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Virtualization - hardware and choices

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  • Virtualization - hardware and choices

    I have searched the web, read a few whitepapers and seen a few online presentaions about virtualization.
    My goal is to virtualize all servers in the organization I work for. We have mostly new Dell 1U servers with CPU core support for virtualization.
    I have played plenty around with virtualization on single machines, but what I need is something that allows me to run 10 physical machines and distribute the physical resources around to our projects via virtual machines. Granted that the projects does not need beastly amounts of power, virtual servers is the way to go that reduce time spent on fooling around with boxes and software/hardware configuration.

    I have been quite impressed by XenEnterprise(recently bought by Citrix) and with the aggressive pricing it beats VMWare on price by far.

    I want to rid the boxed that are going to be put in the resource pool completely of harddrives and go for network boot. If this is possible with Xen, I don`t know, but that is what I would like to achieve.
    I have also looked at Dell`s NAS solution AX150i.
    Too me it looks like ISCSI is the most flexible and affordable solution. However I am a bit reluctant to go for the ISCSI as I have heard that NFS solutions are far better for sharing data/volumes across clients, does anyone have any experience here?

    Are there anyone here who has recently gone virtual and got something that is working really well on the scale that I am looking at? Any pointers to hardware(storage) would be greatly appreciated. Also if you have bad experience with XenEnterprise that would be worth listening to, I would be all ears.
    Last edited by PanzerHans; 10-28-2007, 03:42 AM.
    VI VI VI - the number of the beast

  • #2
    Re: Virtualization - hardware and choices

    I don't have the time to get into great detail, but here's one product you could look at:

    As for doing a PXE boot and keeping all drives externally. This does work and it CAN work well, but you need to be absolutely sure you have enough memory in the machine to prevent it from EVER going into swap. An OS trying to utilize swap space on a drive over iSCSI makes for a horrendous experience.

    NFS is more versatile for sharing data across multiple clients, but that's largely because it can deal with multiple users at the same time. You can deal with multiple iSCSI initiators all connecting to one iSCSI target simultaneously, but the underlying filesystem needs to be able to deal with that as well. GFS is a good choice for this.

    I'd get into a lot more detail as this is very similar to a project I've been working on for several months but I need to head out. I will get into as much detail as you want though! Just let me know!
    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.




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