[Gllug] Bits of virtualisation

John Edwards john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk
Wed Dec 28 22:36:10 UTC 2011


On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 09:44:50AM +1300, David L Neil wrote:
> Should I load the 64-bit offering or in practice might the 32-bit
> option hold advantage?

Sort answer = 64-bit

> Calling for virt-expertise please.
> I have purchased two ex-lease VT-x desktops with a view to gaining
> some hands-on experience of KVM and maybe 'private cloud'.
> Simultaneously I have discovered that I must install Virtual Box on
> my Thinkpad as a prerequisite of a course commencing next month
> (distributing envs in disk image containers?).
> lscpu tells me the machines are all 64-bit capable and possess
> virtualisation h/w. Thus logic directs me to install 64-bit options.
> However might it be better to stick with the 32-bit choice in the
> same way that historically one might do similarly to avoid browser
> and audio-visual issues or lesser-complete software? (for example
> GetFirefox recommends that I install the 32-bit FF on the Thinkpad's
> Windows-as-delivered system)
> - yes, I could make different choices in the two cases...

I would go for 64-bit Linux for a new virtualisation host for the
following reasons:

1) A 64-bit host can run 32-bit and 64-bit guests, but a 32-bit
guest can only run 32-bit guests.

2) 32-bit hosts have a max guest memory limitation (2GB I think)

3) You can run 32-bit software on a 64-bit machine, but not the
other way around.

4) There is no easy way to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit, and
reinstalling any machine is a pain.

I colleague of mine runs 64-bit Ubuntu on a laptop and has not had any
problems with Firefox. He uses libvirt with KVM (same as our servers).

I assume that your Windows laptop is 32-bit and will stay that way.

Virtual Box is a nice GUI to get a few virtual machines running on a
desktop system, especially Windows where virtualisation options are
more limited, but not really suitable for a server. There you'll be
running something like KVM or Zen, with OpenStack or Eucalpytus for
cloud management on larger clusters.

I hope the course is just using Virtual Box to create disk images,
and then distribute them to real machines.

|    John Edwards   Email: john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk    |
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