Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_2.thumb.jpg.72789c04780d7659f5b63ea05534a956.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hello,

So I thought I would share some screen shots of my XP SP3 Virtual Machine that I have setup for Astro Imaging.

The nice thing about putting all the software into a Virtual Machine is that I can move it about between different laptops.

VMware also allows you to remotely connect and disconnect USB sockets, which is hand when you want to restart a usb camera.

Lastly I can put the VM to sleep and start it up so as to keep everything as is.

Some screen shots of the different aspects of the VM with a custom red theme.

EQMOD, Astro Tortilla, PHD2

post-32740-0-41823900-1407918932_thumb.j

EQMOD, Stellarium (Stellarium Scope to control EQMOD)

post-32740-0-26429000-1407918980_thumb.j

EQMOD, APT (Focus aid and other tools)

post-32740-0-59393300-1407919077_thumb.j

Hope you take some inspiration :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Virtualization is great! I run 31 servers distributed over three physical hosts and it just works.

One advantage of a virtual machine for astro use is that you can replicate it, snapshot it and run it on Unix, Linux, MacOSX, Windows and perhaps IBM/3090 ;)

What did you use to virtualize?

/p

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vmware, which I have installed on a couple of different machines.

How do you find the USB pass-through performance?

I use VirtualBox and give my VMs 1 CPU from my quad-processor box. I find that webcam frame rates aren't great and that the connections aren't all that reliable.

Maybe I should switch to VMWare?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you find the USB pass-through performance?

I use VirtualBox and give my VMs 1 CPU from my quad-processor box. I find that webcam frame rates aren't great and that the connections aren't all that reliable.

Maybe I should switch to VMWare?

I did use VirtualBox once for a Win8 test, just because VMware did not support Win8 at the time, but I do remember it feeling a bit clunky.

I just put it down to Win8 at the time. :)

I tend to give my VM 2 Cores and 4gb memory (from 8gb), my USB pass through is almost as fast as the host.

In terms of real life performance, my planetary cam can reach 200FPS on the host, using a Ramdrive to land the frames into memory. (reduce the HD bottleneck.)

With the same configuration on the VM I top out at about 160FPS. This could be USB pass through or the difference in the drivers for XP vs Win7.

I have never actually tested the data rates from a external HD as it has always been good enough.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use VMware and never found an issue with the USB transfer speeds.

Tricky to test accurately as unless the host OS is the same as the virtual OS they will use different drivers for any device you plug in.

I like that you can also clone a real machine to run it virtually, although the copy protection in newer versions of windows can be a pain when you do this. But they only seem to kick in if you actually shut it down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

VMWare really holds the key to all virtualization tasks. VirtualBox is fine for simple tests but it comes nowhere near VMWare. For the Mac, many use Parallels Desktop, a product that is good but again nowhere near VMWare. I'd say it falls between VMWare and VirtualBox. VMWare Workstation for Windows and VMWare Fusion for Mac are both pay products while VirtualBox is free.

In reply to the question; yes, the 31 VM setup is for work and personal pleasure and contains no astro stuff. It is kind of cool, though, with three hosts and shared storage it can bounce machines between hosts in a few seconds, interrupting neither the VM itself nor its network traffic. I can even move the firewall VM back and forth and still not lose the connection to the management of the whole system from home. Fantastic stuff! Interestingly enough, a Windows Server (or any other operating system) actually runs slightly faster in a VM than on the metal, and running it virtualized also has the advantage of not exposing the operating system to any real hardware - which in turn is beneficial to stability!

For that kind of virtualization, the host systems contain no operating system at all, which is the biggest difference to the desktop products Fusion and Workstation. Instead, the Hypervisor runs on bare metal. If the Hypervisor needs upgrading, I just migrate all the VMs to the two other hosts and reboot it as required with no interruption to operations. When it is up again, just migrate the VMs back to it and continue with the next.

Sorry for the off-topic part ;)

Anyway, USB performance in VMWare Workstation and VMWare Fusion should be just about the same as running it on the underlying operating system, but with a slight propagation delay that in turn decreases performance slightly due to the handshake procedures of USB. Nothing to worry about.

Ah! Nothing like a morning rant to start the day!

All the best,

Per 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Your underlying hardware must have plenty of horsepower to handle so many VMS.

I remember some years back getting our hardware folk to setup a rack with four blades, each blade was 16cpu 32gb, we then virtualized a set of 16 load balanced servers across these. (4x4 in each VM.)

This was for a finance application which needed to be up 24x7, so we had multiple sets of redundancy in case web servers fell over. Routing to each web server was via the firewall.

On these we built dev test preprod and prod.

No mind the rant, made me smile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the mac there's Parallels, vmware and virtual box.

Parallels is the most user friendly (but you pay lots for each release.. which seem to be required for each OSX version), vmware is more powerful but needs some tech understanding (not free) and virtual box is free but has some flaws (although works - it's Oracle owned). Virtualbox had a bug that meant if you were using USB you could only use one CPU core.. good bit of programming there...

For all three you'll need a Windows install for an ASCOM based system - IIRC the windows licensing is a pain.. all three above have caused problems as the key used for licensing (the view of the 'hardware') changes causing windows to request re-registering..

I have both Home XP 32bit and Premium 64bit (both legit) and both are a right royal pain whining about things when virtualbox updates. I have this on the mac mini..

The same software can be used for INDI's own pre-canned linux VM astro 'box'. 

All of the above really require a minimum of 4GB on the host machine or preferably 8GB to run smoothly - as I use Pixinsight with large astro images etc I have 16GB installed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your underlying hardware must have plenty of horsepower to handle so many VMS.

I remember some years back getting our hardware folk to setup a rack with four blades, each blade was 16cpu 32gb, we then virtualized a set of 16 load balanced servers across these. (4x4 in each VM.)

This was for a finance application which needed to be up 24x7, so we had multiple sets of redundancy in case web servers fell over. Routing to each web server was via the firewall.

On these we built dev test preprod and prod.

No mind the rant, made me smile.

Nah, not much. One ML350G5, eight cores, 32GB. Two DL360G5, eight cores each, one 32GB, one 40GB. There's plenty of power left.

/per

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By scotty38
      Hi all PHD2 seems to be playing up again and Iost a clear night again 🤬 Everything appeared to be fine and after polar aligning (separate camera to guide scope) I set up a new sequence.  That started up and focused, plate solved and then guiding started but after a few seconds of perfect looking guiding the RA and Dec went off the scale massively ending up with a PHD error along the lines of "PHD2 is unable to make sufficient corrections in RA, check for cable snags, redo calibration...." Images obviously come out trailed. I have an RDP connection to the laptop at the mount so after happening a few times I went to check for snags etc but it all seemed fine. I set up the sequence again at the mount and the same thing happened. Restarting the apps, power cycling the kit and choosing different targets all resulted in the same issue so I packed it all away. It was also the same if I used PHD2 via NINA or if I just started PHD2 on its own and tried guiding separately.
      I'm using an AZ-EQ6 with a WO guide scope and 120mm if it's relevant.
      I checked everything was tight and have not looked at any logs yet but does anyone have any bright ideas what might be happening please?
      Thanks in advance...
    • By GeekTeacher
      Hi all,
      Can anyone please point me to a clear and complete set of instructions for both setting up and using the MGEN-II autoguider with Astro Photography Tool.  I need to start right from the beginning.
      Many thanks
      Martyn
    • By Sidecontrol
      Hi there,
       
      So I've finally gotten round to setting up APT and Sterallium (via ASCOM) on my laptop for controlling my mount EQM 35 pro. (I got PHD2 working on it a while back).  I followed a tutorial on youtbe about doing this using simulators in Sterallium, when doing this pressing control + 1 on the keyboard moves the simulated telescope and everything seems to update in ATP and work fine.
       
      The (small) problem I'm having is when i successful connect my own mount in Sterallium (after doing the same in APT) I click on an area and then press the short cut Ctrl + 1, nothing happens, my yellow telescope icon doesn't move to the location, but when I do it in APT, sterallium obviously updates to show the new position.
       
      Any idea why the short cut in Sterallium isn't working when connected to my mount?
       
      Cheers,
      Mark
    • By Nikolas74
      Since I live in a flat I do most of my imaging from my balcony... I purposely choose a top floor because of my astrophotography passion in order to have a decent field of view, but my balcony has walls on one side and on top. 
      So I decided to bring to Stellarium my own landscape and my FOV so I can know exactly which targets are on sight and at what time. 
      I have done some reading and watch videos but I still have a couple of questions before I begin and hopefully some people from here could help! 
      a) how should I take my photo... Me standing straight levelled with horizon or placing my camera on a tripod and place it like a telescope looking up in the sky towards North? 
      b) the famous cardinal points and the line angle_rotatez= in the ini file... Is there a secret of finding this number easy in order to match cardinal points to my photo or the only way is by trial and error....? 
      Thanks for reading
      Nikolas. 
    • By SStanford
      Hi All,
      I have a few questions regarding mount control using stellarium that I can't seem to find elsewhere. 
      I have an EQ3 pro with with Syscan (handcontrol) and a laptop with stellarium.
      The articles I've read refer either to EQMOD or ASCOM as a download requirement for Stellarium, is there any preference here for the EQ3?
      I'm also struggling to find details of the correct cable to connect the mount straight into the computer via USB (and which port recieves this in the mount).
      Thinking ahead, considering the requirement for the Guidscope and DSLR to be pugged into the computer, I will need to ensure this cable would be compatible with a "USB hub" (an area I havent done any research into yet). My computer has only 2 USB ports!
      S.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.