“How did I get a rack of boat anchors?” or why you can’t afford NOT to virtualize

Wherever I have worked, there’s a lot of servers laying around that aren’t doing a whole lot.  A fundamental benefit of virtualization is better utilization of resources.  In a virtualized environment, you *DON’T* have a bunch of unused capacity.

Hardware acquisitions work something like this:

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Comparison of Citrix XenServer Essentials with VMware vSphere Essentials

XenServer is free.  vSphere is pricey, or so they say.  You really need to compare feature by feature.

Some of the key features that virtualization users want are:

  • Hypervisor (XenServer or vSphere)
  • Central multi-hypervisor management (XenCenter or vCenter)
  • If a physical host fails, restart virtual machines on surviving hosts (XenServer High Availability or VMware HA)
  • Move a virtual machine from host to host while running (XenMotion or vMotion)
  • Backup and recovery for virtual machines (No Citrix equivalent or VMware Data Recovery)

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I passed the VMware Certified Professional on Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VCP3) exam!

I took the VCP310 exam for VCP3 on 5 Oct 2009 and passed!  Here’s my thoughts on the test and how I prepared for it.


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How we use virtualization in the Computer Science Department at Cal Poly, SLO

Historically, students and to a smaller degree faculty members, have requested server or other computing resources from the department to support projects or instruction.  In the past, the department was unable to satisfy these requests in a wholly satisfactory fashion.  Often students were given “yesterday‘s” aging hardware to use.  In some cases, depending on what leftover servers were available, they might not get anything at all.

We started experimenting with the possibility of using virtualization to better serve these needs mid 2005.   Read more

Citrix XenServer is easy and free!

Just for grins, I loaded XenServer the other day.  It was *REALLY* easy.  No big surprises, get the installers for XenServer and XenCenter.  Load XenServer on the server you are going to use for a hypervisor host.  Load XenCenter on any old Windows machine.  You have to register for a free license, and then install it.

Compared to a vSphere and vCenter install, it was very simple and easy.

It seems to work well, too.

Upgrade Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 to Windows 7 RC Build 7100

Windows 7 RC is out, and the official party line from Redmond is that you won’t be able to upgrade your January build 7000 beta in place (or any build prior to 7077 for that matter).  Bill wants you to perform a clean install.   Turns out that you CAN upgrade a 7000 install with a few fiddly steps… Read more

Servers4Linux is live!

My new web site, www.Servers4Linux.com, is up and running.  This site is about how to use “industrial strength” server hardware for running Linux. Since I’m on a budget, I like the cheap stuff you can find used. There’s a lot of clueless people selling really expensive server hardware on Ebay for a song. Usually it’s a bit “different” perhaps, say running some exotic CPU architecture or something. That’s good. That means you can get it cheap because “lusers” can’t run Windows on it. Better for you.

Hey! A new wiki!

I’m fiddling with a install of MediaWiki on this server.  After I loaded it, I’ve been tweaking it.  I’m using the Help section to document the tweaks.  So far, I’ve figured out how to add a logo, require users to be logged in in order to make edits, etc.  Check back to see what I’ve tweaked next.

Installing MediaWiki on a default load of Fedora 10

Fedora 10 comes with a mediawiki rpm package.  It sort of works.  Here’s my (messy) notes on how to load MediaWiki on Fedora using the supplied mediawiki package.

Installing MediaWiki on a he.net server

Hurricane Electric (http://he.net) is my ISP and virtual host provider.  I like them.  I recently installed MediaWiki on my he.net server.  It actually was pretty easy, as he.net had pre-installed and pre-configured all the pre-requisites.  Here’s my notes on getting it working.