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

Fri Nov 9 21:03:59 UTC 2007
Scott Dowdle <dowdle at montanalinux.org>


----- "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  I'm a little outdated on them both.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 VMware's.

> 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
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