[CentOS-virt] New to the list ... Looking foranyrecommendations inre: VMWare Vs. Xen

Holtz,Robert Robert.Holtz at edwardjones.com
Fri Nov 9 21:25:12 UTC 2007


Thank you again for the excellent feed back.

I still have much hand-wringing and reading to do before falling either
direction.  The hardest past is reading between the lines of all of the
information out there, i.e., marketing fluff. It appears that VMWare
likes to throw the Hypervisor phrase around too but it's a thing on a
thing where my understanding of Xen is that it's tightly coupled with
the OS.  More research!

I'm certain I'll have more questions as I go along.

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-----Original Message-----

From: centos-virt-bounces at centos.org
[mailto:centos-virt-bounces at centos.org] On Behalf Of Scott Dowdle
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 3:04 PM
To: Discussion about the virtualization on CentOS
Subject: Re: [CentOS-virt] New to the list ... Looking
foranyrecommendations inre: VMWare Vs. Xen


----- "Robert Holtz" <Robert.Holtz at edwardjones.com> wrote:
> I've got a few issues that have me vacillating:
> - Ease of use, i.e., I'm being lazy and customizations can be time 
> consuming. :)

If you made that statement regarding installing OpenVZ or Linux-VServer,
they are really easy to install.  OpenVZ is a bit more friendly and
offers a yum repo for both CentOS 4 and 5 and you can get up and running
in about 10 minutes if you follow the OpenVZ quick install guide.  If
you search www.montanalinux.org for openvz you'll find two screencasts
that might be of interest.

Creating guests, once you have an OS Template to install from (download
or create your own), takes about 10 seconds.

> - Xen being built into the CentOS build is a large positive factor.


> - Xen's Express version limitations: 4GB RAM and 4 VM. Bad thing.

Yes, but you can aways buy their non-free products.  They are reasonably
priced.  One main difference is ease of use.  XenSource (which was based
on CentOS last time I checked) has a really nice GUI management
interface and has some additional capabilities not found in
VirtManager... I believe.  I'm a little outdated on them both.
XenSource's management app used to be a multi-platform (Java-based) but
I think the most recent release replaced the GUI app with a Win32 app.
:(  I don't necessarily recommend XenSource over the Xen in RHEL/CentOS
though.  Just depends on what you are looking for.  XenServer is dead
easy to install and the management interface (I've used the previous
version) really is a turnkey type thing.  However if you are familiar
with RHEL/CentOS already, "Red Hat Virtualization" and the VirtManager
are pretty good.

RHEL 5 Update 1 came out this week... and it'll be a little while before
CentOS 5.1 comes out... but there are enough changes in Xen that you'll
probably want to wait for that.

> - Windows 2003 Server is one Guest OS.  There will be several of 
> these, i.e., an M$ infrastructure.

That rules out OpenVZ and Linux-VServer as they can't run other OSes.

> - *nix variants: Solaris and Fedora.

OpenVZ only supports Linux but there are a number of OS Templates (aka
install media) for various distros.

> - The version of VMWare is the freebie.  The unmodified OS support is 
> a big plus.

Yes, but as stated the free VMware Server is not hypervisor based and
has a LOT of overhead compared to Xen and VMware ESX.  If you have
sticker shock over XenSource's products, you'll go into a comma over

> I guess I could run two Linux on Linux VM's and have two Xen hosts 
> running to get around their limitations?

If your talking about needing two Xen hosts so you can run two copies of
the free XenServer Express, I'm guessing a second physical machine costs
more than the XenServer ($495)... but more power to you.

Scott Dowdle
704 Church Street
Belgrade, MT 59714
(406)388-0827 [home]
(406)994-3931 [work]

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