Virtualization is a buzzword right now, but it has a very remote audience. For the one job I work they have 4 different servers doing things. One hosts the inventory system, one the web system, one does backups, and I have no idea what the last one does (I think it’s for ghetto VPN. I don’t touch it.)
This historically has been a very windows-centric setup. Every computer there runs XP. Every upgrade cycle is the same thing. New hardware, XP, then figured out how the old software was setup. Being a fan of new things, I decided to just virtualize the machines for this cycle.
First I wanted to use a hypervisor. It’s a natural choice. One can waste as little resources as possible. I grabbed a copy of OpenSUSE and ran it with Xen and everything was dandy until I realized the processor didn’t have support for full-virtualization. Porting the existing Windows systems would be impossible.
I was told to get away from Linux, which I guess makes sense since these are critical apps and the owner needs to know how to troubleshoot. So I looked into my old buddy VMWare. I first started using VMWare when I got an old PPC mac and I could experiment more with my PC.
VMWare’s converter took the 2 windows installs I wanted to port, and in about 5 hours had the machines virtualized and ready to go. Knowing as little as I did I first tried to use VMWware player to host them, but that wasn’t quite sitting right. I did a facepalm.jpg and moved to VMWare server.
The virtualization system has been running for about 3 months now without a problem. The data rack has almost nothing left in it and things are dandy.
Recently I started hosting from his location with a bunch of used IBM 300’s I picked up. These have Ubuntu 8.10 on them and run great for the price, but I think they don’t fit his deployment goals as much, so I may be virtualizing them in the near future.