All posts for the month March, 2009

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.