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Old 03-19-2010, 21:40   #1
StuntPilot
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vmware ESXi (free) and vcenter

I know there are vmware folks on this board. ;-)

What is the best way to manage ESXi (free version) hosts? We have 2 host servers now, but I would like to stay ahead of the curve as the environment grows.

I checked out the vmware website, and it seems that vcenter will manage ESXi free hosts, but the option is pricey.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-19-2010, 21:54   #2
stooxie
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Dude, you're already getting way more than you're paying for, you want still more enterprise features for $0?

In all seriousness, Virtual Center is the way to manage VMWare VMs if you want a single pane of glass across multiple servers. On any given server the Console screens will allow you to manage the VMs.

Anything in particular you are trying to do?

-Stooxie
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Old 03-19-2010, 22:02   #3
StuntPilot
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You know us linux users, we always want everything for free.

We are doing nothing special, and just want to setup the environment correctly right from the start. It's 2 servers now, but could be 20...who knows.

Since we are using the free version of ESXi, I would just have to buy vcenter, and then an agent license for each host.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:56   #4
stooxie
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VMWare makes it pretty easy to start out small and migrate to a richer feature set (and, of course, paid licenses). All the vmdk files are compatible across the VMWare lineup and the management can be bolted on at any time.

There's not much to mess up with a small installation. With larger installations there are more considerations like how big a server should you use and how many VMs can you really squeeze onto one. A lot of people make the mistake of buying lots of small, 2CPU servers and expecting VMWare to make sense of it. The better approach is to buy fewer larger ones (4CPU/16-24 core and up) which gives VMWare more headroom and a statistically greater chance of getting more VMs into a single machine without having too many of them spiking CPU activity. It also allows for greater memory page consolidation.

Now... most of that won't apply until you're looking at scores of VMs but that is what you want to be thinking about now, before you buy a bunch of cheaper-than-dirt white box machines to run this all on.

-Stooxie
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:06   #5
StuntPilot
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Thanks. Our two test boxes are 2 ghz X 12 core / 32GB ram each. My boss is going to buy vcenter, and we will look to buy more robust machines rather than try to go cheap.
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