[olug] Request for feedback from users of KVM-based virtualization in RHEL Server 6

Luke-Jr luke at dashjr.org
Fri Jan 7 18:32:15 UTC 2011

On Monday, January 03, 2011 05:31:40 pm Robert J Boissy wrote:
> We perform some computations on some very large distributed memory computer
> clusters at the Holland Computing Center (HCC) at UNL/UNO and on the
> TeraGrid. However, very large SMP systems are also useful for many of the
> compute tasks that we need to perform. By HPC standards we don't have a
> large budget for compute and storage infrastructure, and we don't want to
> duplicate resources that are already available to us through the HCC and
> TeraGrid. What we have settled on is a flexible, low-maintenance,
> on-premises "private cloud" type approach starting off with just two very
> large SMP systems each with its own direct-attached storage JBOD array. We
> can't afford a SAN or NAS storage. These are research computing systems,
> and will not run software related to UNMC's administrative or teaching
> missions.
> We are dealing with very large DNA sequence datasets (multi-100's of GB to
> multi-10's of TB), some of which contain DNA sequence data from tissue
> derived from human subjects, and the movement of these datasets to public
> cloud computing service providers is thus not really practical
> logistically and due to regulatory (HIPAA) compliance issues.
> KVM-based virtualization in RHEL Server 6 really appeals to us because the
> VMs we would like to deploy would themselves need to be substantial
> systems capable of the many different NGS-related compute tasks we will
> need to be able to perform. We would strongly prefer to not use a
> bare-metal hypervisor, as for some tasks we do want to use a physical
> (on-the-metal) host OS. Granted, this is not your typical enterprise
> virtualization scenario. Nevertheless, I would be very grateful if I might
> be able to hear some feedback from users of KVM-based virtualization in
> RHEL Server 6. For example, how does it compare with VMWare VSphere/ESXi?
> How well does it handle virtualized desktops that might need to deliver
> graphics-intensive applications? What are the best 10 GbE adapters to use
> to support virtualization under RHEL Server 6? What are some good
> open-source or reasonably priced commercial management tools for
> small-scale on-premises private clouds?

Honestly, I don't understand what you need virtualization for at all, so maybe 
I'm missing something obvious-- but why not OpenVZ? It has basically no 
overhead at all, at the expense of having all your VEs using a single kernel 

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