May 23, 2011

Linux-KVM: VLAN Tagging for Guest Connectivity

Today we will be discussing the process of configuring VLANs for the KVM Guests to use to gain access to a wider variety of networks from a single host.  This is extremely helpful if you are able to take advantage of 10Gbps connections, as you can eliminate multiple 1Gbps connections for a single 10Gbps and still get a net gain in bandwidth.  If you do […]
March 23, 2011

Linux-KVM: Migrating Hyper-V VHD Images to KVM

I have always been a big fan of Hyper-V, and was actually a Virtualization MVP 2 years in a row.  However recently I haven’t been able to get past the really poor support for Linux on the Hyper-V platform.  We run a large number of hypervisors in our international sales offices (15+) and have a need to run both Linux and Windows on them.  This […]
March 22, 2011

KVM Guests: Install VirtIO Drivers for Windows Guests

Windows guests on the KVM hypervisors can get a very large kick in the pants when it comes to performance if you install the drivers necessary to leverage the VirtIO bus.  So first here are the necessary download links so that you can download the drivers. Inside of the ISO we will find four directories Balloon, NetKVM, vioserial, and viostor.  We are only […]
March 21, 2011

Linux-KVM: Managing KVM Guests Using Virt-Manager on Windows

When I first started using KVM, I was quite disappointed with the graphical management abilities of KVM.  Basically if you want to manage via the command line KVM is a fantasical dream world where anything is possible and it is all “musical sunshine” and “double rainbows” but if you want the ability to manage graphically it was a world which was very one sided in […]
March 16, 2011

Linux-KVM: Managing Disk Images

Disk images have long been the traditional form of storage for virtualized environments, they are essentially containers in the form of a file on the host’s file system.  These files can be either fully allocated or sparsely allocated at time of disk creation, a fully allocated 20GB disk image will take up 20GB of storage on the host file system, a sparsely allocated 20GB disk […]
March 15, 2011

KVM Guests: Manipulating Libvirt XML for Guest Creation

Today we are going to discuss using the underlying XML which libvirt uses to define a VM to either create VMs or to make simple changes.  This method has the advantage of more control over what you are creating, although it is more manual.  Now first off, when you use virt-install, virt-manager, or another tool which uses libvirt under the covers an XML file is […]
March 14, 2011

KVM Guests: Using Virt-Install to Install VMs from a CD or ISO Image

In my previous article KVM Guests: Using Virt-Install to Import an Existing Disk Image we discussed how to use virt-install to import an existing disk image, which already has an OS installed into it.  Additionally in KVM Guests: Using Virt-Install to Install Debian and Ubuntu Guests I documented how to initiate an install directly off of the apt mirror of your choice for Debian and […]
March 10, 2011

Linux-KVM: Taking Advantage of Memory Deduplication

Kernel Samepage Merging (KSM) is essentially active memory deduplication.  What does this means for our KVM guests?  Basically the more similar guests we have running, the more of a memory footprint they share, which means less memory they actually hold.  These free pages can then be reutilized by the host to provide improved i/o through some of the caching that KVM does or by an […]
March 9, 2011

Linux-KVM: Converting Raw Disk Images to LVM Logical Volumes

Linux Logical Volume Manager provides a better method for managing your disks in the home and even more so in the datacenter.  I briefly outlined some of the benefits afforded us by LVM2 in a previous article Linux LVM2: Flexible Local Storage Management.  In this article I will provide you with some very simple steps and scenarios to migrate your existing KVM VMs to LVM2 […]
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