sábado, 20 de septiembre de 2008

Linux server virtualization: manual procedure

Simple things rules, you probably knew this even before reading anything about that KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) thing.

If you're in the need of virtualize something, maybe one of the least resource intensive consumer server back there in your datacenter, the first thought you may get is "lets find some tool that do this automatically", usually you shouldn't take the first technical thought you have too much seriously, it's just your brain struggling out with your experience and knowledge to get out with an inteligible (and fastly pronounceable), idea.

Let's see how it's deployed the target server. If you have a Linux server like me, now you are think about that old times when there was no notebooks or anything portable and you had to carry your disks from computer to computer with you to show up "the" Linux to your friends. So, the mentioned hard disk had, indeed, sucessfully implemented a migration to other hardware configuration with little fuss.

So, extending the inference from diferent computers to a computer vs. a virtual computer, maybe copying the bunch of bits and bytes of one Linux installation, to a virtual disk partition probably works.

The basic procedure could be:
  1. - Assembling of the virtual machine,
  2. - Execution of the VM with some available Linux live-cd,
  3. - Mounting of the virtual partition/s in R/W mode.
  4. - Configuration of networking to match the configuration of the server you want to virtualize.
  5. - Connection vía ssh (or rsync) to the real server, and copying of everything to the virtual partition/s.
  6. - Fine tunning (BOOTLOADER, fstab, sysctl variables out of range in the virtual hardware, etc.).
  7. - Bootloader installation.
  8. - Finger crossing, booting up of the (hypothetically) virtualized Linux.

Well, soon I'll tell how it goes this in real testing.

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