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I'm planning to give a seminar / demonstration on the advantages of grid computing. As we don't have a physical grid (yet), I thought I would create a set of virtual machines, set up GridEngine and give a little demo with it.

To be realistic I would like to have 8 or 16 [virtual] core virtual machines. The problem is that neither VirtualBox nor VMWare player seems to allow setting the number of [virtual] cores to an arbitrary number. Is it a way to circumvent this limitation? Or, alternatively is it there a virtualization solution which makes this possible?

SOLUTION

In the meantime I've found qemu, an extremely versatile virtualization tool. Not only it can set the number of cores to anything between 1 and 255, but it can also use previously created VirtualBox disk images.

Starting an off-the-shelf virtual machine with 16 cores using a previously created VirtualBox disk image is as simple as:

qemu -smp 16 disk.vdi

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Do you expect GridEngine to run faster on simulated virtual cores, or is that really just for demonstration purposes? –  slhck Dec 4 '12 at 11:45
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It would be solely for demonstration purposes. –  user92382 Dec 4 '12 at 11:59

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