Tag: virtual

By Christopher P Wakefield

64px-Virtualbox_logoHow do you manage virtual machines over a network using Oracle Virtualbox? I have been asked this a couple of times recently and today I will show you how. Most of my tutorials on Virtualbox have been along the lines of installing the software onto a system and managing the virtual machines on that system in person. This works well if you have a couple of virtual desktop machines but when you have quite a few servers involved going between each server to carry out maintenance becomes very tedious.

This is where you need a piece of software called phpvirtualbox. Phpvirtualbox is an open source web based front end for Virtualbox which allows you to manage all of your virtual machines over the internet.

linux-mint-logo-128x128So lets take a look at how we set this up. For the basis of this tutorial I will be using Linux Mint 12 and Virtualbox 4.1.4.

We first need to download and install the current version of Virtualbox from the Virtualbox website.

Once installed we need to add a user who will run Virtualbox. Open up a terminal as root and type:

adduser vbox

When asked supply a user password. Next we have to add the vbox user to the vboxusers group in the /etc/group file. So type (as root):

gedit /etc/group

Add vboxusers:x:113:vbox to the file and save.

Once we have finished with Virtualbox it is time to set up our web server. Since this is Linux we will be using Apache. Open up a terminal and install the following packages:

apache2

php5-mysql

libapache2-mod-php5

mysql-server

During the install process MySQL will ask you for a root password. Make this something complex but do not forget it!!!

Once installed open up a web browser and type your server address into the address bar and you will see the message IT WORKS! This means that you have a working web server.

Now we need to download, install and configure phpvirtualbox. The current release can be downloaded from the phpvirtualbox website.

I am assuming your downloads go to your Download folder. If not replace Downloads with the location that the file was downloaded to. Open up a terminal and type the following commands one at a time:

cd Downloads

cp -a phpvirtualbox-4.1.7 /var/www/phpvirtualbox

cd /var/www/phpvirtualbox

mv config.php-example config.php

It is now time to configure the config.php file so type:

sudo gedit config.php

———————————–

/**

* phpVirtualBox example configuration.

* [@version] $Id: config.php-example 366 2011-12-01 19:56:57Z

*

* rename to config.php and edit as needed.

*

*/

class phpVBoxConfig {

/* Username / Password for system user that runs VirtualBox */

var $username = ‘vbox’;

var $password = ‘*********’;

/* SOAP URL of vboxwebsrv (not phpVirtualBox’s URL) */

var $location = [http://127.0.0.1:18083/]

/* Default language. See languages folder for more language options.

* Can also be changed in File -> Preferences -> Language in

* phpVirtualBox.

*/

var $language = ‘en’;

————————————

Locate the username and password (BOLD above) and change the password to the one you created earlier. Once done save and exit.

Now we need to make sure that Virtualbox can start at boot time and that means configuring init scripts. Open up a terminal and type:

cd /etc/init.d

and then:

sudo touch /etc/init.d/vbox.start

Now we need to configure the file so type:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/vbox.start

Copy /usr/bin/vboxwebsrv -b into the file. Save and exit.

That is Virtualbox configured to start at boot time but we now have to enable it so type:

chmod +x /etc/init.d/vbox.start

followed by:

update-rc.d vbox.start defaults

Now it is time to reboot the server. Once it has rebooted go to a web browser and point it to your server address/phpvirtaulbox

You will now be able to manage all the virtual machines on the network from the comfort of your own chair.

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT support to both personal and business clients from my base in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more. Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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Introduction to Virtualization For the Home and Small Business User

By David Wank

Introduction

In a nutshell, virtualization allows you to run a “virtual computer” as an application on your desktop alongside your other applications. A virtualization program will allow you to run an instance of an entire operating system such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Linux as a individual program – just as Word, Excel and Firefox are individual programs.

The easiest way to explain this concept is with an example. Let’s say you are running Windows XP and you’d like to see if one of your commonly used applications would run on Windows Vista. You could purchase a computer with Windows Vista installed, and then test the software. If it works – great. If not, you’ve spent a lot of money for nothing.

Let’s now do the same thing with virtualization. By installing a virtualization program and a Windows Vista image (we will discuss both of these topics later) you can run an instance of the Windows Vista operating system right on your Windows XP desktop – without having to purchase additional software. You can install the application on the virtual version of Windows Vista, and now evaluate your software without having to purchase new hardware.

To clarify, Microsoft Virtual PC is the virtualization software that is running in this example, and virtual pc is, in turn, running a Windows XP image.

II. Terminology

Virtualization Software – an application that allows you to run a virtual operating system on your computer. Examples of virtualization software programs are Virtual PC, VMware Player, and VirtualBox. Think of the virtualization software as a brand-new computer that has no operating system installed on it.

Virtual Image or Virtual Machine – in order to use virtualization software, you need to install an operating system such as Windows XP or Linux. Virtual Images are pre-fabricated operating system images. You would download, for example, a Linux image for Vmware Player, and use the Vmware Player software to run the Linux image. You can think of the virtual image as the actual operating system software.

So to run a virtual operating system, you would install a virtualization program such as Virtual PC, you would then install a virtual image (e.g. a Windows XP image), and then you would install any applications you need on the XP image.

III. Advantages

  1. Because a virtualization software work as if it were in it’s own “container” you can freely test software such as alpha and beta releases without worrying about affecting your actual operating system.
  2. Running virtualization software and virtual images can save a significant amount money because you do not need to worry about additional hardware costs to run the virtual operating systems. Note that you still need to follow appropriate licensing laws for OS software where applicable. Microsoft, however, does provide time-limited Virtual PC-compatible image for Windows XP.
  3. You can easily delete and reinstall a virtual image. If you install programs on your Virtual PC Windows XP installation, and accidentally corrupt the system, you only have to quickly re-setup the image, and not have to spend hours reinstalling the operating system.

IV. Disadvantages

  1. A reasonably powered computer is required for virtualization. If you use an underpowered machine to run a virtual machine, you will find the performance sluggish and it will be frustrating.
  2. If you do allow your virtual machine to have access to the internet, (and especially if you allow the virtual machine to also access your actual operating system) you MUST take the normal security precautions by installing the appropriate anti-virus and anti-malware software.

Get Started.

I encourage you to test out virtualization software for yourself to see if it’s right for you. Once of the easiest ways to get started is with the free Microsoft Virtual PC and one of the free time-limited Windows XP or Windows Vista virtual images (also known as VHD’s or Virtual Hard Disks).

Remember that this article only covers the basic introduction to the concept of virtualization. In the enterprise environment, virtualization technology can be extremely powerful in leveraging and maximizing use of resources, servers, and remote access among other things.

David Wank is the founder of the HelpSpa, a free computer tutorial and computer video tutorial website. At the HelpSpa you can request a free computer or computer video tutorial to be created that answers your specific question. Request your free tutorial now.

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Understanding Virtualization

By Bob Matharoo

Emerging Technologies

“Virtualization”

Our world is changing at a very fast pace and the main reason behind it is vomputers. Since their invention, the technology behind them has been continuously improving and changing. Every year some new technology replaces the old one which is better and more advanced. Computers have transformed from a big machine (equal to the size of room) to small and compact like Pocket PCs. With the passage of time many new software and applications were also being developed to help increase their output. Today we see that in every field computers are becoming a big necessity and that is why there is a boom in the industry of technology.

One of the hottest technology these days is Virtualization, which basically means creating virtual environment with the help of software to run different applications like operating systems, software but using the common hardware resource. It can also be defined as combining software and hardware to create a Virtual machine which makes the single system to act as group of systems.

A few years ago when virtualization was not invented yet, we used to have different systems with different OS as they cannot be installed on same systems. However, this problem was solved as people started installing different OS on different hard disk partitions. So during the boot time there were options asking which OS to run. With this the person was able to run only one OS at a time.

Then Virtualization was invented which allow user to run user more than one OS at a time. This was made possible through software generally called hypervisors. They allowed users to install a new OS just like a new program is installed. For example- A person can run Windows Server 2003 over Windows XP in a new window just like a program is running on XP, all this on a common system.

The main requirement of virtualization is a powerful host computer because it has to share the system resources with the virtual machines. Therefore the computer should have enough RAM, Processing capability, etc to support the virtually formed machines.

Today Virtualization is of many types like Platform Virtualization, Application Virtualization, Memory Virtualization, Network Virtualization, etc. The concept of virtualization is based on forming an environment which acts as base for running other applications over it.

In Platform Virtualization, the virtualization is done on host computer by installing control programs which simulated a physical computer system. Now the user can install guest software over the virtual environment. The control program allows the user to assign the memory, processor, restricted access to peripherals.

Application virtualization allows applications to run in environments that do not suit the native application. We can run incompatible applications on an OS easily. For example, we can run Windows applications in Linux with help of virtualization software. Hence there is no need to install other OS with which the application is compatible. There are some limitations of this type of virtualization i.e. not all the applications can be virtualized, so that they can run on the target OS. Some of the software which help in application virtualization includes Microsoft Application Virtualization, Wine,etc.

Virtualization also plays an important role in managing memory in Network servers. This is done with the help of Memory Virtualization. It helps in arranging the memory of different servers on network in such a way that they act as one entity. Thus they help in sharing the memory of servers. This helps in building the combined virtual server with large amount of memory available. It also helps in improving the performance of applications on server as there is sufficient amount of memory available to them.

With the help Network Virtualization networks can also be virtualized. It helps in combining the hardware and software resource over network in to a virtual network. The network hardware like Network Interface Cards (NIC) and software like Virtual Machines are used in forming a Virtual Network. For example, Microsoft Virtual Server can be used for running different OS like Windows and Linux over the network. It allows the administrator to control the bandwidth and resources to be shared among the network.

The most common software used these days for Virtualization on Windows is Virtual Box. This application can be easily installed on Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and the latest Windows 7 too. After installing you can install any operating system over the installed one. You do not have to install the operating on any separate partition. It is installed just like an application is installed on your system. There is no need to restart the computer to run the new OS as it runs in a new window in your OS. For example, if you want to run some programs which are not compatible with Windows Vista which is already installed on your computer then you can install Virtual Box Software and install Windows XP on Windows Vista.

There are many other programs available which help you run specific programs not compatible with your OS. One such program is DosBox. This program simulates the MS Dos which help you run old Dos application over new OS like Windows 7. This program helps in running even the 8 bit color applications which are not supported in new Windows.

Now many companies have started including virtualization feature in their applications like the latest Microsoft Windows 7. In Windows 7 user can set the compatibility mode of a program with Windows XP, Windows 98, etc so that the program can run without any errors. We can also install Virtual PC in Windows 7 and run Windows XP which is available as freeware from Microsoft.

Virtualization has many advantages in IT some of which are listed below:

1. One of the biggest advantages is cost savings because with Virtualization a single system is enough for many operations therefore the cost of hardware is reduced to much extent.

2. With virtualization the computer resources are used in better way and to the maximum.

3. It has helped reduce the server costs in networking.

4. It has helped in software development as the developer can test the applications on multiple platforms on the same hardware.

5. The power consumption is also reduced drastically.

In the end it can be concluded that Virtualization has a very bright future in information technology as it helps to make the best use of the available system resources and get the maximum out them.

Author- Bob Matharoo

@ dreadbob.blogspot.com

I am a Blogger who loves to write and share whatever I learn in this world on my Cute lil’ Blog called $ Secret Money Blog $. You can find Blogging Tips, Tech Reviews and some assorted randomness from the web on my blog.

You can visit me at http://dreadbob.blogspot.com

Bob Matharoo

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