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DaggyStyle
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: replacing virt sw for my win7 Reply with quote

Hello,

I have a win7 installation on vb and I'm thinking of moving to a more performance wise solution.
my options are to stay with VB, move to vmplayer or move to kvm.

any recommendations from your experience on which (and if even) to select? currently I'm leaning to vmplayer as it is more performance wise than VB.

also, as I'm using vmdk, I'd like the ability to refrain from reinstalling the system again.

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd personally opt for KVM and Spice; performance boost is quite astounding. You only have to pre install the drivers you need (especially VIRTIO block and net) before you start your VM with KVM. Normally (you know, it's Microsoft ;) ) Windows should scan for new drivers and since they're pre-installed you won't need to run sysprep, which I never did.

EDIT: I once converted a Windows XP virtual machine from VMWare to Qemu that way. Although that was a long ago principles haven't changed. Nice to have too: Qemu comes with a disk image converter, which supports virtual disk formats that I never heard of :D, including VMDK, of course .
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VinzC wrote:
I'd personally opt for KVM and Spice; performance boost is quite astounding. You only have to pre install the drivers you need (especially VIRTIO block and net) before you start your VM with KVM. Normally (you know, it's Microsoft ;) ) Windows should scan for new drivers and since they're pre-installed you won't need to run sysprep, which I never did.

EDIT: I once converted a Windows XP virtual machine from VMWare to Qemu that way. Although that was a long ago principles haven't changed. Nice to have too: Qemu comes with a disk image converter, which supports virtual disk formats that I never heard of :D, including VMDK, of course .


what about hw visualization level? is it adequate? if I understand you correctly, Spice gives the performance boost, what exactly is spice and how much performance boost in relation to other virt sw can one expect?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are articles you might be interested in:In fact SPICE boosts virtual display. Without it, the virtual machine might appear lagging (it did for me). Hardware virtualization is boosted with paravirtualized disk and network drivers from Redhat.

According to Phoronix tests, KVM appears to be the pretty fast while VB the slowest virtualization system. But those tests were run with no optimization-awareness from the guests, only their default config.
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Last edited by VinzC on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VinzC wrote:
Here are articles you might be interested in:In fact SPICE boosts virtual display. Without it, the virtual machine might appear lagging (it did for me). Hardware virtualization is boosted with paravirtualized disk and network drivers from Redhat.

According to Phoronix tests, KVM appears to be the pretty fast while VB the slowest virtualization system. But those tests were run with no optimization-awareness from the guests, only their default config.


I'm missing the vmware testing in the benchmark, shame it isn't part of the test too.

thanks for the info, I'll read more on the subject.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaggyStyle wrote:
I'm missing the vmware testing in the benchmark, shame it isn't part of the test too.

thanks for the info, I'll read more on the subject.

Whatever VMWare does, I'd bet performance is not as good. Just know that even VMWare ESX up to 3.5 doesn't use the CPU virtualization extensions (still using kernels 2.4!) so even if they used paravirtualization (which I doubt be as good as in Xen/KVM) performance would still be behind the best open source virtualization system. And I don't see free VMWare products perform better than their pro/non-free counterpart.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VinzC wrote:
DaggyStyle wrote:
I'm missing the vmware testing in the benchmark, shame it isn't part of the test too.

thanks for the info, I'll read more on the subject.

Whatever VMWare does, I'd bet performance is not as good. Just know that even VMWare ESX up to 3.5 doesn't use the CPU virtualization extensions (still using kernels 2.4!) so even if they used paravirtualization (which I doubt be as good as in Xen/KVM) performance would still be behind the best open source virtualization system. And I don't see free VMWare products perform better than their pro/non-free counterpart.


according to this: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1112124-AR-KVMLINUX286
on linux, kvm 3.0 is better than vmplayer 4, problem is, I don't know how it when it comes to windows OS.

maybe I should first install windows xp on kvm+spice to see how it is working and then I'll move it w7 if the performance is good.
my only concern is that I will not be able to convert the existing image or make it work on spice+kvm.

I'll do more researching, thanks.

EDIT: btw, I've found a kvm wiki entry at http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/KVM, is there a wiki on how to incorporate spice into kvm?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaggyStyle wrote:
my only concern is that I will not be able to convert the existing image or make it work on spice+kvm.

Hmmm... chances are yes, you will. All you need is to install the minimum drivers (i.e. Redhat Virtio block drivers for Windows) *before* you boot your VM in Qemu. You can then convert your disk image with qemu-img convert blah and boot your VM in qemu-kvm.

DaggyStyle wrote:
[...] is there a wiki on how to incorporate spice into kvm?

Damn'it, that's the link I forgot when I wrote my other post!

To summarize it all, make sureYou can postpone the installation of the virtio disk drivers if you are sure that Windows can boot on IDE controllers. Then you'll be able to enable virtio block drivers by using a secondary disk based on Virtio. It's all up to you. But you'll have an image converted from VDK to Qcow2 or raw, keeping your initial VDK image just in case.

If you want a nice GUI for managing your VM's then take a look at virt-manager. It relies upon libvirt, which can manage all sorts of virtual machines, including Qemu, Xen, OpenVZ... Quite handy.

Good luck.
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