Archive for the ‘ Virtualization ’ Category

“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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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.