[CentOS] VMWare ESXi & CentOS5.4

Michael Dross mdross at wright-weather.com
Fri Feb 5 18:25:11 UTC 2010

I have recently installed ESXi4 on a new HP DL380 G6 with 12GB of memory.
I am running CentOS 5.4 and CentOS 4.8.  A few things I have learned.

First, for best I/O performance you should use the Vmware Paravirtualized 
storage controller driver. It's a little bit of a hassle setting it up. 
You just have to remake the initrd file. This will give about 10% better
disk I/O than using the other emulated controllers.  

I am using in a dual development/operational environment on the same machine
, which is nice. 
You can allocate resource pools, and control how much CPU, Memory each VM or
VM pool gets. 

I have noticed about a * 10-15% * overall performance hit running CentOS on
the ESXi hypervisor compared to bare metal.  If your applications are 
very CPU and/or I/O intensive then there will be a noticeable difference
between bare metal and a hypervises solution.  So the trade off is a
hit vs the easy of features that come with a virtualized setting. 

If you are going to run just one CentOS instance, on the VM, then I wouldn't
think it would be that advantageous to have it on a VM for performance

If you do decide to go with ESXi, you might want to up your memory as you
probably want to run several VM's and memory get's eaten up pretty quickly.


-----Original Message-----
From: centos-bounces at centos.org [mailto:centos-bounces at centos.org] On Behalf
Of Thom Paine
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 12:07 PM
To: CentOS mailing list
Subject: [CentOS] VMWare ESXi & CentOS5.4

I have a brand new Dell Poweredge T310 server with 4G ram and 1TB
raid-5 hard drive in it. I Really only need to be able to run a copy
of CentOS 5.4 on it, but I'm wondering if in the build process should
I stick on ESXi 4 and then run CentOS as a vm? This would give me the
options to roll out other VM's if I want over the life of the server
(which I likely won't need) but the convenience of having them might
be there.

I'm only thinking of doing this because ESXi is free, and won't add
any cost to this server.

This server is going to be a domain controller for 5 workstations
which will run Windows XP,  as well as host 1 website with email. It
will setup a few shares for samba, and have one network printer
attached to it.

Any thoughts to this, or should I just put on CentOS 5.4 and be done
with it? I know it's like asking what everyone's favourite colour is,
but maybe a few replies will give me some ideas.


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