What virtualization software to use for small website?


we would like to virtualize seven server all running debian etch. It's one loadbalancer using apache with mod_jk, two webserver with tomcat, one app server with tomcat, mailserver, fileserver and a databaseserver running mysql.

We want all of them on one single powerful host. The host will be put to a colocation facility. We will have only one upload and one managed switch.  

Migration should be as easy as possible and the vServers have to run as stable as possible.

What would you use for virtualization? XenServer, esxi or something different.
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Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
Vince you're talking of virtualization and you're already using Linux I'd suggest you to use XEN. It is enterprise class virtualization and XEN is by default implemented in the  kernel and having lots of migration tools available.

I don't think tehraea are so many tools around that could match with XEN over UNIX. Another alternative would be going to VMWare esx but it is not open source and tools are not as good as XEN.

So XEN is the answer you're looking for.


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goransunAuthor Commented:
Thank's a lot.

But is XEN as stable as vmware running vServer? I remember I've read somewhere, that it sometimes "looses" virtual machines. Have you experienced these kind of problems?
Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
In fact may be even more stable. Now that it comes bundled with RedHAT Enterprise and CentOS too naturally. It includes all the tools you'd need.

Apart from that more than 80 percent of all VPS providers are using XEN though VMWare has a free version of its ESX server.

Apart from that XEN is a fully owned by Sun Microsystems (Now Oracle.. it is not hard to guess what will Oracle be looking at first: Hardware, Wirtualization and Application server)  and they have great deal of investment in Xen technologies let alone the community.
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I have a little bit similar situation using VMware virtualization its running very well and you can touch the stability
go on vmware and make load test to clarify and decide which one will fit your needs
goransunAuthor Commented:
Thank's for your answers.

My problem here is Debian. Migration should be as easy as possible. I don't want to go for RH-based Distros, but stay with Debian or maybe Ubuntu. I thought of cloning my pServers to vServers, if there is a solution.

Will XenServer run Debian without any problems? And are there any tools for converting pServer to vServer?

I know VMWare has a converter, but as far as I know you have to pay a lot of money to get it. And it seems that Debian is not a supported OS.  
vmwarun - ArunCommented:
Just to clarify the VMware vConverter part.

Till VMware vConverter 3.0, there were 2 versions, Standard and Enterprise.

Now with VMware vConverter 4.0, there is only one edition and it can be used for all P2V Conversions.

And finally its free :)

Take a peek - http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/
goransunAuthor Commented:
O.k., thank's a lot. I'll try it and get back with the results.
Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
> My problem here is Debian. Migration should be as easy as possible. I don't want to go for RH-based > Distros, but stay with Debian or maybe Ubuntu.

Though you don't want to go to RH, RHEL comes bundled with Xen you won't even bother installing. If you don't want to go RHEL because of it is a paid distro then you can stick with CentOS. CentOS is built around RHEL sources and supported by the community so it is free. Best of both worlds :))

> I thought of cloning my pServers to vServers, if there is a solution.

> Will XenServer run Debian without any problems? And are there any tools for converting pServer to vServer?

It will run on Debian. But don't even think of Ubuntu. It might cause you to loose most of your hair : ))

Please Read this before deciding. Especiaily the Live Migration thing. It is very useful on production environments in that you can migrate running virtual machines between physical hosts!


goransunAuthor Commented:
O.k., thank's everybody for the comments. I'm going to analyze Xenserver a little more and then I'll get back.
goransunAuthor Commented:
Sorry it took me such a long time, but testing and evaluation took some time. We went for xen. Thank's again for all your answers.
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