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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, VMWare ESXi in Technical; Just looking to install VMWare ESXi on a new server as our first step towards virtualisation and have a couple ...
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    jack0w's Avatar
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    VMWare ESXi

    Just looking to install VMWare ESXi on a new server as our first step towards virtualisation and have a couple of questions.

    Having registered and downloaded ESXi it would appear the installation CD is not in the format to install onto a server running Windows Server. In the past all the demos I've seen of virtualisation (even with VMWare) there has been a build of Windows Server running on the host, with VMWare ESX installed as an application on top and from that the VMs are created.

    Is there an option to install it in this way for ESXi? Or is there a good reason for not doing it in this way?

    My second question leads on from this.... If ESXi runs in its own kind of OS (?) how will this effect licencing for the VMs running on this server. We were looking to purchase Windows Server 2003 Enterprise to take advantage of the right to install 2003 on upto 4 VMs on the host machine, however if the server is not running Enterprise on the host would we still be licenced to run 2003 on the 4 VMs?

    Also any recommendations on the partitioning of disks? We're looking to initially just run the VMs from the local disks in the server we've bought, although in the future we will be looking at a larger implementation along with a SAN. Would it be best to have a small partition for ESXi and individual partitions for the virtual disks for each server? Or would one large partition be the best way to go?

    Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!

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    Midget's Avatar
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    ESXi is a hypervisor (like Xen and Microsofts one)

    It IS the host

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    plexer's Avatar
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    If you bought enterprise server and installed it on esxi I presume you're still fine to install it on 4 other vm's you may even be allowed 5 if it isn't installed on a physical host itself.

    As midget said esxi installs itself as the os on your server so you have lower overheads.

    It's great

    Ben

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    As Midget says - VMWare becomes the host operating system, you don't install it into Windows, you delete windows and install it directly onto the server's storage.

    As such if you use VMWare you will not have 4 free Windows 2003 virtual machine licences, as you only get the 4 free Windoes 2003 virtual machine licences if you are using Windows 2008 in Hyper-v mode.

    As for storage, it is better to use a SAN from the off though you can use indivital hard drives in the local server as long as they are SCSI and preferably all configured as one raid array.

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    Midget's Avatar
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    i've been playing with it and it's pretty good, havent tried it as a DC yet but SQL seems happy on it. OSX doesn't annoyingly.

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    As such if you use VMWare you will not have 4 free Windows 2003 virtual machine licences, as you only get the 4 free Windoes 2003 virtual machine licences if you are using Windows 2008 in Hyper-v mode.
    http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...vironments.doc


    Each software license allows you to run, at any one time, four instances of the server software in four OSEs on one server. If all four instances you run are in virtual OSEs, you may also run an instance in the physical OSE solely to run hardware virtualization software, provide hardware virtualization services, or run software to manage and service OSEs on the licensed server.
    The OSE (operating system environment) isn't limited to windows

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    ESXi is a type 1 hypervisor (bare bones) and is designed to be the underlaying OS.

    VMware server runs in another OS.

    Personally i've moved away from the idea of using MS Hyper-V and enterprise and gone more towards ESXi. ESXi has a much smaller foorprint than the bloated hyper-v, more memory per host and more memory per VM.

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    jack0w's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your comments, very helpful indeed!

    What does interest me is what version of server are you running on your VMs? As I'm aware that different versions of Server 2003 have different limitations on memory. Presumably the VM will only 'see' what ever portion of memory is allocated to that particular VM? Or will all memory be available to all servers per say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack0w View Post
    Thanks for all your comments, very helpful indeed!

    What does interest me is what version of server are you running on your VMs? As I'm aware that different versions of Server 2003 have different limitations on memory. Presumably the VM will only 'see' what ever portion of memory is allocated to that particular VM? Or will all memory be available to all servers per say?
    It is up to you. You can create a resource pool which shares a chunk of memory (if you wanted to, it could be all the memory, bar a bit for running ESXi), and attach VMs to that, or you can assign memory to each machine.

    Personally, I only host linux vms on ESXi and VMWare Server at the moment.

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    After seeing how good VmWare Converter is at converting machines - - I think ESXi is the way to go.

    Hoping to get a new server in April with ESXi embedded and can get rid virtualise some of our old low spec app / web servers. Would be a good start!

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    jack0w's Avatar
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    Thanks ever so much for all your comments, I now have our new server setup with ESXi ready to virtualise our first server!

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