Jump to content

Virtual Machine Server


Hyde
 Share

VM server and Operating System Poll  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. What Virtual Machine Server solution should I use?

    • VMware
      23
    • Micro$oft Virtual Machine
      1
    • Virtual Box
      3
  2. 2. What operating system should I use?

    • Windows XP x64
      4
    • Windows Vista x64
      3
    • Windows Server 2003
      7
    • Ubuntu
      6
    • Fedora Core
      2
    • Other Linux or BSD Distro
      4


Recommended Posts

I would like your opinions and insight on the questions I have below.

I am built this machine for a community project.

Here is a link as to what I am trying to do with this server

http://hak5.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=12125

First off here is the info on the machine.

Machine:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550

ASUS P5Q Motherboard - RAID 5 (On board support)

8GB DDR2 1066

5 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - RAID 5

CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91

I am looking for a free solution for a Virtual Machine server. What VM server should I be using? VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, Virtual Box?

What operating system should I use? I want to get the best performance as I can. I currently have Windows Vista x64 available to me and any version of Linux imaginable. I am thinking about getting Windows Server 2003, not sure if there is any benefit to getting it or Windows XP x64. (Not a Linux expert but I have been tinkering with it for years)

Reason why I haven't gone straight to Linux is because I am having major issues setting up RAID 5 on Linux. I am using the RAID on the Motherboard (0 and 1 is also available).

I did a trail of Windows Server 2003, installed it, configured RAID 5 and it worked. Not sure if I want to use Windows Server 2003, not liking it. I was thinking Windows XP Pro x64 because there are drivers that support the motherboard support RAID 5.

Those are my questions and thanks in advance for the input and suggestions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Specification looks ok, but you can make some improvements.

Firstly decide whether you'll user a embedded style hypervisor or whether you want to run an operating system running the hypervisor. You'll get better performance from the former, but hardware support is more limited.

On the actually hardware specification. I wouldn't bother with the PC8500 RAM, servers aren't for overclocking, you want it stable and dependable, especially if you are running multiple services from it.

Also RAID 5 isn't the best solution as you'll receive pretty poor performance from it, especially with running lots of servers on it. Look at RAID 10, its better for redundancy and performance, so you'll want either 4 or 6 hard drives with that. If you go with hardware raid (which you should only consider) then you'll have no problems with Linux and RAID, its all in the hardware, if you didn't guess already.

Finally, consider AMD, the Phenom II is a really good processor and very cheap compared to the Intel offerings, it also does well with these types of applications.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would avoid building a server and instead take a look at either Dell or HP. Not only do you get nifty things like next-day onsite hardware support (or 4hr call outs if you pay), you also get 100% compatibility between the hardware and things like hyper-v, xen or esx/esxi (more on this later). Servers need server parts for a reason, mainly because consumer kit is designed to be used like standard pc while a server is designed to be run solidly for 2-3 years. If a disk fails your warrenty covers the replacement, usually with one 15min call to Dell, no having to sort out an RMA with newegg or whoever and waiting a week for a new disk.

I would recommend that you look at the Dell PowerEdge 2950 III or 2970, I've used 2950's for several ESX and ESXi production systems and they are worth spending money on. If you want to go so far as having DAS (directly attached storage) then the R805 is very much up your street. It has ESXi built into the firmware so from the moment you power it up, its a 100% fully functional VM server.

As for the virtualization software I have used both hyper-v and ESX/ESXi. ESXi is where virtualization is today. Very small footprint and the performance is great. Very simple to use and its free if you forego things like vMotion or Consolidated Backup. Hyper-V is also good, but its a less mature product and it will take several revisions for Microsoft to get this right, very much worth keeping your eye on though.

As for RAID layouts, use RAID5 for virtual drives that will serve information and RAID1 or RAID10 for the drives the virtual machines will use to store the OS partitions, depending on the speed of your disks (7.2K nearlines, 10K or 15K SAS).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VaKo, I don't think I need something like that. I think I will be fine with what I have, plus I don't have the money =P. But thank you for your great suggestion!

Specification looks ok, but you can make some improvements.

Firstly decide whether you'll user a embedded style hypervisor or whether you want to run an operating system running the hypervisor. You'll get better performance from the former, but hardware support is more limited.

On the actually hardware specification. I wouldn't bother with the PC8500 RAM, servers aren't for overclocking, you want it stable and dependable, especially if you are running multiple services from it.

Also RAID 5 isn't the best solution as you'll receive pretty poor performance from it, especially with running lots of servers on it. Look at RAID 10, its better for redundancy and performance, so you'll want either 4 or 6 hard drives with that. If you go with hardware raid (which you should only consider) then you'll have no problems with Linux and RAID, its all in the hardware, if you didn't guess already.

Finally, consider AMD, the Phenom II is a really good processor and very cheap compared to the Intel offerings, it also does well with these types of applications.

Actually, I already have the equipment above built. But thanks for the hardware suggestions.

Thanks for suggesting the embedded hypervisor. I haven't considered that at all. I will look into it.

As for using RAID 5, I was thinking the same thing as you and originally I was going to use 10 (0,1) but my roommate insisted RAID 5 didn't have poor performance. Which doesn't make since when you look how RAID 5 works. (Also I don't like the fact I lose a good amount of space with RAID 5)

Thanks for confirming my thoughts. I will be switching to RAID 10.

I am leaning towards VMware. I've used them all (Virtual Box, Virtual Server, and VMware). I've liked VMware the most thus far but it has been over a year.

Also here is a link as to what I am trying to do with this server

http://hak5.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=12125

Thank you for the suggestions everyone. Keep them coming.

Update:

ALSO:

VaKo and stingwray, I think I am going to use VMware ESXi. It sounds like an excellent option for me and a free one! You two rock! THANKS again! I'm going to test it out tonight XD. I will keep you informed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may have over-egged the pudding somewhat lol.

BTW, you can boot ESXi from a USB stick which could be better then installing it. It doesn't use swap space as it takes 512MB of RAM for this instead.

http://blog.mechanised.com/2008/07/how-to-...table-esxi.html

I was looking for someone to point that out!

The idea that you need one of those OS's to run VMware means that somebody doesn't understand VMware.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its more of an appliance than an OS, so you may need to buy additional kit that is on the HCL (hardware compatibility list) in order for it to run. This is why it needs a proper server in most cases. If your just looking at Windows VM's I would suggest hyper-v which is also free (go microsoft!) as it will run on anything that boots server 2008 x64 and has hardware vt. VMware server will sit on top of linux or windows if you need linux, but as its not a hypervisor based vm it will be slower.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its more of an appliance than an OS, so you may need to buy additional kit that is on the HCL (hardware compatibility list) in order for it to run. This is why it needs a proper server in most cases. If your just looking at Windows VM's I would suggest hyper-v which is also free (go microsoft!) as it will run on anything that boots server 2008 x64 and has hardware vt. VMware server will sit on top of linux or windows if you need linux, but as its not a hypervisor based vm it will be slower.

"VMware server will sit on top of linux or windows if you need linux, but as its not a hypervisor based vm it will be slower."

"VMware server" is a windows or linux application, yes. ESX and ESXi is an operating system and offers far better performance than VMware server. VMware server is the free version of VMware workstation and ESXi is the free version of ESX.

Put an ESX box next to a hyper V box and I guarantee that the guest OS will run better and faster on VMware.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True, VMware have a massive lead over Microsoft in this field but I would still keep an eye on Hyper-V as it will get better. Give it some time and still have a play with it. Hyper-V is still a better solution than VMware server (the distiction between esx and vmware server should be apparent by now).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys, I am going to check out Xen today when I get home from work. Xen is a open source Hypervisor project. Hopefully it will support my system! *crosses fingers*

Edit:

I doubt it will work. Most embedded solutions are for actual servers with specific hardware =[. I think I will try a optimized linux OS for hypervisor. Any idea on that? I am going to continue my research. -Life is study-

Update:

I found oVirt which I believe is a project for an embedded hypervisor by red hat. It has some potential to work. It is in beta but I can get the installs. I will report back with more information later tonight on that.

Update2:

oVirt isn't what I thought it was. It is a interesting idea but I don't need it for what I will be doing.

Looks like I will try a Linux install, probably Fedora Core 10 or ubuntu with VMware. I will see how that runs and report back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys, I am going to check out Xen today when I get home from work. Xen is a open source Hypervisor project. Hopefully it will support my system! *crosses fingers*

Edit:

I doubt it will work. Most embedded solutions are for actual servers with specific hardware =[. I think I will try a optimized linux OS for hypervisor. Any idea on that? I am going to continue my research. -Life is study-

Update:

I found oVirt which I believe is a project for an embedded hypervisor by red hat. It has some potential to work. It is in beta but I can get the installs. I will report back with more information later tonight on that.

Update2:

oVirt isn't what I thought it was. It is a interesting idea but I don't need it for what I will be doing.

Looks like I will try a Linux install, probably Fedora Core 10 or ubuntu with VMware. I will see how that runs and report back.

http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/cat/45

VMware did most of the work for you, here are the preinstalled virtual machines ready to download and import.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran vmware server on ubuntu-server before I converted everything to ESX. You should be able to get a nice functional system going on ubuntu in no time. You may out grow this at some point, as vmware server is not much of a system.

Have you looked at vmware ESXi? That solves the problem of needing to figure out which mother OS to put your hypervisor on, and its free, and has most of the bells and whistles of ESX. It has some pretty restrictive hardware requirements though, so you will want to look at all that shiz first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran vmware server on ubuntu-server before I converted everything to ESX. You should be able to get a nice functional system going on ubuntu in no time. You may out grow this at some point, as vmware server is not much of a system.

Have you looked at vmware ESXi? That solves the problem of needing to figure out which mother OS to put your hypervisor on, and its free, and has most of the bells and whistles of ESX. It has some pretty restrictive hardware requirements though, so you will want to look at all that shiz first.

Yeah.... I looked at ESXi already. Doesn't support my equipment ='[. I might have to go with a windows based system TT_TT. I've been doing my research on my motherboard and there isn't a lot of support out there for it's chipset and such in linux. Makes me very annoyed. I want to get RAID 0 to work but it doesn't see the volumes in ubuntu. I know I can get it to work if I don't use RAID but I want to use RAID so I might be force to use Windows Vista x64 or Windows XP x64. Very annoy!

But I am still going to dig deeper. Wish me luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VMware Server on top of some form of x64 Windows it is then. Shame about ESXi but hey, and I wouldn't feel to bad about not using Linux as the host OS either, its doesn't have a huge advantage over Windows as a host OS at the end of the day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't need the appliances right now. I need to install a Virtual Machine system first with an OS or embedded but thanks for the link!

The appliances are just the download section. I gave you a link to a bunch of Linux distros already installed on VMDK files. You just import them and turn them on. Linux is ready to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...