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Using a USB drive to store & run virtual machines

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One of my friends who works at Nortel mentioned that they used USB flash drives to keep virtual machines. I decided to give it a try and  bought a 32GB USB stick for ~40$ yesterday. It is amazing how large these drives have gotten and their price point. It is a Patriot Xporter and was 99$ before a 50$ rebate at FRYs. I was looking for lifetime specs on it (like the ones from Corsair), but couldn’t find any on Patriot’s website. It should be ok even at 10,000 writes per block, with bigger sizes the distribution algorithm should work better?

Next I:

  • created a ubuntu virtual machine u2. the directory showed u2.vmdk and 4 files u2-s0001.vmdk to u2-s0004.vmdk. I copied these to the USB key (e:vmu2)
  • snapshotted the VM. This created whole bunch of extent files,u2-00001.vmdk, u2.vmsd file.
  • deleted the original VM files
  • edited the u2-00001.vmdk and u2.vmsd file to change the string u2.vmdk to e:vmu2u2.vmdk
  • and voila the machine booted in VM workstation. I shouldn’t be so surprised, it is supposed to work!
  • I am using VM Worsktation 6.5 BTW

Written by RS

November 27, 2008 at 3:01 pm