[Beowulf] Virtualization in head node ?

Stuart Barkley stuartb at 4gh.net
Wed Sep 16 14:33:06 EDT 2009

On Wed, 16 Sep 2009 at 12:01 -0000, Robert G. Brown wrote:

> XPPro will run forever on the virtualized hardware interface as long
> as I can get linux to boot and run devices on the toplevel system.
> If I change machines, my XPPro VM can go with me without all of the
> tedious crap from Windows Update and phone calls to Windows service
> people that don't know what you're talking about or what to do about
> it once they do.

Are you sure about this?  We have some interest in being able to
archive complete installations for future use (e.g. +5-10 years).
I'm skeptical of the existing trend of virtualization to handle all of
the needs for product activation or other software licensing schemes.

The following is speculation not facts.

If you move an existing VM within the same virtualization and cpu
technology you may be able to get away without reactivation or
obtaining a new license key.  MAC addresses can be set in several
virtual environment which can help in some cases.

However, a lot of other things can impact product activation and
licensing checks.  Different virtual environments provide different
emulated devices.  Emulated disk serial numbers, BIOS versions, cpu
family, cpu stepping, processor flags and other unknown things may be
included in the product activation or licensing checks.

It may be that some of the processor emulation technologies can
provide this functionality.  qemu can emulate a number of hardware
systems but again only in specific configurations which may differ
from a real world licensed configuration.

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