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Want server Virtualization - What do you suggest? MS Windows Server 2008 Hyper-v or VMware ESXi

Posted on 2009-05-20
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Wanted to have Virtualization for the existing 10 servers of SUN,IBM & HP (server details given below). Plesae suggest which one we should opt for - MS Windows Server 2008 Hyper-v or VMware ESXi ?

We also have the requirement of clustering and SAN storage after server virtualization.

1) SUN Servers-
    Number of servers  3 in blade Architecture
    Model  - X6250
    OS  Windows 2003(64,32 Bit)
     Applications  Microsoft Share Point 2007,Web based Applications, SQL Server

2)   HP Servers  -
      Number of Servers  5
       Model  One Proliant ML350,One Proliant DL380 & three Dl 140.
       OS  Windows 2003 (32 bit)
       Applications  SQL Server

3)  IBM Servers     -
     Number of Servers  2
      Model -  X346,X3650
      OS  Windows 2003(32 bit)
       Applications -  ERP

4)  Storage
      Having one HP NAS Storage (DL 320S) with 2TB capacity for storing Archive Data.
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Question by:hchabria
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by:za_mkh
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Well not having experience with Hyper-V, I can talk about ESXi. It is probably a more superior solution than Hyper-V with a better eco-system of products that work with it.
ESXi is free and could potentially run on all your Servers (check out the HCL list). With ESX(i) you can definitely connect the server / virtual machines to SAN storage. It of course depends how you guys operate. With ESX(i), it is best to get to an infrastructure where all your VM's are hosted on a common storage platform i.e. SAN. Because when you have that and coupled with vCenter, you get all the benefits of DRS, HA and VMOTION.
I recommend that you visit the VMWare website (www.vmware.com) and read about the ESX upgrade called vSphere  which is launching tomorrow
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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Spot on, za_mkh, you have stolen the words from my sentence. :)
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by:hchabria
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OK...so ESXi is absolutely free for production environment, that's fine. However, are DRS, HA, VMOTION and vCenter bundled with ESXi or I have to purchase them seperately? Please give me a light on VMware Infrastructure - do I also need it?

Please clear me one thing -- does Hyper-v support Sun Solaris Guest OS?
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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This URL should give you an idea about ESX 3 Licensing - http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/buy.html

No Hyper-V does not support Sun Solaris as Guest OS. It only supports RHEL5 and SUSE 10 for now.

Check this Hyper-V FAQ - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-faq.aspx


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by:vmwarun - Arun
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ESXi is only the bare metal Hypervisor which only allows you to provision VMs.

However if you want to use Distributed Services such as vMotion, HA and DRS, you will need a vCenter Foundation or Standard License for managing your ESX Hosts and ESX Enterprise License for the ESX Host Agent,etc.
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by:hchabria
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Nice inforamtion arunraju. That means In our scenario MS Hyper-v won't work. Is it true?

Please suggest me exactly what are the VMware products we need to fulfill our requirement as I am totally new in VMware virtualization ?

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by:vmwarun - Arun
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Always ready to help,hchabria

Yup MS Hyper-V will not suite if you require Solaris Guest in your Virtual Environment.

Please explain to me the following points

1.How many ESX Hosts are you planning to have ?
2.Will you be using Local Storage, NAS or SAN Storage ? If you are using SAN Storage, would it be FC or iSCSI ?
3.Are you looking into vMotion and HA ?
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by:hchabria
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1.  We are planning to have 10 ESX Hosts (SUN Servers - 3 nos. +   HP Servers - 5 nos. + IBM Server -     2 nos.)

2.  We are currently having NAS Storage. We are also planning to go for SAN Storage and I am not quite sure which one I should go for FC or iSCSI.

3.  We are looking for clustering kind of scenario and that means we need HA feature. We are also looking for vMotion.

Please suggest me the best possible inputs from your end.
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vmwarun - Arun earned 500 total points
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1.I would suggest ESX Enterprise Licenses for your requirements since your have mentioned about HA and vMotion.
   Please note that ESX Licenses are based upon the number of physical CPU Sockets available in each Server Hardware, so plan      your license purchases accordingly.

2.Choosing FC or iSCSI is entirely dependent on the budget constraints.

3.Please note that HA does not equal to Clustering. HA will merely restart the Virtual Machine on a different ESX Host if the ESX Host on which the VM was initially running had failed due to a hardware issue.

vMotion is the concept of live migrating a VM when it is running.

in vSphere (which is incidentally getting released on 21 May,2009) a new feature called VMware FT or Fault Tolerance is being brought in.

This concept is equal to clustering.


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by:hchabria
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But ESX is free, isn't it?
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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Yes ESXi is free but if you want to use the features like HA, vMotion, DRS and DPM, you would have to buy ESX Enterprise License.

ESXi would allow you to provision VMs but the above mentioned would provide you with the necessary services which you have mentioned earlier.
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by:hchabria
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All right. So, ultimately I need the following products:

1.  ESXi Enterprise License
2.  vMotion
3.  vSphere

Am I right?

What's about VMware Infrastructure?
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by:vmwarun - Arun
vmwarun - Arun earned 500 total points
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You either need ESXi or vSphere.

vSphere is next version of ESX.

The current version is ESX 3.5.

You would need ESXi Enterprise License, vCenter Server License and vMotion, HA License.


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by:vmwarun - Arun
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vCenter Server is the Management Server which is used to manage ESXi Hosts.

All the Distributed Services like vMotion, HA,DRS & DPM can be administered using vCenter Server.
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by:hchabria
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OK. Thank you very much for your information. It is now almost clear to me. However, I have to go through the technical documentation for more clarification on VMware Products which you have suggested.
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by:vmwarun - Arun
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I completely concur with your ideas.

VI3 Doc Link - http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vi_pubs.html

Choose ESXi/ESX and then read the guides.


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