So I am going to test out the virtualization world with one of my servers...
The box is a dual quad core, 4 GB Ram, 3x73 GB HD.
I am rebuilding the server from scratch with Windows Server 2008, and then I am going to install VMware Server. I am looking for some advice as to how to configure the host:
1. I am NOT going to install a RAID, so I will have approx. 225 GB of HD space; should I create 2 partitions, one for the host and one for the virtual instances? If so, how big should I create the C: partition (40 gb ?)?
2. I read it over and over, but is the VMware Server really free?
In regards to VMWare Server: it is indeed free, as well as ESXi, which I would recommend over it, however I think you will not be able to sell the virtual servers you create, as well as have some other commercial limitations. You should really consider e-mailing their sales dept. as well as reading any documentation you can find on the matter.
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Ok, now, again: I really believe that you can't sell VMWare-based VPSs, you should contact VMWare to confirm. I also would suggest that you use ESX/ESXi instead of VMWare server/Windows. If you decide to use VMWare server, use Linux as the host OS: it will leave you A LOT more resources for your VMs.
don't use RAID-5 unless you have a controller with battery-backed cache. If you don't have battery-backed cache: write performance will be horrible, for example, an HP P400 gave me 20MB/s without battery (7 disks array).
Btw, what is the CPU brand/model? most modern CPUs actually support 64 bits. You may be surprised. Also, make sure you have VT enabled on the server's BIOS.
Also, I read somewhere there was serious problems with Hyper-V, so, make a good research before you are tempted to use it (I can't find the link right now, and I have *never* used it, so, this is *not* my personal opinion).
And: any particular reason on why to use Windows 2008 as host OS? Linux less resources-hungry, and thus will let you run more VPSs.
Cool, make sure write cache is enabled. Nevertheless, RAID 1+0 use to have better performance, but will lose 1/2 of disk space .
My cluster is all Windows 2008. My lack of Linux knowledge has lead me to Windows (image that..).
my.... so hard to believe!
On the other hand, there is plenty of people (like me) who have left Windows on their pasts, why?: cost, security, performance, and flexibility: One could be able to modify the system to do what you want to do, for example: Vserver patches to kernel let you create vservers VPSs. Tomoyo (http://tomoyo.sourceforge.jp/) lets you implement MAC (Mandatory Access Control) to your system without SELinux. All of these modifications have been possible because of Linux being GPL software (I wonder is are there any freely available modifications to Windows so deep as Tomoyo).
You can find plenty of people willing to help you with the migration from Windows to Linux, you pay someone as "2nd level" support until you feel comfortable, but first you must be able to give 1st level support, for that: you can start playing around with a Linux VM, and then, install Linux on dual-boot config on your system Ubuntu es very user-friendly, but I, personally, like Debian the best.
I guess the big question is whether I run Hyper-V or VMware. VMware would be my choice, but that could be an expensive choice. I may try Hyper-V out since I am fully licensed for it.
VMWare ESX or ESXi. Will give you the greater amount of free resources, and you will not need Linux knowledge. Also, you will be able to create Windows (any) or Linux (any) VMs on the same system.
ESX will almost certainly require a raid card for the VMFS stores (where you store the virtual machines) performance will be very poor without batter backed Write cache on the raid card (BBWC). Raid card shoud be on the esx compatability list
Even customers looking for cheap solutiosn will expect raid as part of your solution.
I would recomemd this over using vmware server but its going to cost. As said before my understanding is your are not allowed to sell VPS machine son the free version of ESXi (this may also apply to vmware server). You will have to check on the other paid for versions. Single host license is going to cost $500 I would think.
VMware also offer a service provider agreement like microsofts SPLA. but minimum buy in for this is £500 GBP per month if memory servs me correctly for a certian amount of virtual machines. the price VM goes down with quantity.
VMware certainly isnt the way to go for a profitable solution, and I dont think the consolidation ratios are as high compared with other hypervisors. But it does have some good features and is very user friendly
Well this turned out to be a fun exercise today...
I wound up rebuilding the OS to remove the 2 partitions and just have 1 big partition (I filled up the original 12 gb primary on the install).
I installed Windows Server 2008 x64 with a RAID 5 Config. Loaded all of the updates and virus protection. Added the Hyper-V role to the server.
I have 2 physcal NIC's on the server, I am using 1 for the host and 1 for Hyper-V. This part is starting to get interesting...I assigned a static IP address (xx.229) to the NIC 1 for the host and I did NOT assign a static IP to NIC 2; is this correct as my understanding is that NIC 2 acts as a virtual switch? Then I if want to assign a static IP to a VM instance, I assign it the same way I would normally.