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Intel Virtualization Technology - How To Use?

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October 14, 2006 10:12:38 PM

I can't find any articles about using the virtualization technology built into the Core 2 Duo processors.

Have any of you been able to take advantage of this feature yet? How did you do it?
October 14, 2006 11:04:02 PM

Interesting.

I wonder if VMWare runs noticeably better on these new processors due to the virtualization technology, as opposed to simply distributing the workload between two cores? I'll have to look into that.

The Intel engineers must have had something to test this feature with during the development of the new processor. I'd be interested to learn what they did.
October 14, 2006 11:14:35 PM

Quote:
I can't find any articles about using the virtualization technology build into to Core 2 Duo processors.

Have any of you been able to take advantage of this feature yet? How did you do it?


It is not straight forward, there has to be a different HW abstraction layer (this is software) enable virtualization. In otherwords it requires some high order software loaded to set the HW in a virualization state and share HW resources.

I see.

This would be some sort of an abstraction layer that would take over soon after POST, or perhaps even before that. Kind of a non-Windows (or Linux) dependent type of VMWare.

I'm thinking back to the days when one gig plus hard drives began to appear on the market. Many motherboards couldn't "see" the whole drive, or recognized only part of it. I remember having to install software that loaded before the OS (boot sector resident, maybe) which enabled the OS to use the drive. I can't remember what the software was called but I think that this is roughly approximate to what we're talking about here.
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October 14, 2006 11:30:11 PM

You need software like Parallels that takes advantage of Intel's VT or the upcoming Pacifica technology by AMD. Parallels Workstation (for Windows or Mac) will allocate one core to the guest OS. This makes a virtual session of Windows or Linux run much faster than was previously possible. The downside is you "lose" the core for the host OS. Because graphics are emulated this solution is not good for gaming. For that, Mac users are better off using Boot Camp to run a real Windows session that fully exploits the GPU. You can test drive Parallels' software, or that of virtualization giant VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/
http://parallels.com/

VMware offers their server product for free and you can use it to create virtual machines even if you're not running a server. They also have the VMware player, which allows you to run previously created VMs. It's a good way to check out Linux without having to create separate partitions, dual-boot or modifying the MBR.
October 14, 2006 11:40:03 PM

I didn't realize that Parallels was available for Windows - that's great news. I'd like to try the Mac OS to see what all of the hoopla is about. I have run "Tiger" in an emulator before (PearPC) but it was slow as molasses and didn't offer much hardware support.

I once ran "Knoppix" in a VMWare session on my Windows PC. That was fun, in a geeky kind of way!

**EDIT** I just checked it out. Mac OS is not a supported guest OS. Oh well - if this program runs faster than VMWare then that's something. I'll see if there's some way to dual boot Windows and OS X.
October 14, 2006 11:55:44 PM

Quote:
I can't find any articles about using the virtualization technology built into the Core 2 Duo processors.

Have any of you been able to take advantage of this feature yet? How did you do it?


I have tried vmware server and microsoft's virtual pc 2007 beta. Both are free and both support support Vista as welll as hardware vertilization technology. Both are good, but I kind of have a preference towards virtual pc 2007, seems to run alot smoother on my machine. Try both out.
October 14, 2006 11:59:57 PM

Quote:
I can't find any articles about using the virtualization technology built into the Core 2 Duo processors.

Have any of you been able to take advantage of this feature yet? How did you do it?


VMware has been quoted as saying they will support Intel and AMD virtualization. To use it all you need is VMware Server or Virtual Server 2005. They're both free now. You also need OS' to install so you can't just make a VM from your XP CD as it counts as a machine and has to be activated.

The major advances won't be found until MS\VMWare release a Hypervisor - SW that sits between the Virtual OS' and the HW. VMWare has ESX server which is a hypervisor but existed before VT. It should be updated soon but is several thousand dollars.

Xen also has a HyperVisor that runs under Linux. Again though it's expensive. Hopefully the hypervisor in LongHorn will be cheaper.

Virtual Server SP1 has support for both also and is in Beta.
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2006 12:27:36 AM

I'm trying out the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 right now on an AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ @ 3GHz. I'll let you guys know how it performs.
October 15, 2006 12:29:14 AM

Quote:
I'm trying out the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 right now on an AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ @ 3GHz. I'll let you guys know how it performs.


Remember that it has to be AM2. 939 doesn't have Pacifica.
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2006 12:31:40 AM

Quote:
I'm trying out the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 right now on an AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ @ 3GHz. I'll let you guys know how it performs.


Remember that it has to be AM2. 939 doesn't have Pacifica.

I know... tells me it does not have hardware VT support. But it's still freaking fast so far compared to VMWare which I run on a Sempron64 3000+.

I'm running it from VISTA x64.
October 15, 2006 12:31:52 AM

Quote:
Have you played around with virtualization? Which would you prefer, VMware or Parallels?

I've tried both just for the fun of it. One thing that bothers me is that the network loads at Windows startup and that takes a bit too long. I guess I could defer the loading of the virtual network until I launch the VM but didn't really try since I was just playing around. :)  It also "steals" whatever memory you allocate to the guest OS, although Linux runs fine with just 512 MB. Parallels seems to be the leaner of the two products and the only one (AFAIK) that exploits VT. VMware Server and the VMware player are free, so they're better in that regard. You can install VMware (150 MB), create the VMs, uninstall it, and then run the VMs with the smaller (28 MB) player. If you just want to experiment, you can register for the test drive and install the workstation products. Again, with VMware you can continue to use the VMs you created with the trial version even after it expires by using the free player. I have also been able to renew my trial license with VMware a few times without any problems. All of this experimentation took place BC (before Conroe), so I might go ahead and try again to see how the new CPUs with VT perform. There might already be a VT supporting VMware beta somewhere that I can get a hold of.
October 15, 2006 12:46:05 AM

You can't run a virtual Mac machine with Parallels. :(  You can, however, run a virtual Windows machine on the Mac. I don't own a Mac but I can see how this software might be useful for running some of the many programs (except games) that are only available for Windows. All Intel Macs (Yonah/Merom/Woodcrest) support VT.
October 15, 2006 12:55:44 AM

Quote:
I can't find any articles about using the virtualization technology build into to Core 2 Duo processors.

Have any of you been able to take advantage of this feature yet? How did you do it?


It is not straight forward, there has to be a different HW abstraction layer (this is software) enable virtualization. In otherwords it requires some high order software loaded to set the HW in a virualization state and share HW resources.

Right now companies are working to enable virtualization on the Mac so that both Mac OSX and Windows are running natively, and not via emulation, at the same time. Or one can dual boot Mac OSX and WinXP, but the virtualization idea is more interesting.

Search back in time around the moment when Apple first announced boot camp, and there were some parallel stories of another company touting their software to enable virtualization.

Hhmm....and I thought this virtualization work just like as if you're multitasking except each tasks does not interfare or harm the other. Well, I don't know I haven't read much on this new feature as my 840 does not have one either.
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2006 12:58:37 AM

Quote:
I can't find any articles about using the virtualization technology build into to Core 2 Duo processors.

Have any of you been able to take advantage of this feature yet? How did you do it?


It is not straight forward, there has to be a different HW abstraction layer (this is software) enable virtualization. In otherwords it requires some high order software loaded to set the HW in a virualization state and share HW resources.

Right now companies are working to enable virtualization on the Mac so that both Mac OSX and Windows are running natively, and not via emulation, at the same time. Or one can dual boot Mac OSX and WinXP, but the virtualization idea is more interesting.

Search back in time around the moment when Apple first announced boot camp, and there were some parallel stories of another company touting their software to enable virtualization.

Hhmm....and I thought this virtualization work just like as if you're multitasking except each tasks does not interfare or harm the other. Well, I don't know I haven't read much on this new feature as my 840 does not have one either.

It does.. but you incure a performance penalty as you're going through the other O/S (added layer). The Hardware supported sort of compensates for this somewhat. I have not yet tried VT on my Core 2.
October 15, 2006 1:27:07 AM

Quote:
Xen also has a HyperVisor that runs under Linux. Again though it's expensive. Hopefully the hypervisor in LongHorn will be cheaper.


Xen is free, from the Xen FAQ:

"Xen is Open Source, and is released under terms of the GNU General Public License. Operating systems or other applications written to use Xen's hypercall interface are not derived works of Xen, hence may be licensed differently."

From wikipedia:

"XenSource offers a live ISO CD running Debian GNU/Linux as well as other free Linux distributions that enables you to try Xen on your system without installing it to the hard disk."

"It's currently possible to run Microsoft Windows as a guest operating system unmodified, using hardware virtualization provided by Intel's Vanderpool technology or AMD's Pacifica which is currently supported only in Xen 3.0."

I think BM was referring to XenSource/XenEnterprise which, according to xensource.com, provides "the first commercially packaged and supported Xen solution"
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2006 1:33:10 AM

I've found a problem with Virtual PC 2007. I tried running SUSE Linux 10 x64 and it tells me my PC is 32bit. Well I'm running Windows VISTA x64 on an AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+, so it's definitely x86-64 capable.
a b à CPUs
October 15, 2006 2:23:26 AM

Here it is running Windows98 SE for shitz and giggles.
October 15, 2006 3:35:18 AM

I might even give Windows 3.1 a look, just for nostalgia.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
March 11, 2009 10:02:43 PM

Trying to install ESX 3.5 on Vmworkstation 6.5 ( PC, Vista Dual Core 2,2 Gig, 4 Gig of ram, SATA drive, Windows Vista 32 bit)

I followed some guides and the install went okay but when ESX reboots to load it takes over 2 hours to fully reboot it.

I Tried seeing if it could be a CPU issue since on my workstation is a 32 bit processor. I tested on a laptop that has a 64 bits compatible processor but when I ran Vmware software that ID if CPU can run virtualization or not I get the following message:
"this host is NOT capable of running a 64 bit guest operating system under this Vmware Product"

So what else do I need to look in a computer to see if it is Vmware compatible to run ESX 3,5 and Vmware workstation running on a Windows Vista ?

It seems that just having a 64 bit processor is not the solution.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks

Neo

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kukito said:
You need software like Parallels that takes advantage of Intel's VT or the upcoming Pacifica technology by AMD. Parallels Workstation (for Windows or Mac) will allocate one core to the guest OS. This makes a virtual session of Windows or Linux run much faster than was previously possible. The downside is you "lose" the core for the host OS. Because graphics are emulated this solution is not good for gaming. For that, Mac users are better off using Boot Camp to run a real Windows session that fully exploits the GPU. You can test drive Parallels' software, or that of virtualization giant VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/
http://parallels.com/

VMware offers their server product for free and you can use it to create virtual machines even if you're not running a server. They also have the VMware player, which allows you to run previously created VMs. It's a good way to check out Linux without having to create separate partitions, dual-boot or modifying the MBR.

!