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Thread: UltraSparc IIIi kernel and virtualisation

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  1. #1
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    Default UltraSparc IIIi kernel and virtualisation

    Hi all. This is not AMD or Intel, but I am hoping that you guys are hardware buffs enough to help me with this anyway.

    Sun has donated a server to my FOSS project. It has an UltraSparc IIIi processor and 8 GB of RAM. Below is the output of /proc/cpuinfo:

    Code:
    cpu		: TI UltraSparc IIIi (Jalapeno)
    fpu		: UltraSparc IIIi integrated FPU
    prom		: OBP 4.22.19 2006/09/06 23:41
    type		: sun4u
    ncpus probed	: 4
    ncpus active	: 4
    D$ parity tl1	: 0
    I$ parity tl1	: 0
    Cpu0ClkTck	: 000000005ee3fe00
    Cpu1ClkTck	: 000000005ee3fe00
    Cpu2ClkTck	: 000000005ee3fe00
    Cpu3ClkTck	: 000000005ee3fe00
    MMU Type	: Cheetah+
    State:
    CPU0:		online
    CPU1:		online
    CPU2:		online
    CPU3:		online
    I have two questions about how to best use this machine. First off, do I need an SMP kernel for this machine? cpuinfo only lists a single processor, but it does mention "CPU0-3 online". Wikipedia says that this processor is single-threaded.

    My second question is what technology I can best use to run virtual machines on this server. Many options are not available (like Xen or VirtualBox) because they are for x86 only. Others like QEMU and Linux-vserver are available but I don't know how well they would perform. I've heared that QEMU is quite slow unless you use the KQEMU kernel module and that's not available on SPARC.

    The second question is also related to the first. At the moment this machine runs Debian Lenny sparc64. It has both SMP and non-SMP kernels available but all the vserver enabled kernels are non-SMP.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default

    So far I've found out that the machine indeed contains 4 CPUs so that I need an SMP kernel to use them all. Unfortunately, Debian Lenny only has a non-SMP vserver kernel for sparc64.

    I have also read about people using openvz on sparc64 but all I could find were some rather dated packages supplying Etch kernels (2.6.18) for openvz with SMP.

    So, first question solved. The second one remains: What would be the best virtualisation technique on this machine?

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    What about using solaris on this machine ? It's quite likely the best fit for a sparcIII.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by _pma View Post
    What about using solaris on this machine ? It's quite likely the best fit for a sparcIII.
    As someone described in other thread Linux is faster on it. Btw. Sander Marechal probably knows what to use...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftman View Post
    As someone described in other thread Linux is faster on it.
    Sorry, I'm new overthere. Would you mind pointing me to this other thread ?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by _pma View Post
    Sorry, I'm new overthere. Would you mind pointing me to this other thread ?
    It's buried somewhere in 'AMD Shanghai Opteron: Linux vs. OpenSolaris Benchmarks' thread. Of course you don't have to agree with this.

  7. #7
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    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by kraftman View Post
    Of course you don't have to agree with this.
    I don't have any quad sparc III at hand by know :-). So it would likely be pretty vain to disagree.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by _pma View Post
    What about using solaris on this machine ? It's quite likely the best fit for a sparcIII.
    Two reasons:

    1) I know Linux much better than (Open)Solaris
    2) The hosting company (who donated hosting) knows Linux much better than (Open)Solaris

    It's a knowledge thing. I wouldn't be comfortable putting a box on the internet without knowing the ins and outs of securing and administering it properly.

  9. #9
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    You could just compile your own kernel for it. It's not exactly hard...

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