Thursday, August 20, 2009

Perhaps I spoke too soon...

To lay the groundwork, because of the issues I had been having I no longer open Firefox or any other terminal windows (as I usually had done in the past) since I wanted to try to narrow down any problems and make sure nothing else could be taking up resources or RAM or causing instability in the system. I have even been considering running the box headless and just a command prompt to rule out Gnome.

As of the last entry I thought I had completely fixed the issues I seemed to have had with VirtualBox and Solaris. Wrong! The other day I had a performance issue with one of my virtual machines, and I noticed the box was using up all it's RAM. I put 1 gig to each of 2 virtual machines and 4 gigs to a 3rd. That should be 6 gigs, and I have 8 gigs in the machine and should have been enough. But whenever logging onto the host, or into one of the VM's the hosts hard drives would thrash and upon looking at the host OS stats (Solaris) I noticed 100% of ram taken up and quite a bit of disk cache as well (don't remember exactly number, but in the many megabytes).

I did the natural thing and that was to shut down the three guests (virtual machines) so that I could reboot and set some of the ram requirements per virtual machine slightly lower. Upon shutting down some of the VMs... OpenSolaris froze, it did not auto reboot as it had done when I was using the VBox shares, but.. I had to manually reboot. Doh.

I think my final solution might be to run VMWare and see if it's actually VirtualBox causing these issues or not. Or at least give it a go to see if it's not just OpenSolaris that's a little flakey. I don't seem to get really good performance either in my VM boxes with 2 CPU's assigned to one of them using VirtualBox. I tend to think the VirtualBox multi-core technology just isn't "there" yet and VMWare has been around a while so I am hoping it will be more performant with VMWare too. Anyone know of some good sites that give you a walk through of installing VMWare on OpenSolaris? Leave a comment if you do. Also if I find a few before next post I will be sure to post them with the update.

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