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Combine several physical servers into 1 virtual server

I have about 12 commodity (Dual core, 2GB RAM Intel) boxes. I had this crazy idea that I would be able to install something like OpenStack/Eucalyptus on them and use them like a small private cloud.

Once I do this, is it possible to provision a VM that has 8 core and 16 GB RAM?
Its kinda a fundamental question and may sound stupid to most people, but I'm not ashamed to ask :)

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marked as duplicate by Mark Henderson Nov 30 '11 at 7:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This has been asked many times, although perhaps not in this exact way... –  Mark Henderson Nov 30 '11 at 7:02

1 Answer 1

To be honest, I have not (yet) actually tried those OpenStack/OpenNebula/Eucalyptus cloud things, so it might well be I have understood something fundamentally wrong about them. What I think about them that they can help you to intelligently manage, move around and scale your virtual servers.

What they do not offer, though, is that they would combine the powers of several physical servers and the elasticity is limited to VMs, and not single processes running on them. Is this right?

OpenSSI (Single System Image) offers a bit different solution. You can add new SSI nodes to it and see your cluster as a one big server. OpenSSI can automatically move individual processes to a less loaded (or, a more powerful) cluster node and automatically distribute the load among your hardware. This is not (100%) same than a real 8 core / 16 GB server but in many cases quite close.

It can be very useful if you have lots of long-running CPU-hungry processes (such as some calculation, 3D rendering) running, but on normal desktop use or web server use (which typically have lots of short-lived processes / tasks) it would be next to useless.

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The problem is that the boxes of the poster are so crappy eve n the cost for the network backbone needed is higher than just getting a newer box. Heck, I am pulling now my oldest servers and they have 4gb ram - moving them to virtualization. There is simpy no real sense in keeping2gb ram machines around anymor eespecially for very specific neeeds. –  TomTom Nov 30 '11 at 7:04
    
Even with crappy hardware (OpenSSI was designed at least around ten years ago and run then...) it can has it use cases. Pan Opter did not mention what he would like to do with his cloud, but OpenSSI could very well help with running something like crawling data from the web and indexing that, analyzing big log files, ray-tracing... but fair point that the network backbone might cost more than a new server. On the other hand, if OP has the network already installed, OpenSSI might be a fun toy to play and learn with. :-) –  Janne Pikkarainen Nov 30 '11 at 7:16
    
I doubt the networkbking backbone is "on par". I´have been ni the same situation. He has 24 cores, old and outdated. I would say a 16 core Barcelona processor box blows out the whole system. And saves TONS of energy compared to the 12 boxes - that alone may pay the lease on the new machine. It is just too old, and thus also fragile (out of wararanty, end of life parts). –  TomTom Nov 30 '11 at 8:09
    
Yes, sure. But the old environment Pan has might be used as a temporary toy and a proof-of-concept. If he likes OpenSSI (or the OpenStack etc), the same technique might be used later with a cluster of modern servers and actual applications. –  Janne Pikkarainen Nov 30 '11 at 8:16
    
@Janne This is exactly what I wanted to do. Thanks so much. My fault actually, I should have mentioned this in my original post. Will give OpenSSI a whirl. –  Pan Opter Nov 30 '11 at 8:43

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