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New to VMWARE

Hi,

I am a bit new to VMWare and want to find out some more information before I deploy it in our office Environment.

My experience so far is with the Free VMWare Server.

Is this the version that I should be using in our Corporate Environment or should I look at another version?

What is the difference between VMWare Server & ESXi?

Am I better to run VMWare on physical hardware with the VM's on a SAN or should they go local to the server?

Licensing - Am I right in thinking that if I install Win2K3 Enterprise on as the Host OS that I am entitled to install 4 VM's with the same OS for no additional cost?

Is there a forum, board that has steps for begineers?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is an area I need to implement and need to understand it more.

Thanks

Paul
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essexboy80
Asked:
essexboy80
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6 Solutions
 
TolomirAdministratorCommented:
Hello,

the ESXi Server is a downsized ESX Server basically without graphical management tools and without high availability. Especially the ESXi Server is free but comes without maintenance support. It also has some special demands on the hardware where it should run in contrast to the vmware server running on an OS.

Win2k3 Enterprise allows to install the software on the physical server and 3 times as virtual host on that particular windows server. It is not meant to get 4 virtual hosts on e.g. an ESXi Server. (You might want to license 4 windows 2k3 standard servers though)

---

Basically you should have an idea what you want to run on that vmware server. Is it a mailserver or an exchange server, an oracle database etc. Then you should monitor the performance on the old physical servers. This gives you a profile for your vmware hosting consideration.

RAM, CPU Usage, storage amounts and access profiles must all be met by a single virtual server...

Tolomir



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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
Here is some additional guidence:

HOW TO: VMware Server for beginners
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/89846

VMware ESXi                   
Virtualization Made Free and Easy:
http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi/

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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
What is the difference between VMware ESXi and VMware Server?
VMware ESXi is an enterprise-class hypervisor that offers a bare-metal architecture for near-native performance, features like memory de-duplication to increase consolidation ratios and a cluster file system for managing VM files on shared storage.  VMware ESXi and VMware ESX are the critical foundations for a dynamic and flexible virtual infrastructure.
VMware Server installs as an application on Windows or Linux, relying on the operating system for resource management.  This limits the performance and scalability.  VMware Server is popular for test and development activities. Virtual machines created using VMware Server can run on VMware ESXi, but they must first be converted using the free VMware Converter.
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
With respect to your Windows Licensing Queries, please go through this link - http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/licensing-options/virtualization.aspx

I would suggest that the best documentation set comes from VMware itself -

VMware Server 2.0 Doc - http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/server_pubs.html
VMware ESX Doc - http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vi_pubs.html

Regarding your query about putting VMs in SAN Storage, if you are intending to use VMware Distributed Services such as vMotion (ability to migrate a running VM without downtime), VMware HA (restarting VMs in case of ESX Host Hardware Failure), VMware DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler), VMware DPM (Distributed Power Management) then all these would require either FC SAN, iSCSI SAN or NFS.

Local Storage does not support any of the above mentioned features.
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aldanchCommented:
I would go through VMware's documentation and whitepapers. They have excellent sources and a great community.

http://www.vmware.com/support/
http://communities.vmware.com/home.jspa

What are you working with in terms of infrastructure? (Number of hosts, storage, switch)
What are your initial plans for VM deployment? (Types of VMs - databse, mail, file serving, web portal, etc; Server consolidation - P2V, Server application migration; R&D; Application development)
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AbdAlmuminCommented:
Paul,

Save yourself a headach if you are new to VMware ESXi. Its pretty comprehensive and I saved me and my guys a few days of time by just completing the freaking training.

http://store.vmware.com/store/vmware/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.104519700

Keep in mind that (arunraju's response) that these licensing schemes are related to Windows 2008 Server and are specific to Enterprise/Datacenter additions. So if you are using Windows 2003 you may be SOL.

You have to decide what you want to put onto that VM. Remember that virtualization is a HOG on memory/CPU resources on a system. Don't even try to put VM's on a server with less than 4-8GB of RAM. VMware Server is great for a desktop system, but VMware ESXi is ideally suitable to servers/high powered workstations like a Dell Dimension T7400 that is beefed up with RAM. I am actually using one as a ESXi server (Exchange, SQL Server, and RHEL Groundwork are the VM's running on the box)/Intel Xeon Dual Core-8GB RAM. I don't recommend it in the datacenter, but you do what you have to do in a pinch and it runs like hot butter.

What type of servers are you using? Is the server Intel VT (Virtualization Technology) enabled in the BIOS as an option?

You can't do consolidated backups on ESXi, just FYI.


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essexboy80Author Commented:
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and comments.

It is all very helpful and that little course looks great.

I am planning initially to use VMWare to consolidate some fairly low end servers and don't really know the best way to do it.

Judging from the comments on here I should look at ESXi and not VMWare Server.

So much to learn.
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davismisbehavisCommented:
Thing to remember is that the whole world is doing this at the moment,  It's a great field to be in and it's one that your company will reap the benefits of.  There is a great community out there for VMware,  the communities site http://communities.vmware.com/home.jspa is something you should get signed up on as soon as possible.  There are also a large amount of bloggers out there,  myself included.  You'll not be stuck for support or an answer put it that way.

www.virtualpro.co.uk 

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essexboy80Author Commented:
Hi,

So just to clarify a few facts, before I order some hardware etc.

If I run ESXi then I won't have an Operating System installed onto the Server itself?

Do I then need individual OS Licenses for each Guest OS? (ie 3 x Windows Server Standard Licenses etc)

Is there a certain model of server I need to be able to run ESXi? - Is there a list around, I was going to buy HP DL360G5's

Can the Guests be stored on storage that is local to the server rather then SAN's?

Thanks
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
> If I run ESXi then I won't have an Operating System installed onto the Server itself?
Nope, but you need a server that will allow ESXi, it's quite picky here.
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php

> Do I then need individual OS Licenses for each Guest OS? (ie 3 x Windows Server Standard Licenses etc)
Yes, you need a license for each guest OS. Windows Enterprise Server might allow you to install it multiple times.
For testing simply choose one of these 180 days trial version of e.g. windows 2003 servers available from microsoft.

> Is there a certain model of server I need to be able to run ESXi? - Is there a list around, I was going to buy HP DL360G5's
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=search&deviceCategory=server&productId=1&advancedORbasic=advanced&maxDisplayRows=50&key=&release[]=26&datePosted=-1&partnerId[]=41&stepping=&nsockets=&ncores=&max_mem=

> Can the Guests be stored on storage that is local to the server rather then SAN's?
Yes, you can use local storage.
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JBlondCommented:
If I run ESXi then I won't have an Operating System installed onto the Server itself?

In that case ESXi is your "operating system" on the server that manages and assigns the access to the hardware of all guests.
Do I then need individual OS Licenses for each Guest OS? (ie 3 x Windows Server Standard Licenses etc)

Usually yes, but the exact licensing depends on the operating system that you install in the VM. An example, you can install four VMs with one Windows Server 2003 Enterprise license.
Is there a certain model of server I need to be able to run ESXi? - Is there a list around, I was going to buy HP DL360G5's.

VMware provides a compatibility guide here:
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=base&deviceCategory=server

As "product release version" select ESXi Embedded (means that the server already ships with ESXi installed) and/or ESXi Installable. U!, U2, U3 and U4 means Update1, 2, 3 and 4. The last Version is ESXi 3.5 U4 (update 4)

If the server doesn't appear on the list that does not mean the ESXi will not run on it, but the server isn't certified then. The prevent future problem with the vendor of the server you should choose a server from the compatility list.

Can the Guests be stored on storage that is local to the server rather then SAN's?

Yes.

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essexboy80Author Commented:
thanks for that,

hp dl360g5 isnt on the list but hp dl360g6 is, has anyone used it with the dl360 g5
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JBlondCommented:
The DL360G5 is on the list but noit with the last version. But it's likely that it'll work with the last version, because ESX is listed with update 4, ESXi not.



30.04.png
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essexboy80Author Commented:
brill thanks
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essexboy80Author Commented:
one more thing, can someone confirm if I purchase a license for Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, this will allow me to run 4 VM Machines on 1 ESXi Server?

Does it also allow me to install them as 2003 Enterprise?

Thanks
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JBlondCommented:
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essexboy80Author Commented:
brill,

sorry last question and then I am going to push on with this project.

normally if i build a server i would setup a raid 1 for the Operating System and a raid 5 for the data.

should I still do it like this or should i just have 1 big raid 5?
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
Just as addon, because there is a difference with 3rd party virtualisation:

http://www.virtualization.info/2007/06/microsoft-details-windows-licensing-for.html

If you have assigned a single license of Windows Server Standard Edition to the server running ESX, then you may run one instance at a time of Windows Server Standard Edition. If you have assigned a single license of Windows Server Enterprise Edition to the server running ESX, then you may run up to four instances at a time of Windows Server. You may not run a fifth instance under the same Enterprise Edition license because that right requires that the fifth instance be running hardware virtualization software and software managing and servicing the OSEs on the server. However, Datacenter Edition permits unlimited running of instances in virtual OSEs.
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
This might help to choose the right windows version:

http://www.virtualization.info/uploaded_images/licensing-749196.png
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
And there is also a calculator:

Windows Server Virtualization Calculators
The Windows Server Virtualization Calculators provide two ways to estimate the number and cost of Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition licenses needed for your virtualization scenarios to help you determine the most cost-effective edition of Windows Server.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/howtobuy/licensing/calculator.mspx

Tolomir
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TolomirAdministratorCommented:
Regarding the raid - check this:

http://www.petri.co.il/forums/showthread.php?t=28448
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JBlondCommented:
For performance reasons assigning a dedicated (raid 1) array to a VM is a good choice. If you just create a big RAID5-array with all VMs on it, the performance of all VMs depends on the utilization of the array and if a harddisk of the array goes offline, this effect all VMs and not only one. And the RAID5-performance is poor if one disk is offline.



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essexboy80Author Commented:
Hi Everyone,

So I now have got my first ESX Server up and running, and am busy creating my first guest.

This leads me to my next question which may or may not be able to get answered within this thread.

So my network setup is fairly simple (i have attached a .pdf of the switch, router & firewall setup).

So my question is this, as you can see from my diagram my dmz is a seperate switch running 5 dmz's on seperate vlan's. Now currently this switch is connected to a port on my asa that has got vlan sub interfaces configured.

My ESX Server is on the LAN and I want to run a combination LAN & Various DMZ Virtual Servers on this.

What is the best way to do this?

Thanks

OUR-NETWORK.pdf
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JBlondCommented:
@essexboy80:

Glad to hear that you successfully setup your ESX server.

Your last comment goes very far beyond your original question. You have asked basically for a beginners guide to VMware products and your last comment is very special that someone who finds this question in the future, searching for a "How-to get started with VMware" likely wouldn't need.  

You're a Premium Service Member and can ask unlimited questions. Therefore I want to ask you the close this question and award the points to the experts who in your opinion have helped you and post your last comment as a new question.







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