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I'm migrating from Solaris 10 to linux. After having installed RH, I got some performance hit related to the network stack. I've switched back to Solaris where the problem is not present.

I'd like to figure out if this problem is inherent to RH, or if it plagues all flavors of Linux, so I'd like to install Suse to test.

doing a proper "hard install" is a bit too complicated, so I'm thinking about using Sun's VirtualBox to virtualize my Suse install..

question is the following: when running Suse as a GUEST OS on my Solaris HOST, which network stack will be used ? the GUEST one or the HOST one ? to which extent is it virtualized ?

(as I want to test the Suse network stack, I need to be sure it's the one that will be used)

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3 Answers

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The guest stack will always be used (The vbox kernel module isn't related to networking afaik and anyway isn't required to be installed). Depending on how your interface is configured, part or all of the host's stack will also be used. Why are you moving from Solaris 10 to some linux distro ? Did you evaluate OpenSolaris ?

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I'd say reason for migration is Linux market share that is driving more people to develop & improve it. it's slowly becoming a standard in our industry. we have not made a final decision on our platform, but we want to have the choice, and be able to evaluate. in the end we'll use the platform that gives us the best performances. –  Bastien Jun 29 '10 at 0:44
    
Okay. Anything you disagree with or are thinking is missing with my answer ? –  jlliagre Jun 29 '10 at 8:25
    
no it's all good, thanks ! –  Bastien Jul 7 '10 at 7:23
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Tricky question... VirtualBox installs a kernel module but I'm not sure whether it uses the host OS network stack or implements its own. A better test might be to run a live CD/DVD/USB test of the OS.

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to run the test I need to install additional software: the JRE, as well as my test application. will I be able to do this when simply running the OS from DVD ? –  Bastien Jun 28 '10 at 6:58
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This may not be feasible for you ... but try this.

On a separate server set up an NFS exported directory containing the software you need then use Live CDs of the various distros you wish to test to boot your machine. You then will be able to mount the remote directory containing all of the software you need without actually having to install it.

Or use a windows fileshare/SAMBA. Also, remember to turn off the firewall since it usually block NFS. Actually, on Fedora it blocks practically everything except for ssh.

What problem are you seeing?

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would make sense... the problem I'm seeing is network latency related, with very different behavior between Solaris and RHEL. posted about it here, and would appreciate feedback if you can help ! stackoverflow.com/questions/2995987/… it's really been driving me crazy, I even installed a realtime kernel to get access to more network parameters, but didn't manage to achieve anything meaningful. –  Bastien Jun 29 '10 at 0:42
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