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Thread: Virtualization

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    Good Times! redxalonso's Avatar




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    Default Virtualization

    between what EMC, VMWare, and Citrix do as they are all in the businesses of virtualization?

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    Waiting for the night Creeping Death's Avatar




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    Ive been playin with VMWare for a few months now.. Im going to try and convince my company that I need to be certified for ESX 3.0.
    And thats how you get ants!

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    Default

    VM is great depending on what you want to do. For testing I refuse to use it as there are very slight differences between running on VMware and a straight OS, but for certain applications it is great.

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    #!/bin/bash quix's Avatar




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    It all depends on how you want to use VMWare.
    If you're an IT guy in a company that houses a lot of servers and you want to virtualize them, then VMWare is a great product. You will need to purchase a powerhouse server to run multiple VMs simultaneously. I've got HP DL585 servers here with 64GB of ram. Each of them run 12 virtual machines. You will also need a SAN. EMC is not as good as some others. I prefer Equallogic. Dell just recently bought them out and their hardware/configuration is second to none in my opinion. VMWare also has lots of helpful tools that make things easier. Their VM Converter has been flawless so far. I've converted over 20 Windows Servers to VMs in the last few months and everything's working just fine

    On the other hand, if you're thinking of doing something at home, then you might want to look into the VMWare Workstation product to play around with OSes. There are several open source alternatives that you might want to give a shot. However, if you plan on purchasing a virtualization product... I recommend VMWare and VMWare only. Virtuozzo and others and not as up to par and stability is always a concern.

    Hope that helps.

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    Slovenian YetAnother's Avatar




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    You should first ask yourself what you want to virtualize. Actually... you first need to clarify is it business or home (small office maybe) use.

    There are many options, just to name a few:
    - hardware consolidation (most common reason)
    - lab/test/edu environment setup (another common thing even though I agree with Blueline here)
    - ease of management/administration (many many examples)
    - disaster recovery/high availability
    - desktop consolidation/thin clients (Citrix, Terminal Services...)
    - infrastructure consolidation (Infiniband, SAN in general...)

    I am a bit rusty on the subject and only know couple of products (no knowledge on Xen, M$, Apple desktop stuff,...) but I won't be far off if I say that only VMware delivers in x86 arena.

    I'm VMware 2.5.X certified myself. Not much field experience but I am maintaining couple of servers at work but as said, due to other commitments I have hard time keeping up with the progress. Virtualization is such a buzz word lately covering lots of solutions as you can see from the examples above. It is nothing new though (IBM mainframe, large *NIX servers...) it's just that it's now also playing a role in other areas such as appliances, infrastructure, x86 architecture...

    Nice article that might help you start - Wikipedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    VM is great depending on what you want to do. For testing I refuse to use it as there are very slight differences between running on VMware and a straight OS, but for certain applications it is great.
    This is a little misleading. System tests(is this **** installed correctly) are independent on every system, virtual, PC, Server, Dell, HP, VMWare, VS2005, whatever.

    As a former employee of MS and a current employee of EMC, and a software/computer/IT consultant in general, it's been my job to keep up with the different virtualization products.

    If I'm an ******* developer who wants a Server I can break, I'd look at hooking that guy up with MS Virtual PC. If I have a lot of Devs and I'm an IT Manager/Lab Manager, I'd look at installing a VMWare Server instance. If I want to consolidate my production environment, no doubt the ESX servers are the way to go.

    Taking the steps to virtualization is NOT cheap, but the costs in the long run are way worth it. For example, imagine having 5 racks instead of 20 in the data center. On top of the energy savings and DC savings, what about the capital savings? You no longer have to depreciate a 100 servers, but rather just 10. These savings might not always translate well on paper, but are no doubt a great way to keep a small staff happy.

    Buying a lot of servers is for *******s who can waste money.

    Citrix is something different, but pretty damned cool. I'd look into deploying a Citrix environment if I was attempting to do a VPN/Work-From-Home scenario.

    -_Sf
    Last edited by seraphim; November 29th, 2007 at 10:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quix View Post
    It all depends on how you want to use VMWare.
    If you're an IT guy in a company that houses a lot of servers and you want to virtualize them, then VMWare is a great product. You will need to purchase a powerhouse server to run multiple VMs simultaneously. I've got HP DL585 servers here with 64GB of ram. Each of them run 12 virtual machines. You will also need a SAN. EMC is not as good as some others.
    That's crap. EMC is the global leader in production storage. They have Centera, CLARiiON, Celerra, and Symmetrix flavors all suited for different needs. Best of all, they have innovative management and optimization software that incorporates all of these flavors seamlessly(Email Extender).

    There is a reason every fortune 500 company has a Symmetrix SAN in their data center.

    Don't get me wrong, the products are not cheap, comparatively, but they are very valuable. Some companies and some IT budgets are just not in the EMC spectrum with their Storage technologies(we want to have four 9s, but we have 20k budget.) EMC just doesn't have a 20GB device you can hang in your rack to use ad-hoc/magically. But we do have software that can turn such a device into an enterprise BURA product or storage tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by quix
    I prefer Equallogic. Dell just recently bought them out and their hardware/configuration is second to none in my opinion. VMWare also has lots of helpful tools that make things easier. Their VM Converter has been flawless so far. I've converted over 20 Windows Servers to VMs in the last few months and everything's working just fine

    On the other hand, if you're thinking of doing something at home, then you might want to look into the VMWare Workstation product to play around with OSes. There are several open source alternatives that you might want to give a shot. However, if you plan on purchasing a virtualization product... I recommend VMWare and VMWare only. Virtuozzo and others and not as up to par and stability is always a concern.

    Hope that helps.
    MS Virtual PC and Virtual Server also work too, and they're pretty intuitive/good. For legitimate virtualization, stick with a VMWare product; for ****ing about and *testing* things, you can get away with the other solutions.

    -_Sf

    PS - HP-9000 and Eq-PSs and other storage devices work. They're not bad, they're just not the EMC gold standard.

    PPS - While I work for EMC, I'm an IT Consultant OUTSIDE of the EMC Product space so I have and do recommend non EMC products too. I do SharePoint.
    Last edited by seraphim; November 29th, 2007 at 11:00 AM.

  8. #8
    #!/bin/bash quix's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
    That's crap.
    First of all, I appreciate the fact that you explained yourself instead of starting and ending with "that's crap". Having said that, my opinion of EMC products is mostly based on my own experience with their ****ty product and SAN management interfaces.

    Second, just because a company leads the industry in what they do does not signify that their product is the best. EMC's success has a lot to do with Dell's multi-billion dollar alliance. We'll see what Dell does with the purchase of Equallogic.

  9. #9
    Slovenian YetAnother's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
    Taking the steps to virtualization is NOT cheap, but the costs in the long run are way worth it. For example, imagine having 5 racks instead of 20 in the data center. On top of the energy savings and DC savings, what about the capital savings? You no longer have to depreciate a 100 servers, but rather just 10. These savings might not always translate well on paper, but are no doubt a great way to keep a small staff happy.
    Simple - you probably aren't virtualizing your existing servers on to cheap 2 CPU servers with 2-3 VMs each. You usually do it on 4 CPU minimum. And thats no 486 CPU, that's probably some high end stuff tweaked to the max and packed with fast cache. Last time I checked - top Intel CPU was being sold for the price of couple of low end servers over here. Add the price for a decent 2 fabric SAN, some cool storage in the back... Anyway, I personally leave this (boring) part to sales and/or finance.


    Quote Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
    Buying a lot of servers is for *******s who can waste money.


    Quote Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
    Citrix is something different, but pretty damned cool. I'd look into deploying a Citrix environment if I was attempting to do a VPN/Work-From-Home scenario.
    This is something what I was implying with the virtualization being a buzz word now. I was also against using the term so loosely but for Citrix I can at least understand why did some marketing guy/gal come up with this kind of advertising. You should see one Sun commercial I came across the other day...


    Quote Originally Posted by quix View Post
    You will also need a SAN. EMC is not as good as some others. I prefer Equallogic. Dell just recently bought them out and their hardware/configuration is second to none in my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
    That's crap. EMC is the global leader in production storage. They have Centera, CLARiiON, Celerra, and Symmetrix flavors all suited for different needs. Best of all, they have innovative management and optimization software that incorporates all of these flavors seamlessly(Email Extender).
    Interestingly, it is always like this, people either love or hate it and nothing in between. Need to get myself to a course or two to see what's going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YetAnother
    Simple - you probably aren't virtualizing your existing servers on to cheap 2 CPU servers with 2-3 VMs each. You usually do it on 4 CPU minimum. And thats no 486 CPU, that's probably some high end stuff tweaked to the max and packed with fast cache. Last time I checked - top Intel CPU was being sold for the price of couple of low end servers over here. Add the price for a decent 2 fabric SAN, some cool storage in the back... Anyway, I personally leave this (boring) part to sales and/or finance.
    Rolling out new production environments, like Exchange 2007 or SAP or SharePoint on VMs is neat, but will require some serious horsepower. You can setup a weaker VM Host, which is a cheap 2way 2CPU Dell385 to host your legacy applications that just aren't going away. I know a lot of companies still have some bogus foxpro and asp1.1 apps that just can't go away because department Y needs it to assign sprockets for department Z's gizmo. Virtualize all those crap application servers onto a cheap new Host, which is still going to be faster and better than the 2000 era design it is currently hosted on.

    Quote Originally Posted by YetAnother View Post
    Interestingly, it is always like this, people either love or hate it and nothing in between. Need to get myself to a course or two to see what's going on.
    It shouldn't be difficult to understand why I'd defend EMCs products, but I'm not in love with them either. As a SharePoint guy, I don't really care where you stick your SQL data, just as long as it's reliable and performant. Luckily, my friends down the hall have a $250k piece of hardware, with th $50k/yr for 5 years support contract, that meets those requirements!

    Lastly, if you're not an IT person, but interested, please recognize that us IT Pros are full of crap. Our job is only challenging when we have to manage the expectations of the users with the budget available while keeping up with technology. They all feed into each other pretty well, and the job only becomes difficult when we have to decide if we want 2 or 3 flat panel monitors for our desktop PCs.

    -_Sf
    Last edited by seraphim; November 30th, 2007 at 10:14 AM.

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