work with older version too). All instructions are tested on RHEL, Fedora, CentOS and Ubuntu Linux guest / hosts operating systems.
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I've Windows Vista installed as a guest under Ubuntu Linux using VMWARE Workstation 6.0. This is done for testing purpose and browsing a few site that only works with Internet Explorer. Since I only use it for testing I made 16GB for Vista and 5GB for CentOS and 5GB in size for FreeBSD guest operating systems. However, after some time I realized I'm running out of disk space under both CentOS and Vista. Adding a second hard drive under CentOS solved my problem as LVM was already in use. Unfortunately, I needed to double 32GB space without creating a new D: drive under Windows Vista. Here is a simple procedure to increase your Virtual machine's disk capacity by resizing vmware vmdk file.
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XEN Virtualization Set The MTU For xenbr0 Interface

I've already written about setting the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) under Linux including Jumbo frames (FreeBSD specific MTU information is here).

With this quick tip you can increase MTU size to get a better networking performance.
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Top 10 Linux Virtualization Software

Virtualization is the latest buzz word. You may wonder computers are getting cheaper every day, why should I care and why should I use virtualization? Virtualization is a broad term that refers to the abstraction of computer resources such as:

  1. Platform Virtualization
  2. Resource Virtualization
  3. Storage Virtualization
  4. Network Virtualization
  5. Desktop Virtualization

This article describes why you need virtualization and list commonly used FOSS and proprietary Linux virtualization software.
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VirtualBox is a virtual emulator like VMWare workstation. It has many of the features VMWare has, as well as some of its own.

I really like new Opensource VirtualBox from Sun. It is light on resources. Here is a quick tip - you can convert a VMware virtual machine to a VirtualBox machine using qemu-img utility.
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I've already written about creating a partition size larger than 2TB under Linux using GNU parted command with GPT. In this tutorial, I will provide instructions for booting to a flat 2TB or larger RAID array under Linux using the GRUB boot loader.
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Install Linux On Intel Xeon 7400 Dunnington

Dunnington is Intel's first multi-core CPU - features a single-die six- (or hexa) core design with three unified 3 MB L2 caches (resembling three merged 45 nm dual-core Wolfdale dies), and 96 KB L1 cache (Data) and 16 MB of L3 cache. It features 1066 MHz FSB, fits into the Tigerton's mPGA604 socket, and is compatible with the Caneland chipset. These processors support DDR2-1066 (533 MHz), and have a maximum TDP below 130 W. They are intended for blades and other stacked computer systems.

I've Sun Blade X6450 server for ERP application:

The four-socket Sun Blade X6450 server module features Intel Xeon processor 7000 series and up to 192 GB of memory. With 24 DIMM slots per server module, it gives you 50 percent more memory capacity than competing blade servers making it an ideal fit for virtualization and server consolidation, HPC, database and enterprise applications. Fill a Sun Blade 6048 chassis for a remarkable 11TFLOPS of peak performance and up to 1152 processing cores per rack.

Fig.01: Sun Blade X6450 Server Module showing the internals

Fig.01: Sun Blade X6450 Server Module showing the internals

I tried old RHEL version and it failed to work because of old kernel. So I called to Redhat support and they told me to use at least kernel 2.6.18-92.1.10 and above. The problem is my client do not have RHEL 5.2 media and License (server came with Solaris 10). So I asked my client to get RHEL 5.2. Unfortunately, their local software vendor was out of stock for RHEL software. It took 5 days to get software media kit.

Finally, I've installed it on Sun blade server. It is working fine now. I wish I knew about latest Intel Xeon 7400 support problem earlier. It may have saved some time, effort, traveling and money on my part. I should have gone though server datasheet. This server only works with RHEL version 4.7 or 5.2 (32/64 bit) and above.