[CentOS] Virtualization platform choice

Ryan Wagoner rswagoner at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 13:38:36 UTC 2011

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 9:16 AM, Eero Volotinen <eero.volotinen at iki.fi> wrote:
> 2011/3/27 Drew <drew.kay at gmail.com>:
>>> 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).
>> vSphere ESX(i) is good product. It runs on bare metal so there is no
>> OS underneath it. ESX has a linux based environment that sort of runs
>> at the hypervisor level that people use for basic admin but VMware is
>> trying to phase that out as most everything you can do with ESX's
>> "console" can be done through ESXi's API's and the remote CLI.
>> Only downside to the free version is certain API's are unavailable and
>> if you need those features you may have to go to a paid version.
> Biggest problem in free esxi is that it lacks backup vcb api, so full
> image backups are almost impossible under free esxi host ..

If you have some money to spend you can solve the backup problem with
VMware's $500 entry level license. The license gives you the vCenter
server software, which can manage 3 ESXi hosts and unlocks a number of
capabilities, like cloning and offline migration. For around $1000 per
server you can look at Veam or Vizioncore for backups. Overall you
can't beat the price for the reliability and ease of use.

Since ESXi is a bare metal hypervisior it doesn't have as many
security vulnerabilities discovered which means less reboots of the
host system. I have been using ESXi since 3.5 with around 8 ESXi
servers now and 50 guests. I have not had a crash of the host ESXi
host and the advanced capabilities (vMotion, Storage vMotion and
Enhanced vMotion Capability (EVC)) have just worked, these do not work
with the $500 license.


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