Installing and using OpenVZ on CentOS 5

Posted by dowdle on Jun 10, 2008 8:07 AM EDT; By Scott Dowdle
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OpenVZ is operating system-level virtualization based on a modified Linux kernel that allows a physical server to run multiple isolated instances known as containers, virtual private servers (VPS), or virtual environments (VE). The preferred term these days is container. Containers are sometimes compared to chroot or jail type environments but containers are really much better in terms of isolation, security, functionality, and resource management.

OpenVZ is able to achieve better performance (so close to native it is hard to measure a difference), scalability and density because there is a single Linux kernel running on the physical host with each container only taking up the resources necessary for running the processes / services you want inside them without all of the overhead of a full operating system. A basic container might be between 8-14 additional processes on the host node. OpenVZ can also handle more advanced applications such as huge multi-threaded Java applications with hundreds of threads / processes given the appropriate amount of container resource management configuration.

Another advantage of OpenVZ is that it offers a wide range of dynamic resource management parameters including several for memory usage, number of processes, CPU usage, disk space usage, etc... all of which may be changed while the container is running. OpenVZ also supports container disk quotas as well as (optional) user and group disk quotas within the containers.

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» Read more about: Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Community, Kernel, Red Hat

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