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  1. #1

    Hosting a LAN using VMWAre

    Does anyone think this is feasable? For instance, we all see web servers hosted in the "cloud", as well as pay per user exchange and other mail servers.

    Now, what if I wanted to host all my servers (web, email, file, domain controller, and several application servers) at a data center using Vmware.

    I did some research and found out that the cost of creating a private cloud (VMWARE licensing alone) would be prohibitive. Is there a way to rent/lease a "private cloud"? Or perhaps I would not even mind if we shared space with others on the server(s) on a "public cloud".

    Any ideas on if VPS (or other types of) hosters that could provide this service?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Look into XEN. I don't know if their Microsoft support is good enough to go production yet, but I know it is getting a lot better. If you are successful with it let me know!

  3. #3
    I have been working on this for a bit using ESX. I've gotten it to work for the most part, but am having a tough time of figuring out how migrations, would work, and if it is all even worth the effort...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Being worth the effort is entirely related to why you considered doing it the the first place. Might want to put more thought into that. Cloud is still pretty bleeding edge, as far as hosting goes, so you may want to reconsider your motivations.

  5. #5
    I think my goal is to have a commercially viable way to offer small/mid businesses a hosted LAN, Everything from Desktops to servers and possibly switches, which they could pay for on a monthly rental basis. I may be wrong here but it was my belief that while VPS does this to some degree, something about the "networking" component of the equation is lost or degraded, when for example you put a dc, exchange and file server in the cloud. Meaning, do they communicate with each other as they would in the physical space (TCP/IP at network speeds)? NOt sure about this...

    THis is why I thought Vmware... b/c it claims to manage those details (given the right conditions and gobs of money in licensing fees)...

    Your thoughts?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    As far as I am aware, VPS and Cloud computing are two totally different things. You seem to be switching back and fourth between the two. Virtual Machines are just a software computer, that runs inside a hardware computer. Usually there are multiple computers on 1 hardware computer. Cloud computing spreads these VMs between several hardware computers scattered across a network. A sloppy way to describe cloud computing is: cloud computing is to virtual machines as raid is to drive partitions.

    To answer your final question, just your virtualization platform should support a good bit of networking, but this is an area that I am not very experienced in. The only other advice I can give you is just to keep researching until you find out what you need to know. Another thing to keep in mind is there are 3 major VM server applications that exist right now. VMWare, Xen, and Microsoft Virtual Server. ALL other products are based off of xen (inluding sun's virtualbox). Hope that helped you, at least a bit!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Ask a dozen people what the "cloud" means and you should expect a dozen answers. You're on the right track that virtualizing the servers can provide a solution. Not to detract from astarnes but there are some other major players(technologies) in the virtualization market as well such as KVM(now favored by Red Hat and Ubuntu over Xen), OpenVZ, Solaris Containers and the list can keep going depending on the type of technology.

    Can you put all of your environment with a standard VPS provider? Sure but probably not ideal. Normally you you have some of your own physcial servers running some kind of virtualization behind a firewall/router and suddenly you have what some might consider a private cloud. With the virtualization of storage and we're now seeing the same thing with the network this is becoming a real solution with off the shelf hardware. Get yourself a 4 socket, 6 core Opteron....24 cores and suddenly you've got yourself a pretty powerful environment in 1U. Add a storage filer and you're in business.

    You might want to check out Sun's Crossbow project. While many have been raving about ZFS/Dtrace/Virtualbox, I think the Crossbow project is just as important if not more so.

    With that said, I'm waiting for 2010 so we can learn a new buzzword. I'm burned out on the "cloud." Even SOA is not such an earache anymore.
    Last edited by Ceetoe; 10-07-2009 at 05:19 PM. Reason: oopsies and typos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Check out AppLogic. You can either get your own virtual private data center where you can provision your own VMs on dedicated hardware (which can be made redundant/highly available), or you could just get the VMs direct on someone elses AppLogic grid.

    It runs Windows and linux on the same platform very well.
    Jo Stonehouse -
    Shared Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Cloud VPS & Dedicated Servers
    UK: 0800 138 3235 ❘ USA: 1-800-995-8256

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