Lee Marzke on 5 Dec 2009 14:05:11 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Virtual Setup Suggestions Wanted


You left out Vmware ESX which is now free.

The differences from VMware Server to ESX are:
- No underlying OS,  it installed to bare metal.
- ESX is more efficient at sharing common memory between similar VM's (
such as multiple
  Linux OS's )
- ESX can run just about any Guest OS,  even without Intel-VT or AMD-V
- ESX can easily mount external storage vis NFS or iSCSI
- ESX has a build in Linux command line,  while ESXi is much smaller has
has no command line.
- Both ESX and ESXi are managed by a Vmware Client,  you can't manage
  them from their console.
- ESX is picky about hardware - limited support for NIC's and Disk
drivers.  See the info
  in the slides below.

If you running production boxes,  you really should think about having 2
hosts minimum
and live migration support.   Yes you need a SAN for this but you can
use OpenFiler or
something like IOmega Storecenter Pro ix4-100

There is no question that VMware is more expensive ( may be 2X or more )
than the other products,  however you won't need to do any scripting. 
All the Vmotion ( moving
machines between hosts while running )  just works out of the box.   You
also get a disaster
recover option to backup a machines VM disk ( while running ).

To Eval, just install ESXi without a license, and install  VCenter
Server without a license and
you get o play with all the Enterprise features for 60 days.   You do
need a Windows VM for
Vcenter server, and a Windows VM for the VMware Client.

Screenshots of many of the Hypervisors  from PLUG Norths panel
discussion are here:


I currently run about 6 VM's  ( mostly Linux web servers )  on a  Dual
2-core Opteron
1U server with 12GB RAM,  and it has been flawless.


Casey Bralla wrote:
> I'm thinking of replacing most of my servers with a single machine running 
> virtual servers.
> I'm looking for suggestions from the group on which hypervisor to use.   here 
> are my current thoughts:
> Virtualbox
> 1.  I already know it well from the desktop version
> 2.  I could use the open-sourced version, so no licensing issues
> 3.  Requires a full GUI to run under (at least to run it easily)
> 4.  Requires a normal Linux distro to hold the hypervisor
> VMWare Server
> 1.  Not open source, but free, and likely to remain available for a good while
> 2.  I'm not that familiar with it
> 3.  Requires a normal Linux distro to hold the hypervisor
> Xen
> 1.  I'm not at all familiar with it
> 2.  Would need a new CPU ($$ - I've got old hardware) to enable it to run 
> without a separate Linux distro as hypervisor
> 3.  Doesn't produce a "pure" virtual machine unless you have a modern CPU, 
> which I don't have at the moment
> 1.  I'm not familiar with it at all
> Ideally, I'd like to experiment with the system, then purchase some upgraded 
> hardware to run in production.  That pretty much screws Xen.  I really like 
> Virtualbox, but would prefer for the virtualizing software to be the 
> hypervisor.
> Any suggestions from the group?

"Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion..."  - Kryptos

Lee Marzke,  lee@marzke.net   http://marzke.net/lee/
IT Consultant, VMware, VCenter, SAN storage, infrastructure, SW CM
+1 800-393-5217  office         +1 484-348-2230               fax
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