[CentOS] Virtualization platform choice

Sun Mar 27 15:42:36 UTC 2011
Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com>

On 3/27/11 4:57 AM, Jussi Hirvi wrote:
> Some may be bored with the subject - sorry...
> Still not decided about virtualization platform for my "webhotel v2"
> (ns, mail, web servers, etc.).
> KVM would be a natural way to go, I suppose, only it is too bad CentOS 6
> will not be out in time for me - I guess KVM would be more mature in
> CentOS 6.
> Any experience with the free "VMware vSphere Hypervisor"?. (It was
> formerly known as "VMware ESXi Single Server" or "free ESXi".)
> http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/overview.html
> I would need a tutorial about that... For example, does that run without
> a host OS? Can it be managed only via Win clients? Issues with CentOS
> 4/5 guests (all my systems are currently CentOS 4/5).

The free ESXi version is very good.  While it doesn't support all the bells and 
whistles of the paid version, there are hardly any disadvantages compared to 
running the VMs on physical machines.  You do have to use a windows box to 
manage it (with the advantage of being able to use the media on the client for 
the install source), but once the guest networking is up you can use whatever 
you would use for remote access to a physical box (vnc, ssh, X, freenx, etc.) 
directly to the guest - so the windows box doesn't have to be server-quality or 
available all the time.  You might even be able to use the converter tool to 
migrate your running systems there - I've usually been able to do that with 
windows systems but couldn't get it to recognize my linux boxes with software 
raid (and didn't try any others since they aren't that hard to re-create). By 
the way, the current version of ESXi permits ssh without the 'unsupported' hack 
so you can copy images over scp or to/from an nfs mount, but it's not all that 
much faster than running the converter tool on another machine anyway.

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com