Saturday, 29 March 2008

VMware Server Performance Issue

I've been running VMware Server on the SilverShuttle for a while now (140 days and counting!). The little machine is generally running very well with its two VMs - Solaris Nevada and CentOS, but occasionally the machine stutters very badly and the load average within the virtual machines shoot up from the 0.1 they usually are to about 40.0!

Unfortunately, running top and prstat did little to suggest any reason, and the host operating system (SUSE 10.1) didn't seem to be having any problems of its own apart from the VMware processes which were now taking a lot more CPU.

Cutting to the conclusion, after a period of investigating what might be the cause, I turned off the powersaved daemon on the host operating system. Since then, performance has been rosy. I'm guessing the powersaving was kicking it, misreporting the CPU speed to the VMs which were then choking (but it's just a theory).

All is now well.

Installing Alfresco

A week ago I decided to install the Alfresco open source enterprise content management system on my CentOS VM. The basic install is very easy, comprising of creating /opt/alfresco and untarring the downloaded file into it. The demo version uses HSQL as a content repository, but this isn't recommended for production use.

I opted to change the datasource to MySQL and after setting up the database (using the script provided), I had problems starting the Alfresco installation. I then ran out of time and abandoned it.

Today I went back to the install and after doing some reading up, found that the problem was due to changing the content repository from HSQL to MySQL. As I had no content to worry about, I deleted /opt/alfresco and reinstalled. The big difference this time being that I did not start the installation before I changed the settings to MySQL.

And it works! I now need to learn how to use it, but it appears to be a very powerful piece of software. More blogging soon...