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VMWare ESXi

Posted on 2008-10-08
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Hello experts,

I am thinking of virtualizing our SBS 2003 R2 servers, I should be able to power the virtualized server and run it without any problems (instead of the physical/real server).

one option was recommended to us is by using the Acronis Software - TrueImage:
http://www.acronis.com/smb/products/ATISBS/

but I know there is ESXi server which is free of charge from VMWare (vs 500.00 for the TrueImage):
http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi/

Does anyone know if the ESXi can do the same job or whats the best way to virtualize a server into a VM machine and run it later in case of hardware failure.

Please let me know.
Thanks
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Question by:smaguire
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Expert Comment

by:ifmtech
ID: 22673795
ESXi is an excellent choice for server virtualization.  There are a few things to consider first though.  You will need to verify that ESXi will run on your hardware platform as it is not compatible with all hardware (you can verify that on the VMWare site).  The other concern is do you require any high-availability features for the VM?  ESXi doesn't support the full range of high-availability features available from VMWare without additional software.

I have ESXi running on 2 servers and I have found the interface and manageability of it to be very good, especially for free!

I would recommend starting there.  If it doesn't work out at least you didn't pay $500 to figure that out ;)
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 200 total points
ID: 22674593
You are comparing apples to oranges:

1. ESXi server will not convert your physical machines to virtual machines.  It is virtualization software.
2. Acronis True Image products are not virtualization software.  It is disk imaging software.

You can use Acronis True Image products to back up your physical servers, then convert into a compatible image to run on ESXi or VMWare Server.
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Author Comment

by:smaguire
ID: 22677593
what I want is to create a vm machine out of my server, so in an emergency cases I would just start the newly created VM server and it should be a replacement for the physical server (the lost one!). I would like to minimize downtime as much as possible.
given my server is supported by the ESXi software, will it do that for me?
According to VMWare, it should....
Thanks again
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Accepted Solution

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ifmtech earned 300 total points
ID: 22680123
With ESXi you will not be able to "convert" the physical machine to a virtual one.  You may want to consider setting up a new virtual machine, migrating your data from the physical one and forget about the physical machine altogether.  Once you have everything up and running on the VM, you could always install ESXi on the original physical machine and move the VM over to it.
As long as you have some sort of backup implementation for the VM, if the hardware fails, just copy the VM from your backup to a new machine or replace the bad hardware and copy it back onto the same machine.  
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by:smaguire
ID: 22680540
Thanks ifmtech for your reply,
I just converted my laptop into a vm using the free VM Convertor, and now I am thinking if I should try to convert our server using the FREE vm convert software.
I think the difference between the TrueImage ($500.00) vs the VM Convertor(FREE) is with the TrueImage you have the option to restore your image file back to a normal PC OR you have the option to convert your Image file into a Virtual Disk ---> then to a VM Machine.
 
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