Tuesday Nov 30, 2010

Installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager

Installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine with Oracle VM ManagerIn my previous blog, I talked about Installing Solaris 10 Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager. Oracle Solaris 10 support under Oracle VM begins with Solaris 10 10/09, and it's documented in the Oracle VM Server 2.2.1 Release Note.

Recently Oracle Solaris 11 Express was released. I'd like to share my experience of installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express virtual machine with Oracle VM Manager. Similarly, Solaris 11 Express runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform, and Solaris 11 Express has the paravirtualized (PV) I/O drivers as part of the OS installed by default.

Prerequisite
You need to check if the server has the HVM support. If you know the specific CPU model, you can find out if it supports HVM from Intel or AMD web site. Usually you'll need modify the system BIOS setting to enable the hardware virtual machine (HVM) feature. If you already have Oracle VM Server 2.2.1 installed, you can run xm info command to verify if HVM is enabled. For example,
# xm info
release : 2.6.18-128.2.1.4.27.el5xen
virt_caps : hvm
xen_major : 3
xen_minor : 4
xen_extra : .0
xen_caps : xen-3.0-x86_64 xen-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_32 hvm-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_64

Step 1. Set up Oracle VM Environment
First you need to set up the Oracle VM 2.2 environment, you can refer to Oracle VM 2.2 Documentation.

Step 2. Prepare Oracle Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 Install Media
Place the downloaded Oracle Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 ISO image under a sub-directory of /OVS/iso_pool. Here I'm using the LiveCD ISO image as the example.
  • /OVS/iso_pool/Solaris11Express/sol-11-exp-201011-live-x86.iso
You import the ISO file from Oracle VM Manager and approve the imported ISO image. The status of the ISO image will be changed from "Pending" to "Active". See Documentation of how to managing ISO files. Now you are ready to create a Solaris 11 Express virtual machine.
Import the ISO Image from Oracle VM Manager

Step 3. Create a Solaris 10 Virtual Machine
From the Virtual Machine tab of the Oracle VM Manager, you proceed to "Create Virtual Machine"; then choose "Creating a Virtual Machine From Installation Media". You can refer to Oracle VM Doumentation.
    • Select Install Media
    • Choose Server Pool        
    • Pick the Solaris 11 Express ISO file, and select the virtualization method "Fully Virtualized"                
    • Fill out the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine information, and select the OS type the same as Oracle Solaris 10.
Create Virtual Machine
    • Confirm the Solaris 11 Express VM that you are going to create. Before you install the Solaris 11 Express OS, you need to confirm that the network type of the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine is set to "Paravirtualized" since the Paravirtualized I/O drivers are part of the OS and will be installed by default.

Step 4. Set the Network Type of the Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine
From Virtual Machine tab, you need to configure the newly created Solaris 11 Express virtual machine and set the Network Type as Paravirtualized. Then the Network Interface will be shown as "netfront".
Configure Network

Step 5. Install Solaris 11 Express OS
Start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 11 Express guest VM. To continue Solaris 11 Express installation, you follow the regular Solaris 11 Express installation instructions and See the Getting Started With Oracle Solaris 11 Express document for more details.
Solaris 11 Express Installation

Once you complete the installation, the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine will be shut down and shown as "Powered Off" status.

Step 6. Start the Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine
You power on the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine from Oracle VM Manager and start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine.
Log into the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine:        
Oracle Solaris 11 Express Login
  • The PV drivers (SUNWxvmpv) are installed by default in Oracle Solaris 11 Express, see        
# pkginfo -l SUNWxvmpv
   PKGINST:  SUNWxvmpv
      NAME:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
  CATEGORY:  system
      ARCH:  i386
   VERSION:  11.11,REV=2009.11.11
   BASEDIR:  /
    VENDOR:  Oracle Corporation
      DESC:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
  INSTDATE:  Nov 05 2010 08:03
   HOTLINE:  Please contact your local service provider
    STATUS:  completely installed

  • Verify the network has been set up correctly:    
# ifconfig xnf0
xnf0: flags=1004843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,DHCP,IPv4> mtu 1500 index 2
        inet xx.xx.xx.xx netmask fffffc00 broadcast xx.xx.xx.255

Now you have a fully functional Solaris 11 Express virtual machine in Oracle VM.

For more information, please visit:

Monday Feb 15, 2010

Installing Solaris 10 Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager

Certification of Solaris 10 as a guest OS on Oracle VM is in progress. Some of you may have already be playing around, so here are a few tips of how to install Solaris 10 OS as a virtual machine under Oracle VM 2.2 environment.

Solaris 10 OS runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform, but Solaris 10 OS has the paravirtualized (PV) drivers as part of the OS installed by default.

You need to check if the server has the HVM support. If you know the specific CPU model, you can find out if it supports HVM from Intel or AMD web site. Usually you'll need modify the system BIOS setting to enable the hardware virtual machine (HVM) feature. If you already have Oracle VM 2.2 server installed, you can run xm info command to verify if HVM is enabled. For example,

# xm info

release : 2.6.18-128.2.1.4.13.el5xen

virt_caps : hvm

xen_major : 3

xen_minor : 4

xen_extra : .0

xen_caps : xen-3.0-x86_64 xen-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_32 hvm-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_64


The Solaris 10 virtual machine installation is similar to other types of operating system (Linux or Windows) install. I'm using Oracle VM Manager to illustrate the steps that you'll go through.

Step 1. Set up Oracle VM Environment

First you need to set up the Oracle VM 2.2 environment, you can refer to Oracle VM 2.2 Documentation.

Step 2. Prepare Solaris 10 10/09 Install Media

You place the downloaded Solaris 10 10/09 (update 8) ISO image under a sub-directory of /OVS/iso_pool:

     /OVS/iso_pool/Solaris10/sol-10-u8-ga-x86-dvd.iso

You import the ISO file from Oracle VM Manager and approve the imported ISO image. The status of the ISO image will be changed from "Pending" to "Active". See Documentation of how to managing ISO files. Now you are ready to create a Solaris 10 virtual machine.

OracleVM-ISO.png
Step 3. Create a Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

From the Virtual Machine tab of the Oracle VM Manager, you proceed to "Create Virtual Machine"; then choose "Creating a Virtual Machine From Installation Media". You can refer to Oracle VM Doumentation.

    • Select Install Media

    • Choose Server Pool

    • Pick the Solaris 10 ISO file, and select the virtualization method "Fully Virtualized"

CreateVM-ISO.png
    • Fill out the Solaris 10 virtual machine information

CreateVM-Info.png
    • Confirm the Solaris 10 VM that you are going to create. Before you install the Solaris 10 OS, you need to set the network type of the Solaris 10 virtual machine to "Paravirtualized" since the Paravirtualized drivers are part of the Solaris 10 OS and will be installed by default.

Step 4. Set the Network Type of the Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

From Virtual Machine tab, you need to configure the newly created Solaris 10 virtual machine and set the Network Type as Paravirtualized. Then the Network Interface will be shown as "netfront".

OracleVM-NetworkType.png

Step 5. Install Solaris 10 OS

Start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 10 guest VM. To continue Solaris 10 installation, you follow the normal Solaris 10 installation instructions and please refer to Solaris 10 Installation documentation.

Once you complete the installation, the Solaris 10 virtual machine will be shut down and shown as "Powered Off" status.

CreateVM-SolarisInstall.png

Step 6. Start the Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

You power on the Solaris 10 virtual machine from Oracle VM Manager and start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 10 virtual machine.

    • Log into the Solaris 10 virtual machine:

Solaris10-Login.png
    • The PV drivers (SUNWxvmpv) are installed by default in Solaris 10, see

    # pkginfo -l SUNWxvmpv
       PKGINST:  SUNWxvmpv
          NAME:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
      CATEGORY:  system
          ARCH:  i386
       VERSION:  11.10.0,REV=2008.02.29.14.37
       BASEDIR:  /
        VENDOR:  Sun Microsystems, Inc.
          DESC:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
        PSTAMP:  on10ptchfeatx20090902230750
      INSTDATE:  Feb 11 2010 21:49
       HOTLINE:  Please contact your local service provider
        STATUS:  completely installed
         FILES:       23 installed pathnames
                       1 shared pathnames
                       7 directories
                      14 executables
                    1512 blocks used (approx)
  • Verify your network has been set up correctly:

# ifconfig xnf0
    xnf0: flags=1004843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,DHCP,IPv4> mtu 1500 index 2
            inet xx.xx.xx.xx netmask fffffc00 broadcast xx.xx.xx.255
            ether 0:16:3e:17:60:47 
If you are not using Oracle VM Manager to set the network type of Solaris 10 virtual machine to "Paravirtualized", you need to modify the vm.cfg (change the vif type from ioemu  to netfront, vif = ['type=netfront, mac=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, bridge=xenbr0']) located at /OVS/running_pool/Solaris_10_VM_directory/. You may also need to configure the network interface manually (using DHCP as an example below)

# touch /etc/hostname.xnf0

# touch /etc/dhcp.xnf0

# ifconfig xnf0 plumb up

# ifconfig xnf0 dhcp

Now you have a fully functional Solaris 10 virtual machine in Oracle VM. For more information, please visit:

Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

Oracle VM Blog: Converting Linux and Windows Physical and Virtual Machines to Oracle VM Virtual Machines

Oracle VM provides functionality to allow customers to easily convert and move Linux and Windows servers to run as guest virtual machines (VM) in Oracle VM Server Pools. We have the technical white paper: Converting Linux and Windows Physical and Virtual Machines to Oracle VM Virtual Machines, which describes the virtual machine conversion functions built into Oracle VM in Release 2.1.2, and how you can plan and execute the virtual machine conversions using Oracle VM.

Here I'd like to give a brief introduction about how P2V and V2V work and the basic requirements to get started. You can refer to the white paper for detailed instructions.

P2V.jpg

The P2V conversion utility allows administrators to perform an off-line conversion of any physical machine running supported versions of Windows or Linux to an Oracle VM hardware virtualized guest virtual machine. The P2V utility is integrated into the install program on the Oracle VM Server CD. It can be run in interactive mode prompting for necessary parameters, or in an automated fashion using a configuration file with syntax very similar to kickstart install files. This conversion will create a VM configuration file (vm.cfg) and allow you to make some modifications in terms of sizing the virtual hardware, and then replicate the physical image and transfer it over the network to the resource pool using Oracle VM Manager. The image on your physical server is not changed in any way. You use Oracle VM Manager to import the converted image as an Oracle VM virtual machine template or virtual machine image. The converted image is a hardware virtualized guest image.

In order to have a successful P2V conversion, please make sure that
* Operating system is among the supported guest operating systems;
* Physical server to be converted supports PAE;
* The target server running Oracle VM is HVM capable.

If you know the specific CPU model, you can find out if it supports HVM from Intel or AMD web site. You'll need modify the system BIOS setting to enable the HVM feature. By default, HVM is not enabled.

If your server runs Linux, you can check the /proc/cpuinfo file and look at the flags section for one of two values, vmx or svm.

* vmx - (Intel)
* svm - (AMD)

You use grep to quickly see if either value exists in the file by running the following command:

# egrep '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo

For the V2V conversion function, Oracle VM Manager allows you to import virtual machines in the VMDK format. When you import VMware virtual machines, Oracle VM Manager converts them to Oracle VM virtual machines automatically. This is known as a virtual to virtual machine conversion or, "V2V". You can watch the flash demo: Converting VMware virtual machine images (vmdk) to Oracle VM virtual machines, which provides you step-by-step guide to perform V2V conversion for a Windows image as an example.

When importing a VMware virtual machine, make sure you have enough free disk space to convert the VMware virtual machine to an Oracle VM virtual machine. Oracle VM requires at least twice the disk space of the VMware virtual machine under /OVS/running_pool directory because it will copy the original VMDK image as well as create a new Oracle VM image. Once you converted .vmdk files to Oracle VM image (.img), you no longer need the original .vmdk files from Oracle VM perspective.

In addition, the Oracle VM servers that perform V2V conversion must be HVM capable, since the converted the VM image is hardware virtualized VM, so it requires the server to be HVM capable (Intel VT or AMD-V).

To import VMware VMDK images using Oracle VM Manager, follow the same process you would to import any other virtual machine image resource, generally from an external source (HTTP or FTP location), using the Import wizard. Or you can copy the VMDK image files manually into /OVS/running_pool directory. Oracle VM will automatically detect that the image is in the VMDK format and convert the image file to an Oracle VM format and deploy it to the specified Server Pool.

As a best practice, you should make sure that Oracle VM software is up to date. If you have subscribed to ULN, you can follow the instructions prepared by Roddy Rodstein to update your Oracle VM to the latest software release:

* Oracle VM: How to update an Oracle VM Manager
* Oracle VM: How to update an Oracle VM Server

Oracle VM server agent plays a central role in performing V2V conversion. The latest agent software has integrated a number of bug fixes. You can verify the agent software version from the Dom0 of the VM server.

# rpm -qa ovs-agent
ovs-agent-2.2-70

As of April 2009, the revision -70 is the latest build that we released to the ULN. You can get the latest agent software from http://oss.oracle.com/oraclevm/server/RPMS/. Once you upgrade the agent software, remember to restart the agent.
# service ovs-agent restart

Some customers may come across the blue screen issue when starting a converted Windows image. It may be related to HCL dealing with ACPI/APIC scenarios or device drivers (SCSI or IDE virtual disk in VMware). You can look at Ian Blenke's blog and see if the workaround is applicable for your situation.

In summary, Oracle VM provides you the integrated P2V and V2V capabilities so that you can quickly convert existing Linux or Windows physical servers or VMware virtual machines to Oracle VM virtual machines. You not only reduce license expenses, but also enjoy all the benefits such as lower TCO, higher efficiency, full software stack certification and world class support that Oracle VM brings to you. For additional resources about Oracle VM, please visit http://oracle.com/virtualization.

Update:

Sometimes you may come across the blue screen issue (Stop 0x0000007B error) when starting a converted Windows image the very first time. The main reason is that Windows memorizes which IDE/ATA controller it was installed on and fails to boot in case the controller changes. The solution here is to perform several modifications to the Windows registry. This should be done on the original system and all it does is to relax the IDE checks. Therefore the installation will continue to work on the original system after the modification. The easiest way is to use the MergeIDE utility, or refer to Microsoft support kb314082.

See Simon Thorpe's blog (7/16/2009): Migrating a VMWare Server 2 Windows 2003 guest to Oracle VM

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