An OpenVZ Experiment - How many containers?

Posted by dowdle on Dec 22, 2008 7:27 PM EDT; By Scott Dowdle
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I was wondering just how many containers I could create on a beefy host and how many processes the Linux kernel would be happy running so I decided to do an experiment.

I have two OpenVZ hosts... one is the primary and the other is a backup. Both of them are HP Proliant DL380 Gen5 machines with dual, quad-core Xeon processors, 32GB of RAM, 32GB of swap, and a 600GB /vz partition. I decided to use the backup OpenVZ machine for the experiment.

I thought I'd start with a high target of 1,000 containers so I used vzsplit to generate a sample config (vzsplit -n 1000 -f split1000). Then I wrote a script to create 1,000 containers, one at a time. The script uses the centos-5-i386-default OS Template (124MB .tar.gz file, 427MB extracted), assigns an IP address and DNS, then starts up the container. Between each container creation it sleeps for 60 seconds... to give the container processes a little time to start. For the full results, read the article. I think you'll be surprised.

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