vmware ESXi

Vmware released it’s answer to Microsoft’s Hyper-V product today: a free to download and using 32MB diskspace of footprint Hypervisor.

This can only mean that the virtualisation market is gearing up for one heck of a competition run, maybe even a full-out war. Frankly, Vmware has the lead right now, they are market leader in this segment, and their products are currently second to none. As I mentioned in my earlier blogpost, Microsoft turned out what I consider an ‘unfinished’ product with Hyper-V, but the advantage is that it comes included with windows. On the other hand, Vmware is proven technology, something you want for virtualisation in a business setting, and Microsoft clearly has a couple of miles to go before they get to the level Vmware is at.

So, we have to wait and see how well either product family does. I’m betting on Vmware, quite simply because I’ve been using it for a while now, and it’s a very robust and mature solution. It’s fast, scalable and flexible, but the prices are kind of steep for a beginning business. On the other hand, prices are dropping fast, and each products competitive advantages are becoming more and more clear now.

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usefull tips for FreeBSD in vmware

Ivan Voras made a nice post called FreeBSD under VMWare, it has very usefull tips. Read more here.

it covers a number of common pitfalls related to using FreeBSD in a vmware setting:

  • using the wrong network driver (reducing network bandwith to 10Mbit/s)
  • wrong kernel time frequency (modern day is 1000Hz, 100Hz is recommended)

if I come up with some more interesting things, I’ll post them here.

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FreeBSD on vmware ESX 3.x

FreeBSDOkay, at work we have a vmware virtual infrastructure (or vmware esx 3.x) setup. It’s a really sweet setup, made up out of four boxes (HP DL385’s) with two dual-core AMD Opteron CPU’s, 16GB of RAM, and a nice 6TB SAN for storage. There’s a windows DL380 for virtual centre, and to manage the snapshots ( ESX Ranger Pro) and Backups, also we have a tape robot hanging around in one of the cabinets for the tape backups.

One thing I didn’t like about this however, was that FreeBSD didn’t run on it. The kernel simply did not recognise the hard disk vmware created for this virtual machine.

Enter FreeBSD 6.2-RC2

Yay! It works! There’s one little snag when installing with the boot-only ISO from FreeBSD, for some reason it doesn’t put the lnc0 network interface in UP mode. (no matter what you try). However, if you install it with disk 1 of the full install set, it works like a charm. I’ve had it running under load for a couple of days now, and I see no problems whatsoever.

For the time being I’m using it to toy around with Cacti perhaps I’ll be able to convince the rest to start using that instead of what we use now. With some luck, I’ll be able to convince them of FreeBSD while I am at it.