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Old 02-15-2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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Distribution: Debian, OpenBSD
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Which VM server to choose for production environment

Hi All

I need to consolidate a bunch of old machines and looking for the best VM server to do that. These machines are running Suse ( versions 8 - 11 ), OpenBSD, Debian

I've been using VMWare ESXi for a while, Open Source XEN (no support for BSD unfortunately ), and recently installed Citrix XEN

I'd like to be able to easily import currently running Linux & BSD boxes. VMWare does not have native support for importing Linux physical machines, but I found this product, which should do the job, called PowerConvert. Has anyone used it ?

Basicaly I need :
1. Support for BSD systems, old Suse (8.2, 9.0 ) Opensuse 10 , Debian , Windows systems (optional )
2. Easily migrate to and from VMWare and Citrix XEN virtuals, XEN and physical, VMWare and physical.
3. Migrate live, running machines (PowerConvert claims it can do that )
4. Load balance virtuals between physical machines (PowerConvert claims it can do that, so does Citrix XEN you can create a resource pool and migrate running VMs)

Citrix XEN downsides so far :
- have to reinstall license on the annual basis. What if I forget or they go bankrupt and there will be no way to obtain new license ?
- Client app is not available to download from running server, you have to get it from CD or their website with WMWare you just type your server IP in the browser
- Could not get it to install OS from iso image on my PC, maybe just did not find that option, but its quite intuitive on VMWare

Vmware ESXi downsides:
- no native support for import of Linux systems ( PowerConvert can help here )
- No load balancing ( at least for the free version ), again Power Convert helps

What are your experiences with the software mentioned, any other downsides ?
Old 02-15-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
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It looks to be PlateSpin Migrate renamed which I've used in the past, if you check the product page you'll see that live migration is only supported for Windows. Linux migration (cold) is only supported for Red Hat/RHEL/SuSE, I found it only supported certain kernels as well and occasionally stuffed up the networking (think bonding).

During the project I was on, my preference was to use the VMConverter cold clone cd as it's had some linux support since 4.0.


I still had to manually fix some of the p2v's (initrd rebuild) due to their age but overall things went pretty well.



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