Virtualization Advice

From: Eric Wolf 
Since we are on topic and getting into virtualization... I have two systems
at my desk. My primary is a Windows 7 box (Core i7, 32GB RAM, dual SSDs)
because I have this one Windows-only app that 95% of my life revolves
around. The other is currently Ubuntu 12.04LTS (Core i5, 16GB RAM, ~4TB
spinny disks). The Ubuntu machine was setup originally to provide a test
box for playing with various geo-web applications (TileMill, CartoDB, etc).
But I keep running into annoying stuff with 12.04 and end up using
VirtualBox or VMware on my Win7 machine to set up single-purpose VMs. I am
trying to decide what I should do with this second box:

1. Sell it and use the money to pay for more EC2 time.

2. Set it up as a virtualization server that I can treat like a private EC2.

The first option is pretty straight-forward and is very tempting. I loathe
systems administration. If I had more contract money coming in right now, I
wouldn't even bother trying to sell the box.

The second option would seem to provide greater flexibility. For one thing,
I have considerably more storage that I want to pay for on S3. Sure, I only
have, at most 50GB of data I would bother putting on S3 but it's still a
lot. I would also have plenty of systems resources for almost anything I'd

So the operative questions are:

1. Anyone want to buy a decent liquid-cooled Core i5-2500K with 16GB RAM? I
would include ~2TB of disk space. I have two Radeon HD5830s in it currently
that I'd be happy to include. I have to ship from Colorado, so you can't
see it in person.

2. What does an ideal virtualization platform look like? Which distro
should I use as host? Should I swap CPUs and RAM with my primary machine?


Eric B. Wolf                           720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Bret McHone ------------------------------------------------------ If you only have one box, why not get the single license of VMWare ESXi? It's no cost and you get a bare-metal hypervisor, you just don't get the enterprise features like vSphere, vMotion, storage vMotion, etc... I use VMWare extensively and it's great. Right now I have about 20 servers that range from 32GB to 192GB of memory and the transparent page sharing (memory deduplication) is great if you have lots of VMs with the same OS running on a single host. I had an old Poweredge 2650 with 3GB of RAM that I was able to run 8 Windows XP desktops on with 512MB of ram each with no problem and still had about 1GB of RAM available for use thanks to the dedupe of memory. If you get ESXi 5.0 I believe that it also supports 3D acceleration in the VM on certain guest OSes, though I'm not sure if that's an enterprise feature or not. -B

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ I'm going to give vSphere a try. If I can get a stable Win7 instance going, I can also off-load some of the crap I have on my primary desktop (like PlayOn). Should I bother switching CPUs? -Eric -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Bret McHone ------------------------------------------------------ I would see how it runs for you on the hardware you have and get a feel for it. Just to makeep sure it will work for you before investing large amounts of time swapping out hardware.

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 VMWare ESXi. As long as it sees your storage controllers and your NIC. Regards, dtb - -- "Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational network." RFC 1925 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - iEYEARECAAYFAlAgVgsACgkQABP1RO+tr2QS6ACeNZQcyMWq5EWsuGUlo3slk/o/ uRAAni1DXliE9eBpB5iB1InUvxBSy68B =U72Z -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----