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ianw1974

VMware ESXi now free!

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Yes, you read it correct. VMware ESXi which used to cost around $500 is now free! Download here:

 

http://www.vmware.com/download/esxi/

 

it's much faster than virtualisation with VMware Server 1.x, 2.x BETA and other virtualisation like VirtualBox.

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They had VMware Server for installation within Linux, etc. VMware ESXi is basically a very small 32MB (Linux) or so install, so that the whole system is virtualised, rather than having a host os like VMware Server, Virtual Box, etc. It basically means with the very small install, you have more of the system available for virtualisation.

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I am going to ask a rather stupid question here, but, what is the purpose of VMware? Although I realise one can run a choice of operating systems with this method, but surely to run one of the many OS's one still has to sort of install the chosen OS and therefore not really gain anything! Or am I on the wrong track, or even off my trolley?

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Normally, people have been dual booting having Windows and Linux on the same machine for example. The problem was, you couldn't use Linux AND Windows at the same time, therefore continually rebooting into one or the other. With virtualisation through VMware, VirtualBox, Xen, etc, etc, you can boot into Linux like normal, and then if you need Windows, you can simply start your virtual machine and access it within Linux.

 

However, Virtualisation normally goes further by consolidating machines onto one hardware platform. For example, instead of buying three or four physical machines, you can buy one machine and then run four machines on it (providing of course the hardware has enough memory, etc). This therefore saves you money in the long run, as well as not having four machines powered up at the same time.

 

VMware ESXi isn't one that runs in a host OS like VMware Server or VirtualBox. It's it's own contained minimal OS (about 32MB) and therefore the rest of the hardware is used for virtualisation and nothing else. Means more resources available for the virtual machines instead of the host OS taking a load.

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I'll give a nice example. I have a Intel Quad Core processor system, with 8GB of RAM and 4 x 500GB hard disk drives in a Raid 10 array, therefore giving me striping and mirroring. Of course, this means now I only have 1TB of disk space total instead of 2TB, but that's OK. This will then run VMware ESXi once I change the Raid Controller, since the one I currently have is unsupported. I already have this, so should change it tomorrow. Because of the specs of this nice beefy server, I'll be running a load of virtual machines on it. Thus meant, I didn't have to buy three or four servers to do the same job, and saved a few thousand quid. That's also not counting the electricity I save running only one physical server instead of three or four :)

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Now I feel a right plonker :clown: I never even thought about you guys with real serious gear. I did say it was a stupid question though!

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Well, technically it's not mine, it's in the office :)

 

Although I'm expecting to buy one similar to build up and install at home for replicated services in case of an outage on the main server. And it wasn't a stupid question. There's never a stupid question. In it's simplest form, most people are using VMware or virtualisation in general for other machines so that they don't have to keep dual-booting and rebooting into either OS when both can be run at the same time. Mine's just something being done from a business point-of-view when I consolidate servers, etc.

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have you tried this yet ian?

 

I admin'ed 3 dell 2850s that were running esx a year ago .. but didn't do it long enough to really come to terms with it.

 

I currently have a stack of 12 dell 860's running vmware server .. but also have an IBM blade chassis that I'm thinking of putting esx on

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Nope not yet, as waiting for cables to go from SAS controller to SATA disks. But when they arrive hopefully this week, I shall be checking it out.

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o_O that reminds me !!!

 

you haven't got an external multi channel sas controller working under linux have you?

 

I've got a 5 bay caddy thing, but can only find a controller that works with windows :'(

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Nope, sadly not, all I've been using are LSI SAS1068 internal ones using MPTSAS module.

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I'll give a nice example. I have a Intel Quad Core processor system, with 8GB of RAM and 4 x 500GB hard disk drives in a Raid 10 array, therefore giving me striping and mirroring. Of course, this means now I only have 1TB of disk space total instead of 2TB, but that's OK. This will then run VMware ESXi once I change the Raid Controller, since the one I currently have is unsupported. I already have this, so should change it tomorrow. Because of the specs of this nice beefy server, I'll be running a load of virtual machines on it. Thus meant, I didn't have to buy three or four servers to do the same job, and saved a few thousand quid. That's also not counting the electricity I save running only one physical server instead of three or four :)

 

It is also perfect for quick backups and recovery of entire systems, just think run xp virtualised and at the end of the day recover to the previous image in a snap....

Edited by ffi

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I've got my VMware ESXi Server up and running now :)

 

There's only a Windows client though, there's no Linux client for it.

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