[CentOS-virt] KVM Support for Windows Server 2003 32 bit ready for production?

Wed Dec 2 22:36:23 UTC 2009
Kenni Lund <kenni at kelu.dk>

2009/12/2 Kenni Lund <kenni at kelu.dk>:
> 2009/12/2 Neil Aggarwal <neil at jammconsulting.com>:
>> I am wondering if KVM is ready for production
>> for running a Windows Server 2003 32 bit guest.

> Well, the drivers works just fine for 64 bit guests, but they're
> tricky to install in their current form, since they _NEED_ to be
> signed correctly...if you sign them yourself, you'll need to enable
> test mode in Windows, which indeed is just as ugly as the "add a
> secondary harddisk to install the virtio drivers" fix. This is exactly
> why we need the virt-win package, which apparently both contain an iso
> with *.msi files for installing the drivers within Windows, as well as
> a floppy image for installation of drivers during the installation of
> Windows.
> The ugly part is the installation of unsigned VirtIO block device
> drivers...if you can live with e1000 NIC emulation (close to same
> performance, but a bit higher CPU utillization) and IDE emulation,
> then you shouldn't have any stability issues and no "ugly hacks".
> Performance should still be fairly good.

Just replying myself now :) If you want to test out the "production
readiness"/stability of KVM with VirtIO without going through all the
selfsigning stuff and manually copying the files back and forth from
your virtual machines, feel free to use the following iso, which I
created for my own use. It contains the latest binary drivers from
which afterwards have been self-signed with a test certificate, put
into directories matching the names of the compatible Windows versions
and compiled into an iso, which makes it easy to install, since you
can just mount it directly into your virtual KVM machine. In order to
test it on a Windows 2003 Server 32bit you don't need to enable any
testsigning mode, you should just do the following:
- Install Windows 2003 without any VirtIO devices
- Shut it down
-- Add a secondary HDD which uses the VirtIO interface
-- Change the NIC to use the VirtIO interface
-- Mount the iso as a cdrom in the virtual machine
- Boot the system and point it towards the block and NIC drivers on the CD
- Shut down the virtual machine
- Remove the secondary HDD and change the primary to use VirtIO instead of IDE
- Done

I've uploaded the iso here, in case you want to try it out:

Best Regards
Kenni Lund