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Don Burleson Blog 







VMware: Host OS Install

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The goal here is to create a minimal and streamlined host operating system environment to serve as the virtualized server. In essence, you are creating your very own hypervisor based paravirtualization solution, so you need to keep the host operating system very slim and trim. Therefore, you must navigate the host operating system install prudently looking for excesses to eliminate. Keep in mind that you are not going to use this machine like a regular server, desktop or laptop; instead, you?re merely installing the minimum necessary to run your virtual machine clients. That is exactly what Oracle did when they made the Oracle VM server. It is just a minimalist Linux kernel with support for a broad array of devices, file systems, software RAID volume management, and a special hypervisor to manage virtual server clients.

The prior section's BIOS settings to disable many features may also result in certain operating system components either not installing or not loading on boot. Either way, the end result is a much faster host operating system environment. However, do not just assume that turning off the BIOS will always achieve the desired results. During the operating system install, make sure to choose to leave off any additional hardware components or features that you know the virtual server will not need. This includes support for hardware such as the following:

  • Modem

  • Printer

  • Firewire

  • Infrared

  • Speakers

  • Microphones

  • USB ports (if not needed for keyboard, mouse or flash disks)

Also, during the host operating system install, it will be beneficial to choose not to install many software features, options or their support. For example, none of the following software components are truly necessary for our virtualized server's host operating system in order for it to effectively and efficiently house the virtual clients:

  • Firewalls

  • Extended Security (i.e. SE Linux)

  • Office/Productivity

  • Email Clients

  • Email Servers

  • Fax Support

  • Graphics

  • Sound & Video

  • Instant Messengers

  • DNS Servers

  • Network Servers

  • Web Servers

  • Database Servers

  • File Sharing

  • File Indexing

Once the minimal host operating system has been successfully installed, you then need to disable any and all unnecessary services or background processes such as the following:


  • anacron

  • apmd

  • atd

  • autofs

  • cups

  • cupsconfig

  • gpm

  • isdn

  • iptables

  • kudzu

  • netfs

  • nfslock

  • pcmcia

  • portmap

  • rhnsd

  • sendmail


  • Alerter

  • Automatic Updates

  • Clip Book

  • Error Reporting

  • Help & Support

  • Indexing

  • Messenger

  • NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing

  • Remote Desktop Help Session Manager

  • System Restore Service

  • Task  Scheduler

  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

  • Telephony

  • Terminal Services

  • Themes

The end result should be an effective and efficient base operating system that is now conducive for hosting virtual clients, which will be covered more in the next chapter. You can refine and optimize further if you want to eek every last drop of performance you can from the host. As I said earlier, the mantra in the virtualized world is that any database server guest can be no more optimized than the host containing it, so always make sure to get the host right from the start.

This is an excerpt from
Oracle on VMWare: Expert tips for database virtualization by Rampant TechPress.



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