[CentOS] Virtualization - what do You recommend?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 17:02:35 UTC 2010

On 2/2/2010 10:43 AM, John R Pierce wrote:
>> I plan to use virtualization in my production environment. I plan to
>> use one of the following options:
>> - KVM;
>> - VMWare Esxi;
>> - VMWare Workstation.
>> I plan to install Windows 2008 as a guest. I want to use something
>> like LVM snapshots for backups. Stability is also very important, the
>> guest will be used as a production server.
>> Which option could You recommend and why?
> does KVM in CentOS have native virtualization 'drivers' for Win2008
> server? if not, I wouldn't run it in a production environment.
> I wouldn't use Vmware Server/Workstation for a production server,
> either. I found VMWare server 2.x quite unstable on a number of
> different configurations, and the performance is considerably lower than
> the native hypervisor style virtualization like ESX(i)
> VMWare ESX(i), assuming your hardware is supported, works great. Rock
> solid, very good performance, excellent support for windows, linux,
> solaris, etc guests. VMware supports copy-on-write snapshots, too.
> re backups, you do know Windows Server has its own snapshot feature for
> taking backups, known as VSS (Volume Snapshot Services) ?
> do note, snapshots are an AID to backups, they aren't a substitute for
> proper offsite archived backups for emergency recovery. For instance,
> they won't protect against system hardware failure. Any, a volume with
> too many snapshots pending tends to bog down considerably in disk IO
> performance.

I have to agree that ESXi is better, but I've had VMware server running 
for years (mostly 1.x versions on CentOS 3.x, but also some CentOS 5.x 
and VMware 2.x) with no surprises other than jumpy clocks.  The servers 
have sometimes been shut down for power work but I've probably had more 
than a year of uptime for some intervals on C3 boxes running 3 windows 
guests.  I rarely use the vmware console though - I prefer to vnc 
directly to the guests once everything is set up.  The one advantage of 
Server vs. ESXi is that you can run things on the host natively if you 

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

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