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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    171

    Virtual server questions

    Hi,

    We are setting up a few servers for a new hosting client portfolio we have purchased.

    One of the existing servers is currently runinng specific versions of PHP and MySQL as it is being used to host a custom made CMS solution (which is being used by all end users on the server). The company behind that CMS is a partner of us, and will need root access to that server in order to maintain it.

    Since todays server is getting old (Dual 933Mhz P3s, 3 Gigs RAM) we thought it would be a good idea to repace it with a new server with good specs; something like a Dual CPU Quad Core Xeon 2,5 Ghz with 8 GB RAM) - and then install some kind of virtualization software.

    That way, we should be able to grant root access to the CMS guys, while we could also use the server for other purposes/clients (with up-to-date versions of PHP/MySQL) without any interference.

    Does this make sense to you? Any advice on virtualization software, or general advice for that matter...?

    Regards,

    TMM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,077
    As far as the Virtualization technology goes, it depends a bit on how much load they will be experiencing. IMO Xen handles load much, much better than OpenVZ since the VM's do not interfere with eachother at all, in terms of resources.

    OpenVZ is the one I would reccomend to a new user though, as superior support is available in the form of the OpenVZ Forum/Community.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    322
    Virtualization is definitely a good solution for the problem you described, as it safely keeps access separate.

    However, do you actually need an entire dedicated server? You might consider just purchasing VPS hosting as you need it for various projects, rather than buying one big server and then having to manage the virtualization setup yourself. It also means that you can only pay for the resources you need, and can scale your use over time as things grow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    171
    Thanks for the input, guys..

    Panopta, strictly speaking we really don't need an entire server for this. However, we are purchasing the portfolio from a local ISP and in order to avoid any IP changes and keep the clients within the network (most clients have DSL or fiber connections from that ISP) we have decided to get a new server, which will be located where the old one is today.

    By the way, we've had some experience with Virtuozzo (from VPS hosting packages) - is this an option here?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Farnham, Surrey, UK
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    69
    Virtuozzo would be an option; however its not free. Licences are rather high IMO.

    Xen and OpenVZ are both free.

    It depends what you need though. OpenVZ doesn't have a control panel out of the box, although you can get a third party one and many apps which serve the same function.

    If you were reselling VM's then I would probably recommend Virtuozzo for its client end simplicity but as you have not said you want to do that then an Open Source, free solution is much better for you too, as it would need less resources to run.
    nickcharlton.org.uk - My Tech Blog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    322
    TMM, I see now. In that case, your right - sticking with a server from the same provider makes sense and really simplifies your life. For what you're doing, Xen, OpenVZ or Virtuozzo all make good options. Personally, I'd go with Xen but that's mostly because I've had more experience with it and have some applications that depend on the more complete virtualization that it provides.

    If you go with OpenVZ or Xen, you might want to also setup HyperVM from LXLabs to help with the management of the VPS instances.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    171
    Thanks for your input, we'll be sure to look into OpenVX, Xen and HyperVM as well. An open source solution is probably desireable as we won't be reselling VPS packages as such..

  8. #8
    I recently reviewed VMWare Server (supported version), Xen (RHEL bundle) and OpenVZ (supported version) for a small scale (4 VE on dual core Dell 860) solution for a Client.

    VMWare Server (not ESX) was the easiest to get going but the slowest performance.


    Xen Dom0 documentation is sparse and spread across quite a few config files. Xen did not fare that well and IO on the 860 with the Perc5 and RAID-1 SATA was not good. (I thing that Xen has more hype than other solutions). Xen networking is another beast to setup compared to the others. Get yourself a good book on Xen before attempting to do any specialized or routed networking for the DomUs.


    OpenVZ was easy to configure, understand and get going. Definitely the fastest performer as OpenVZ is similar to Solaris Containers thus avoiding the context switching overhead of Xen and VMWare Server (not ESX). OpenVZ has good documentation, forums, and many more years of experience with virtualization.

    I started my review thinking that is was a waste of time and that Xen would be a natural choice. We settled on OpenVZ (supported version). The Virtuozzo version of OpenVZ provides some advanced performance features. For the purpose of the client, the performance of OpenVZ was acceptable.

    Heres a link to the HP research which I wish I had found prior to all the time we put into Xen.
    http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/2007/HPL-2007-59.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    171
    Thanks, really appreciate your comments on this... it would seem that OpenVZ is likely whay we are looking for. Good support and easy configuration are very strong arguments as far as we're concerned.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL USA
    Posts
    2,781
    If you want an Opensource solution for Xen or KVM. Take a look at http://enomalism.com.

    Very nice piece of software, and it's coming together nicely.

    Mind you, Enomalism is much more than a control panel for Virtualization. It's aimed at deployment on a cloud.
    CloudRck.com - Host on Cloudrck
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    422
    I would recommend HyperVM!
    I would actually choose this over VZZP anyday!
    HyperVM and OpenVZ working together fit my needs very well! However, if you need more of a "Dedicated Server Feel" rather than a VPS, I would go with xen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    47
    I recommend you OpenVZ. It has a very good support and bugs are fixed very fast by the developers. You can also consider Virtuozzo but it's not free.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbrown362003 View Post
    I recently reviewed VMWare Server (supported version), Xen (RHEL bundle) and OpenVZ (supported version) for a small scale (4 VE on dual core Dell 860) solution for a Client.
    Thank you very much for sharing your experience, it was very interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbrown362003 View Post
    I started my review thinking that is was a waste of time and that Xen would be a natural choice. We settled on OpenVZ (supported version). The Virtuozzo version of OpenVZ provides some advanced performance features. For the purpose of the client, the performance of OpenVZ was acceptable.
    Do you use some kind of control panel for your OpenVZ?
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Webcart View Post
    Do you use some kind of control panel for your OpenVZ?
    The OpenVZ API and CLI are well documented and easy to use so no Control Panel for our project. Keep in mind this project only required 4 VEs. I believe OpenVZ has recently released a basic Web based interface to admin & manage the VEs. I do not know if the web based interface is part of the free OpenVZ or the supported OpenVZ (not Virtuosso).

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