[CentOS] virtualization on the desktop a myth, or a reality?

Wed Mar 2 20:06:58 UTC 2011
Rudi Ahlers <Rudi at SoftDux.com>

On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:54 PM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/2/2011 1:35 PM, Rudi Ahlers wrote:
>> Differently put, we already do this with servers. One big&  fast Quad
>> XEON can run many client's Virtual Machines, very easily. And many of
>> those Virtual Machines host a few hundred websites, thus saving a lot
>> on rack space, electricity, etc, etc.
> Servers are normally optimized with lots of disk spindles to spread
> multi-user use of the one remaining slow resource around.

True, but in a one-user-one-drive (or 2 drives in RAID1) setup, the
disk I/O wouldn't be a problem, or the limiting factor.

>> How difficult will it really be todo the same on a normal Desktop PC,
>> with what's available on CentOS ATM?
> Give the VM its own disk and it won't have much impact on the host.
> You'll probably still want to run video-intense things natively, though.
>  And if you aren't a developer doing throwaway tests, what's the point
> of using a VM for resource-intensive things anyway?

There are many reasons why one would do this kind of things. Just
thinking of my normal day-to-day work, I often start-up a new VM to
test certain functionality of some software package, without affecting
anything on my PC. My laptop runs Windows 7 at this stage, purely for
Quickbooks and a few other Windows-only applications. So, in this case
it would be nice to have Windows running permanently on my PC which
will allow the accounts person to still access it remotely on her PC
and I can still do stuff in Quickbooks as needed. But, I would prefer
real-time access.

I think the major problem here is that the tools at hand, i.e. XEN +
Virtual Machine Manager (or for that matter VirtualBox / VMWare / etc)
isn't yet optimized for this kind of usage.

I guess we need better VGA-passthrough drivers, and / or a more
optimized interface. Accessing the VM's via VNC / Remote Desktop / XN
/ etc is also probably also a possibility.

Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

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