Documentation Virtualization Beat

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[[Category:Documentation]]
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{{header|docs}}
[[Category:Release Notes]]
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[[Category:Virtualization]]
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{{Admon/note|Under Construction|Work to update this page for F12 has only just begun. You can see a copy of the F11 page [[User:Dale/Drafts/F11_Virtualization_Release_Notes|here]].}}
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[[Category:Docs Project]]
 
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[[Category:Draft documentation]]
== Virtualization ==
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[[Category:Documentation beats]]
Virtualization in Fedora 12 includes major changes, and new features, that continue to support KVM, Xen, and many other virtual machine platforms.
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KVM and qemu have gained a number of new features in this release. KVM guest memory usage and performance is improved by the addition of [[Features/KSM|KSM]] and [[Features/KVM Huge Page Backed Memory|KVM Huge Page Backed Memory]]. The [[Features/KVM qcow2 Performance|performance of the qcow2 image format]] is greatly improved. Support for both [[Features/SR-IOV|SR-IOV]] and [[Features/KVM NIC Hotplug|NIC hotplug]] has been added. Finally, [[Features/VirtgPXE|gPXE]] is now used in place of etherboot for guest PXE booting.
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On the libvirt side, APIs have been added for [[Features/VirtStorageManagement|storage management]] and [[Features/Network Interface Management|network interface management]]. libvirt now also [[Features/VirtPrivileges|runs qemu processes unprivileged]].
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A new library ([[Features/libguestfs|libguestfs]]) and an interactive tool (guestfish) is now available for accessing and modifying virtual machine disk images.
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=== Kernel SamePage Merging and Reduced Guest Memory Usage ===
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Kernel SamePage Merging or KSM, allows identical memory pages to be merged by the kernel into a single page shared between one or more processes.
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This feature is leveraged by KVM to allow multiple, similar, guest virtual machines to have a reduced memory footprint. Because memory is shared, the combined memory usage of the guests is reduced.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KSM
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* http://lwn.net/Articles/306704/
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===  KVM Huge Page Backed Memory ===
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Enable KVM guests to use huge page backed memory in order to reduce memory consumption and improve performance by reducing CPU cache pressure.
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Users of KVM guests using huge page backed memory should experience improved performance with some savings in host memory consumption. The performance benefit is workload dependent.Using huge pages for guest memory does have a downside, however - you can no longer swap nor balloon guest memory.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KVM_Huge_Page_Backed_Memory
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=== KVM NIC Hotplug ===
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Network interfaces may now be added to a running KVM guest using {{package|libvirt}}/{{package|virt-manager}} without the need to restart the guest.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KVM_NIC_Hotplug
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=== KVM qcow2 Performance ===
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The native disk image file format of <code>qemu</code> is <code>qcow2</code>. Qcow2 provides enhanced features over raw images, including: base images, snapshots, compression,  and encryption.
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Users wishing to protect guest machine data from host crashes commonly disable write caching on the host. Previously, this led to very poor performance for guests in qcow2 images.
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The I/O performance of qcow2 disk images has been greatly improved.
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Users who did not use qcow2 because of the poor performance may consider to switch and take advantage of the additional features the format provides over raw disk images.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KVM_qcow2_Performance
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* http://www.gnome.org/~markmc/qcow-image-format.html
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=== KVM Stable Guest ABI ===
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KVM guests are presented with an emulated hardware platform or application binary interface that includes (e.g. a CPU model, APIC, PIT, ACPI tables, IDE/USB/VGA controllers, NICs etc.). When QEMU is updated to a new version, some aspects of this platform may change as new hardware capabilities are added. This is problematic for Windows guests where a guest ABI change may require a installation to be reactivated.
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Guest virtual machines will now be presented with the same ABI across QEMU upgrades.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KVM_Stable_Guest_ABI
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/KVM_Stable_Guest_ABI_Design_Notes
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=== libguestfs Library for Manipulation of Virtual Machines ===
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Added very late in the Fedora 11 development cycle, {{package|libguestfs}} is now an official feature in Fedora 12. 
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<code>libguestfs</code> is a library for accessing and modifying guest disk images. Using Linux <code>kernel</code> and <code>QEMU</code> code, <code>libguestfs</code> can access any type of guest filesystem that Linux and <code>QEMU</code> can.
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The following tools are provided or augmented by <code>libguestfs</code>:
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* Bindings for OCaml, Perl, Python, Ruby, and Java programming languages.
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* {{package|guestfish}} - Provides an interactive shell for editing virtual machine filesystems and executing commands in the context of the guest.
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* {{package|virt-df}} - Displays free space on virtual machine filesystems
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* {{package|virt-inspector}} - Displays OS version, kernel, drivers, mount points, applications, etc. in a virtual machine.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/libguestfs
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* http://libguestfs.org/
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=== Network Interface Management ===
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Commonly used host network configurations, like bridges, bonds, VLAN's and sensible combinations thereof may now be created
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using the general-purpose network configuration library, {{package|netcf}}.
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Enhancements to the <code>libvirt</code> API expose this new functionality to remote managment hosts with <code>libvirtd</code>.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Network_Interface_Management
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* http://fedorahosted.org/netcf/
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* http://www.libvirt.org/remote.html
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===  Single Root I/O Virtualization ===
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Single Root I/O Virtualization is a PCI feature which allows virtual functions (VF) to be created that share the resources of a physical function (PF). The VF devices are assigned to guest virtual machines and appear as physical PCI devices inside the guest. Because the guest OS is effectively driving the hardware directly, the I/O performance is on par with bare metal performance.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/SR-IOV
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* http://www.pcisig.com/specifications/iov/
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KVM_PCI_Device_Assignment
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=== gPXE now Default for Guests ===
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<code>QEMU</code> guests now make use of the more modern and currently maintained {{package|gpxe}}
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rather than the deprecated <code>etherboot</code> tool for PXE booting.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/VirtgPXE
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* http://etherboot.org/wiki/index.php
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=== Virt Privileges ===
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{{Admon/note|TODO|Revise}}
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Improve security by adjusting the privileges of QEMU processes managed by libvirt. Also, allow KVM to be used by unprivileged users.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/VirtPrivileges
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=== Virt Storage Management ===
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{{Admon/note|TODO|Revise}}
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Enable VM hosts to discover new SAN storage and issue NPIV operations.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/VirtStorageManagement
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=== Other Improvements ===
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==== Libvirt Technology Compatibility Kit ====
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{{Admon/note|TODO|Revise}}
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Provides a functional test suite for virtualization and report on hypervisor compatability.
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For further details refer to:
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/VirtTCK
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==== libvirt Updated to ====
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For further details refer to:
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*
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==== QEMU Updated to ====
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For further details refer to:
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*
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==== virt-manager Updated to ====
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For further details refer to:
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*
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==== Xen Updated to ====
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For further details refer to:
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*
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=== Xen Kernel Support ===
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The <code>kernel</code> package in Fedora 12 supports booting as a guest domU, but will not function as a dom0 until such support is provided upstream. Work is ongoing and hopes are high that support will be included in <code>kernel</code> 2.6.30 and Fedora 12.
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The most recent Fedora release with dom0 support is Fedora 8.
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Booting a Xen domU guest within a Fedora 12 host requires the KVM based <code>xenner</code>. Xenner runs the guest kernel and a small Xen emulator together as a KVM guest.
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{{Admon/important | KVM requires hardware virtualization features in the host system.| Systems lacking hardware virtualization do not support Xen guests at this time. }}
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For further details refer to:
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* http://sourceforge.net/projects/kvm
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* http://kraxel.fedorapeople.org/xenner/
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/XenPvops
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* http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/XenPvopsDom0
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<noinclude>[[Category:Release Notes]]<noinclude>
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Revision as of 23:54, 21 January 2013

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