One of the goals I have for the new system is to replace the two existing servers.

My current plan is to do this via virtualization.

There are a number of virtualization options available … each with advantages & disadvantages.

The virtualization products I’m currently consider are:

VirtualBox & XEN are both open source … which gives them a distinct advantage.

Both VMWare options are closed source but have free implementations available.

VMWare vSphere & XEN are Hypervisor implementations. This should have better overall performance & resource management.

VirtualBox & VMWare Server are both platform independent … which means I could create a virtual machine instance on one machine and move it to another if I needed to (even Windows).

VMWare vSphere & XEN are both tied to a specific OS.  vSphere has it’s own OS that does nothing but run the hypervisor, and XEN is tied to Linux.

The biggest drawback for vSphere is that it’s management console is Windows only.  I would prefer a console that has a web based implementation in addition to a thick client.

There may be web consoles for XEN and VirtualBox … I tried a few with XEN but couldn’t get them to work correctly.  The dominant web console for VirtualBox doesn’t support the version I’m running.

So far I’m leaning towards VirtualBox.

If you have any suggestions or ideas, feel free to leave a comment.

3 thoughts on “Virtualization

  1. Mitch Gibbs

    I would focus more on XEN. Open Source, Linux based, with a hypervisor – for your implementation it hits on all points. From my experience, hypervisor virtualization is far superior. However, while I would recommend it for you, I don’t have experience with it directly.

    1. david

      I would focus more on XEN.

      Yeah, that’s where I was originally heading … but the lack of portability of the virtual machines is troubling.

      If I wanted to move a XEN VM to another machine, I would have to move it to another XEN capable machine.

      If I want to move a VirtualBox VM to another machine, I just need another machine capable of running VirtualBox (Windows, Linux, or Mac).

      I will keep your recommendation under consideration.


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