[Linux-cluster] VMware over GFS?

Brian Kroth bpkroth at gmail.com
Thu Dec 18 19:03:09 UTC 2008

lists at grounded.net <lists at grounded.net> 2008-12-17 17:14:
> Hi Brian,
> > (to balance load, in case an ESX box dies, etc.).  ESX is basically a
> > customized Linux distro.  
> I've not used ESX yet, my servers are VMware Server 2.0 so far. I'm
> wondering if I should be looking at Xen for example rather than trying
> out ESX. I have a handful of win machines and the rest will always be
> linux. The VM server itself will also always be linux. 

ESX is probably tuned better for large scale vm hosting than vmware
server.  You also get the option of a bunch of other bells and whistles
with esx - things like vmotion which it seems you're attempting to
duplicate.  I say option, because you still have to pay for it.  A
single esx box on it's own probably isn't much different than vmware
server running on top of some linux distro.

> > VMotion and HA capabilities runs on a Windows machine only so far as I
> > know.  That's the only Windows requirement in the mix though.  In order
> > to have true HA for VMotion ESX requires shared storage and vmfs.
> Maybe I missed it in your message but did you mention which versions
> of windows this runs on? Does the VM environment work well under win?
> I'm so used to win being bloated, slow, sluggish, it takes huge
> amounts of hardware resources to counter that usually.

You can check out the vmware site for details, but I believe it requires
one of the windows server versions.  

While your comments regarding windows may be true, it doesn't much matter
in this case.  The esx (linux) machines are the ones that actually host
the vms.  Basically all the virtual center (windows) machine does is
coordinate which vms run on which esx machines which involves minimal
amounts of network traffic and cpu.

> I do have centralized storage of various protocols so would be ok there.
> > The downside is that the vmware stuff costs lots of
> > money, even for academic environments.  I've not done any of it with xen
> > but I would assume most of it is possible.  Last I checked xen did not
> > offer snapshot capabilities which is pretty handy.
> The organization I'm helping doesn't have the budget which is why I've
> been using open source, free tools as much as possible. They wasted so
> much money on useless things in the past, I'm trying to help them save
> money and get back on track.
> Cost is always an issue, not for everything but sometimes, for the
> things we do need.
> Mike
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