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Linux - Virtualization and Cloud This forum is for the discussion of all topics relating to Linux Virtualization and Linux Cloud platforms. Xen, KVM, OpenVZ, VirtualBox, VMware, Linux-VServer and all other Linux Virtualization platforms are welcome. OpenStack, CloudStack, ownCloud, Cloud Foundry, Eucalyptus, Nimbus, OpenNebula and all other Linux Cloud platforms are welcome. Note that questions relating solely to non-Linux OS's should be asked in the General forum.

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Old 07-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
shfyang
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Red face Can you explain the benefits of VM vSphere ESXi 5.0?


Hi, I have used VMWare workstation for 6 months and enjoy using various OS, but I understand Virtual Machines can be access from localhost. Recently I downloaded evaluation copy of ESXi 5.0 and installed Centos on it, then accessed it from other machine using vSphere client, but I have several questions:
1). Can I access the virtulization host from Linux server using Linux version of vSphere client? I could not find such thing.
2). License of VM software is expensive, so is a server (say 64 core and 128 GB memory), assume each VM has 2 core and 4GB, then max I can have 32 virtual machines, but why not just buy 32 workstations? Is centralized control/management of VM host (and residing virtual machines) a big benefit here?
3). I know you can export Windows machine into vSphere and make a perfect clone, but a VM is always virtual, it is slow, don't you think?
4). I heard the phrase such as cloud computing, datacenter, what kind of benefits does VM ESXi5 provide here? If a big company need complicated IT systems such as web server, data server, mail server? don't they use dedicated server for these tasks? I am sorry I know litte about such topics, your explanation is highly appreciated!

Last edited by shfyang; 07-21-2013 at 03:45 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #2
scottro11
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Very quick answer...note that this isn't all that simple a subject.

1.) As of 5.1, you can use the web interface to do everything that can be done with the client. If my memory serves me (too lazy to google it), they are going to discontinue the client with 5.2 (Not completely sure this answer is correct--can someone confirm or correct it?)

2.) Overly simplified, it's often easier to back up and replace a VM that has a problem. If a server breaks, just as an example, suppose it's something that, for whatever reason, has some old, hard to find driver disks that have been misplaced. A VM avoids such problems.

3.) There is a performance hit, it varies greatly, depending upon the services. For example, my former company moved our mail server to VMware, and we didn't notice any impact. On the other hand, there were some Windows machines that ran a database program, and we noticed that they were slower.

4.)I haven't worked much with cloud computing, but, for example, a big company might buy various very heavy duty servers and run several VMs on said server.

I repeat, this is a fairly brief, and probably oversimplified answer.
I am not completely positive that my answer to question 1 is correct, so hopefully, someone with more knowledge will chime in.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
Stupendoussteve
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First off, ESX is generally used for hosting servers, not workstations (except maybe VDI). You would not put a production server on VMware workstation, but for the uses of testing various distros, you could use workstation just fine. ESX itself is free, vSphere costs money. You can register and get a key to unlock ESX.

For #4, most of those tasks are no longer done on separate physical machines. Today you can have a few very powerful servers that do the work of many physical machines. One of the largest benefits is more efficient utilization of resources, as many individual servers are barely utilizing their hardware, where a VM host can use more of the hardware more of the time (you bought it, why not use it?). There is also a lot of flexibility, like the ability to quickly clone a virtual machine, or make templates of some base and deploy them nearly instantly, you can also load balance between the various hosts. Things like backups are also less complicated.

With proper specs on the hosts and good shared storage, the virtual machines aren't slow at all.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #4
shfyang
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I just figured this out

******************************************

thanks, now I have a technical question about export VM Workstation image onto ESXi 5, but I can't use the method prescribed on VMWare website:

I have a power desktop with 2 internal HDD, one of them I installed VMWare ESXi 5, so far I have one VM on it (Centos), the other hard drive I installed Win7, then VM Workstation 7.0, on that Win7 host, I installed SuSe, Ubuntu, Debian, etc, all using virtual machines, so I backed up these images onto an external HDD, you can see that I will not be able to run the ESXi host and the Windows 7 host at the same time because during the boot of this physical machine, I can only choose one.

When I search for the method, they usually require me to have two dedicated physical machines, one VM Workstation host, one ESXi 5 server, both connected to the internet, I can't do that, so are there any method to export the VM Workstation image (the folder with file extensions such as vmdk, nvram, vmsd, vmx, etc)? I have a laptop where I installed vSphere client, the menu has the Export option, but not the Import, I do notice the " Deploy OVF Template", tried that, but it requires OVF package, and VM workstation image does not have that!!!!

Last edited by shfyang; 07-21-2013 at 07:41 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 07:09 PM   #5
dyasny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shfyang View Post
Hi, I have used VMWare workstation for 6 months and enjoy using various OS, but I understand Virtual Machines can be access from localhost. Recently I downloaded evaluation copy of ESXi 5.0 and installed Centos on it, then accessed it from other machine using vSphere client, but I have several questions:
first and foremost, none of the answers I provide relate specifically to vmware. You can easily attribute them to any opensource, and not proprietary and damned expensive solution like vmware.

Quote:
1). Can I access the virtulization host from Linux server using Linux version of vSphere client? I could not find such thing.
no, there is no such client. Other solutions, like proxmox, RHEV, oVirt have a web interface accessible from any OS

Quote:
2). License of VM software is expensive, so is a server (say 64 core and 128 GB memory), assume each VM has 2 core and 4GB, then max I can have 32 virtual machines, but why not just buy 32 workstations? Is centralized control/management of VM host (and residing virtual machines) a big benefit here?
The license is expensive only on VMWare and other proprietary solutions.

Your scaling count is off, but leaving that aside, just read on the advantages of SVI andVDI, the net is full of those

Quote:
3). I know you can export Windows machine into vSphere and make a perfect clone, but a VM is always virtual, it is slow, don't you think?
you can export any x86 OS into a VM really. It will not be slow if you use proper hardware and configuration. In fact, some loads work better in VMs than on hardware, not by much, but still, it's a nice little fact. If you use proper tools, you should not have more than 10% performace degradation compared to physical.

Quote:
4). I heard the phrase such as cloud computing, datacenter, what kind of benefits does VM ESXi5 provide here?
like I said, read up on what cloud computing is and what SVI is

Quote:
If a big company need complicated IT systems such as web server, data server, mail server? don't they use dedicated server for these tasks? I am sorry I know litte about such topics, your explanation is highly appreciated!
depending on the amount of servers and what they are doing, quite often having them virtualized makes a lot of sense
 
Old 07-21-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
shfyang
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Instead of using expensive VM vsphere hypervisor, why not spend $250 and install VMWorkstation on a physical Windows 2008 R2 server, let's say this server has multiple Xeon processors with a total 64 core (forgive me if I am wrong, is this possible? ) and 64G memory, we can just use VM Workstation and use this server to host multiple Centos VMs, each VM support one function (data server, mail server, DNS server, etc) I understand you have to manage VMs locally, and the reliability of VMs are determined by the reliability of VM Workstation, but does this work? are you concerned with reliability of this setup?

I apologize, I never worked full-time as system administrator and only have a fuzzy feel about this kind of IT job.

Last edited by shfyang; 07-21-2013 at 07:32 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
Stupendoussteve
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At that point, why not use Hyper-V? It's included with Windows and supports at least some Linux distributions. That said, your host OS has a lot to do with how well it runs, and Windows Update requires far more reboots than ESX or Xen and I don't really trust Windows stability as a host anyway. Workstation is not designed for production server loads and it wouldn't surprise me if they have an upper limit to CPU and memory availability because of this. It scales poorly and will not perform as well, especially since it is not running on the bare metal like the enterprise systems.

Another alternative is Xen, which has a free open source edition, or the free ESX license.

Virtualization + Production services + Cutting corners is asking for trouble. If you're planning something for production, you really need a budget and proper equipment. I would push for shared storage and at least two hosts, if the system actually matters.

Last edited by Stupendoussteve; 07-21-2013 at 07:54 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
dyasny
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workstation in production? I doubt that's a good idea. Another issue would be manageability - just one host is very basic, what happens when you're running hundreds of hosts with thousands of VMs? Will you be connecting to each host one by one?
 
Old 07-21-2013, 09:25 PM   #9
shfyang
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Thanks, dynasty:

What you said make sense, what kind of job requires thousands of VMs ? Just curious !
 
Old 07-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #10
dyasny
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for that you'll need a centralized management panel. vcentre for vmware, RHEV/oVirt, proxmox, XCP etc.

It will keep in touch with all the hosts, keep a database of VMs, and keep their current statuses and it will take care of where a VM goes when one host is loaded and another is not, among other things.

vcenter is actually limited to smallish numbers of hosts and VMs, RHEV/oVirt are much more scalable
 
  


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