[colug-432] KVM management

Joshua Kramer joskra42.list at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 11:44:04 EDT 2012

I recently got a laptop (HP dm4) with an i3 and 8 gigs of RAM.  After
making recovery disks, I wiped the included Windows 7 Home Premium and
installed CentOS 6.  Through an MSDN subscription I got the ISO of a
vanilla install of Windows 7 Home Premium, and I'm running that
through KVM (using the license key provided with the laptop).

When start Windows, I use the laptop's built-in 1400x900 display for
my CentOS desktop, and an external 1900x1080 monitor for Windows at
full resolution.  While I'm not doing any video or audio work, it's
acceptable for development and other text and static graphics work.
The audio is flaky though, even after I installed the KVM guest
drivers in Windows.  I'm using the Spice protocol and the vm manager
built into CentOS.

I want to experiment with the disk differencing engine in KVM.
Basically, you can take one base image, say an OS install, and "clone"
that image for additonal VM's.  However, the clones are not
bit-for-bit copies of the original.  The VM uses the original as a
base, and creates a "difference table" for each clone.  I'm wondering
how performance would degrade over time.  This probably isn't an
optimal solution for a multitude of servers where each server has a
unique purpose.  However, it does sound optimal where you are creating
a cluster and most read/write activity occurs to NFS directories or
GFS mounted volumes.

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