RE: Hardware requirements for running unmodified gues ts

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RE: Hardware requirements for running unmodified gues ts

Steve Brueckner
aspa wrote:

> hi
>
> We're planning on purchasing a new AMD64 or EM64T based server in the
> near future. It would be very nice if we would be able to use server
> virtualization with Xen on the new machine. We'd like to run
> unmodified guest operating system instances on the server. I'm new to
> Xen but if I've understood correctly you can run unmodified guest
> operating system instances if the hardware supports certain
> virtualization techniques.      
>
> What are the things I should look for in the server specification
> sheets to make sure that the server hardware supports these
> virtualization techniques? Which components are required to have VT
> support in addition to the CPU? Which CPUs currently support VT?  
>
> How does running unmodified guests with Xen compare to using VMware?
> Can I expect better performance with VT + Xen?
>
>
> br. aspa
>
My non-authoritative answer is that AMD chips do not have hardware
virtualization support yet.  It looks like at least another few months
before AMD Pacifica chips will be available.  At this point, the only option
is the latest Intel chips.

Even less-authoritatively, I would guess that unmodified Xen guests at this
point will probably run slightly worse than on Vmware.  In the long run,
Xen's performance will improve, but right now the VT support in Xen 3.0 is
"proof-of-concept" and not very fast.  Of course, in the long run, Vmware
will also optimise for VT and Pacifica, so the deciding factor may become
price.

Steve Brueckner, ATC-NY

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