RHEL7: Lab hardware requirements.

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According to your hardware, you’ve got two main options:
– if your hardware (PC, Mac, etc) runs a 32-bit x86 processor with at least 2GB of memory, use Virtual Box; this is not the right option because you will not be able to experiment KVM virtualization and some advanced scenarios with 2 VMs but it’s better than nothing.
– if you’ve got a hardware running a 64-bit x86 processor with virtualization capability (Intel VT-x or AMD-V*) and at least 3GB of memory/50GB of disk space (2 guests plus 1 host, 1GB of memory for each), install RHEL 7 or CentOS 7 and use KVM (CentOS 7 is free, fully compatible with RHEL 7, and works very well).

My advice: buy a second-hand HP N40L (or HP N54L) with 4GB of memory ($200-250) and a DVD drive. It comes with a 250GB hard drive that is more than enough and you don’t need to add another network card. After passing your RHCSA/RHCE exams, you can reconvert it into a VMware ESX or a NAS (you get i/o at 100MB/s and can put 4-to-6 hard drives inside).

*To check if your Intel processor’s got VT-x virtualization capabilities, type:

# grep vmx /proc/cpuinfo

To check if your AMD processor’s got AMD-V virtualization capabilities, type:

# grep svm /proc/cpuinfo

Intel VT-d or AMD-Vi virtualization capabilities improve virtualization performances (they allow direct access to the hardware) but are not mandatory for KVM use (see wikipedia for more information).

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3 comments on “RHEL7: Lab hardware requirements.
  1. johnnyk says:

    I have just realized that my processor (currently running 32bit Windows) support 64bit, however it does not support VT-x. Even though in your tutorial mentioned that it is not compulsory to have VT-x for KVM, but based on what I read at http://www.itzgeek.com/how-tos/linux/centos-how-tos/install-kvm-qemu-on-centos-7-rhel-7.html (upon your recommendation in twitter) it is a must to have VT-x or AMD-V. Mind to clarify on this? and what do you suggest if I don’t plan to upgrade my machine? thanks.

    • CertDepot says:

      Reread my tutorial: with Intel processor you absolutely need VT-x support to use KVM virtualization. However VT-d support is not mandatory but improves virtualization performances.
      If you don’t plan to upgrade your machine, one reasonably good option is VirtualBox because KVM won’t work.

  2. johnnyk says:

    Thank you for your reply. I guess I misread it. Need to upgrade my machine after all, since I am serious about this.thanks again for this tutorial.

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