Virtual Server Setup

joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
I am new to virtualization and was just wondering what is the best way to go on a setup. I want to have a virtual server with many instances running (for home lab use). If I use Ubuntu Server as the host OS then which virtual software should I use: hyper-v, vmware, or virtualbox? Also, Is Ubuntu Server a good OS to run as a host or should I use Windows Server 2003 or 2008? Thanks for your help.

Comments

  • TherhinoTherhino Member Posts: 122
    I am really liking the virtual box with the php front end
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Banned Posts: 915
    Well, for a lab system..

    Virtualbox gives you the ability to do snapshots, so I use it sometimes
    VMware's desktop products have the ability to run pre-built apps from their "appstore" type site. So i use it sometimes.
    Hyper-V doesn't scare our windows-centric consultant so I use it sometimes.
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For Hyper-V the only host option is Windows 2008, or Hyper-V Server (really just a stripped down 2008 install). The latter is available at no cost so you wouldn't have to deal with evaluation limits, however you couldn't use the machine as a desktop. If that is OK, you can also consider VMware ESXi and Citrix XenServer.

    VirtualBox is available at no cost and can run on Windows or Linux, so take your pick. VMware Workstation also runs on Windows or Linux but is not free. For a Linux host I would go with VirtualBox since it seems to have fewer problems than with VMware Workstation.

    I run Gentoo Linux on my desktop and laptop. This is unsupported by VMware Workstation and I have had various problems (basically OS updates frequently break VMware Workstation). I haven't had as many problems with VirtualBox. For my lab servers I only use VMware ESX (evaluation) or ESXi (free edition). I've also used Hyper-V Server and XenServer but prefer ESX/ESXi.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    Ok, thank you very much. This Hyper-V Server seems very appealing. So it is free and you can run linux and windows desktop instances on it as well as server OS's like 2003?

    Would Ubuntu Server be a good choice for a host OS for a virtual server if one wanted to go that route?
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Only Hyper-V Server is free and it cannot run on an Ubuntu host, if that's what you're asking. It is a complete operating system that installs directly on the hardware, similar to VMware ESXi and Citrix XenServer (both also free). If you want standard Hyper-V (not free) you can only use Windows 2008 as the host.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • stuh84stuh84 Member Posts: 503
    I'm using VirtualBox a lot at the moment on the laptop I am using as a server, as its quite easy to hook up to things like Dynamips, but once I build my proper server at Christmas, I'll be chucking on ESX, as I can learn VMWare more in depth as well as do other forms of labbing at the same time.
    Work In Progress: CCIE R&S Written

    CCIE Progress - Hours reading - 15, hours labbing - 1
  • azjagazjag Member Posts: 579 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Are you dedicating a PC to this endevor or will you be using the host as your primary pc as well? If this is a spare pc I would recommend downloading a free copy of ESXi and working with that. You can connect to the ESXi box from your primary pc. If this is not the case I would stick with virtual box. just my $.02
    Good luck and let us know what you choose to do.
    Currently Studying:
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) (Passed)
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP5-DCD)
  • bwbecraftbwbecraft Registered Users Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    +1 for ESXi... I use ESXi3.5 in my lab currently. Its nice to have all of those VM's running on a box other than my management station.
  • Mojo_666Mojo_666 Member Posts: 438
    I would always go the vmware route simply because aside from it being free its is probably the best and most widly used product in the enterprise so not only would you you be getting value from learning your client OS's you get real value from learning VMware on top.
  • za3bourza3bour Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Mojo_666 wrote: »
    I would always go the vmware route simply because aside from it being free its is probably the best and most widly used product in the enterprise so not only would you you be getting value from learning your client OS's you get real value from learning VMware on top.

    I agree with this 100%
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    azjag wrote: »
    Are you dedicating a PC to this endevor or will you be using the host as your primary pc as well? If this is a spare pc I would recommend downloading a free copy of ESXi and working with that. You can connect to the ESXi box from your primary pc. If this is not the case I would stick with virtual box. just my $.02
    Good luck and let us know what you choose to do.

    I was wanting to put an instance of winXP and Ubuntu on the virtual machine as well as win server 2003. For the host I was goining to use either win 2003 or Ubeuntu server. I currently have have a PC that I run winXP for my main desktop and then several old server boxes, I was wanting to do away with all of them and get 1 server to load up all my servers and desktop so that I would have more room, less noise, less heat and to learn virtualization.
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    za3bour wrote: »
    I agree with this 100%

    Ok, thnaks. It looks like either vmware or virtualbox are my two best options since I don't have win2008. The hyper-v stand alone server looks good but at the moment I don't have a 64bit box icon_sad.gif I only have old hardware right now so I will need something that can run on older hardware.....
  • azjagazjag Member Posts: 579 ■■■■■■■□□□
    joey74055 wrote: »
    Ok, thnaks. It looks like either vmware or virtualbox are my two best options since I don't have win2008. The hyper-v stand alone server looks good but at the moment I don't have a 64bit box icon_sad.gif I only have old hardware right now so I will need something that can run on older hardware.....

    Esxi 3.5 will run on 32 bit hardware but you won't be able to run any x64 vm's. Esxi 4.1 requires x64 compatible hardware and can run both x86 and x64 software. You can always start out with esxi 3.5 and "graduate" up to 4.1 when you are ready. Remember the essence of virtualization is to take a server that usually runs at less than 30% capacity and run 2-3 vm's (depending on the hardware) so that you are making good use of your hardware investment. My first host server was a core 2 quad with 4 gb ram and a 500gb HD. it ran my 2008 DC, Exch server, 2 xp hosts with out any major issues. It wasn't the fastest setup but it also wasn't a production box either.
    Currently Studying:
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) (Passed)
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP5-DCD)
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you are considering VMware Workstation, check out this free training on it from VMware (registration may be required):
    VMware Workstation 7: Fundamentals
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • PaperlanternPaperlantern Member Posts: 352
    I also support the ESXi vote. That is if you have a relatively beefy dedicated box for this. It uses the least amount of resources, alotting as much as possible for the actual VMs. Obviously youll need a good spot of RAM and a decent CPU with relatively decent storage space to do 3 or 4 VMs on the same box.

    If you only want to tinker with these OSs and arent actually going to USE them AS servers, then virtual box will be fine, and just use them on your workstation when you want to mess with them, then shut them all off when you are done.
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    Thank you all for your help. I have decided to go with the ESXi 3.5 since I have older hardware and it supports 32 bit. I am having issues getting it to install but thats not for this board so I won't go into that. Again, thank you all for your help!!
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    Does anyone have any experiance with Proxmox VE? Is it worthy of a try?
    Proxmox - Proxmox VE
  • marco71marco71 Member Posts: 152 ■■■□□□□□□□
    joey74055 wrote: »
    Does anyone have any experiance with Proxmox VE? Is it worthy of a try?
    Proxmox - Proxmox VE

    Proxmox is basically KVM hypervisor on top of Debian 5.0 (Lenny) host (with GUI for VMs manipulation and further support for containers - like Solaris - OpenVZ kernel and userspace tools), but if you have an older hardware and your CPU does not have Intel-VT or AMD-V extensions, you won't be able to virtualize Windows (same for Xen hypervisor)
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