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I have been ask to partitions an existing 320G, RAID 5, SUSE 10, DELL Power Edge into 4 new partitions. My client wants to install VMWARE on all of the partitions and have 4 different VMWARE environments running all on this one server. 1 - Website, 2 - E-mail, 3 - Programming Environment, 4 - other. I do have the option to erase everything and start from scratch. What is the best way to do this?
It comes down to space, both the physical space on the machine, and the amount of it that is used. If the client wants partitions for the VMWare, you either need to create the partitions within the existing scheme, or recreate it. Rebuilding the entire box seems like a hassle, but it might be the only way to accomplish this. If there is some unpartitioned space, you can certainly create the partitions on that, or shuffle data around. If you could give the output of fdisk -l and cat /etc/fstab, as well as df, we could make some more concrete suggestions.
I have not started this project yet but when I do I will post the partition info along with the /etc/fstab info. One more question I have not used VMware before but a lot of virtual environment software that I have seen and used is usaually pretty crappy kind like citrix. What is you take on VMWARE and using it in a production environment? Risky?
I've only played with it, and haven't used it in production. It is widely used however, or at least gives the impression of being widely used. It is more or less like anything else, it comes down to knowledge and skill. One guy sets up apache and has a rocksolid webserver for years with no security issues, and another guy sets it up and is cracked in minutes. If you aren't really comfortable with it, I would do a ton of research and test the hell out of it at home. Obviously everybody needs a first time for everything they haven't done yet, but doing something on another guy's machine and at his expense, that would make me a little squeamish.
Obviously running any server has problems, but particularly something like email, I would hesitate to run on a "virtual" server. With a traditional stand alone server, you have hardware and software issues to deal with, but only one set of them. When you run email on a virtual machine, you add to the possible problems, because in addition to the software side of it, you have the virtual machine software keeping the email functionality up, then the core OS under the virtual OS, then the physical hardware. Say the NIC goes bad on the core machine. Then all the virtual machines can't be reached. One bad NIC would take out his /web/email/developmet etc. That is far too great a point of failure for my tastes, but if we're talking a tiny business, it does make sense to get one good server and virtualize the hell out of it, rather than purchase 4 or so servers.
Of course when everything works well, you've accomplished something great!