Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, VMware ESX / MS Virtual Server 2005 in Technical; We were planning to go to a Fujitsu blade system with VMware ESX over this summer break and move towards ...
6th August 2008, 11:19 AM #1
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VMware ESX / MS Virtual Server 2005
We were planning to go to a Fujitsu blade system with VMware ESX over this summer break and move towards a completely virtual environment. All was going to plan and looking too good to be true when suddenly the company that promised us the prices suddenly said they couldn't meet our budget after months of saying they could.
We're a bit stuck now and running out of time, so we were wondering what the MS Virtual Server 2005 is like, apparently it's free (!) compared to a few thousand pounds per blade for VMWare.
Has anyone had any experience of the two that can offer a little advice either way please? It would be much appreciated.
6th August 2008, 11:46 AM #2
Have you checked whether the hardware can run the now free VMWare ESXi (VMware ESXi Hypervisor Now Free - VMware) it does not have all of the managment feature that ESX has but it could work for you.
In my dealings with Virtual Server 2005 it was not as fast or resource efficient as VMWare. Your other option could be using Windows 2008 with hyper-v as your virtualisation OS, your hosted servers could still run 2003 just fine.
Your other option would be looking at running something like CentOS with VirtualBox or Xen if it is still around. This would be free if you are interested in going this way dhicks on this forum would probably be useful to have a chat with.
6th August 2008, 01:04 PM #3
This has worked very well for me, CentOS 5.1 simply installs Xen when you select the "virtualisation" option on the CD install wizard, you don't have to do anything else. I've now got a copy of Windows Server 2008 running as a virtual machine under Xen, too, so I can assure you that that works fine. Xen should, actually, be able to run Windows in a VM from a command-line only install, but I haven't tried that yet - I simply installed a standard GUI desktop for the machines I wanted to run Windows VMs on.
Originally Posted by SYNACK
I use DRBD to mirror virtual disk images between machines for failover purposes - if you're using a blade system you'll probably be planning to use a SAN of some kind, and I'm sure CentOS can install an iSCISI driver easily enough.
If you don't know, CentOS is simply Red Hat repackaged to remove any proprietary logos and whatnot. If you want support for your system then there's nothing stopping you from buying Red Hat.
Seemingly, Red Hat might be moving from using Xen to something else (KVM?) in the future (Xen was made by researchers at an MS-sponsored lab in Cambridge, and is now owned by Citrix, who are good friends with MS). I don't know how relevant this is - it might be that at some pointy you'll need to convert all your VMs over to a new system. I figure to use a platform-agnostic management console of some kind (Enomalism, Eucalyptus, etc) and hopefully not even notice which VM system I'm using in the end.
6th August 2008, 04:28 PM #4
Have you thought about using Server 2008 and Hyper-V?
We're using it here.
Enterprise (upto 4 lvirtual machines) runs at about £200
Datacentre (unlimited) runs at about £250.
Thanks to saundersmatt from:
7th August 2008, 10:40 AM #5
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Thanks everyone, we're currently researching the VMWare ESXi solution and trying to work that into the solution we were originally quoted for as that is the closest. Pretty amazing that it's free now! You gotta love VMWare.
Nothing like being thrown in at the deep end....
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