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Evaluating ESXi & Ubuntu/KVM: Dual Boot

post #1 of 8
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I'm currently in the process of evaluating ESXi and Ubuntu/KVM as virtualisation platforms, and I'd like to know if it's possible to dual boot between them. The test hardware is a Dell PE1900, 8GB RAM and a Dell PERC 5/i with 6 SATA drives connected to it. The system currently has Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with KVM installed; can Grub or the ESXi bootloader accommodate another OS? Also, what's the best way to manage ESXi these days? Is it still the Windows client?

Many thanks. smile.gif
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post #2 of 8
Looks like it might be possible for GRUB to boot both, but it doesn't look like it will work without some fiddiling.


VSphere is probably the best way to manage.
    
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post #3 of 8
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@killabytes

Cheers for that. I CBA with messing around, so I'll probably procure some extra hardware and have both running at the same time.
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post #4 of 8
Hi there,

My work involves daily use of virtualization technologies. I have extensive experience with VMWare vSphere 5, Microsoft HyperV, OpenVZ, Xen and KVM.

I just wanted to say, although KVM is a nice solid platform, VMWare ESX / ESXi is a far more mainstream product and you will probably find it a lot easier to use. I would stick with vSphere.

Its also considered the most renowned enterprise virtualisation product and is what you are most likely to come across sitting underneath big virtualised infrastructures.

And yes the vSphere client is still the best way to manage your ESX host. If you start using multiple hosts, put a vCenter server in and start having fun with HA, FT and vMotion.

P.S. If you need some shared storage, Openfiler is free and excellent for a learning environment. It can present NFS, iSCSI and FC LUN's to your ESX hosts.

I have a 'test lab' at work that I use for development before putting things into my production ESXI environment.

It consists of 4 Dell CS23-SH's (Dual Quad Xeon's, 16GB RAM) and a Dell 2950 running openfiler.

Cheers
Tom
Edited by The_Rocker - 6/15/13 at 10:42am
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
@The_Rocker

Many thanks for the info. Don't worry, I'm well aware that ESXi is the industry benchmark for enterprise virtualisation, but the only thing making me look sideways at ESXi is the pricing (from what I've seen it's horrendous), but yes it's certainly pretty easy to use, at least from screenshots anyway. tongue.gif

To be fair though, as part of my evaluation process I've been playing with both Cloudmin and ConVirt, and they both seem to make managing KVM/Xen environments pretty easy. Also, I'm not frightened to get my hands dirty. biggrin.gif
Edited by parityboy - 6/15/13 at 4:50pm
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post #6 of 8
Nice one :-)

There is a free VMWare Hypervisor but its not the same suite of products as vSphere etc...

Yeah there are lots of management installs which make Xen & KVM a lot nicer to use. Typically this is what a lot of VPS hosting providers run.

Tom
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post #7 of 8
Depending on what your virtualization needs are, I say take a look at XCP (Xen Cloud Platform). It's the open source Xen hypervisor, but it has the APIs to work with Citrix Xen tools such as XenCenter. Basically a free version of XenServer.

Of course, Hyper-V on Server 2012 is still on top of my list. I assume you need to virtualize a lot of Linux though, so I wouldn't recommend Hyper-V. vShpere would be my top choice, but if cost is a concern I think XCP deserves a look.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
@The_Rocker

Yeah, one thing I noticed about Cloudmin is that it's really aimed at VPS provisioning and billing, rather than an enterprise environment; although it can certainly be used in the enterprise (especially where people are permitted to create/administer their own VM pools) it's not as slick as ConVirt (especially the pretty graphs, lol).

One thing I do like about Cloudmin is that you can create a base image from an ISO (like Ubuntu Server), then create a VM from that image with the SSH server installed and configured for root access. Cloudmin can then login to that VM and install Webmin, allowing you to configure that instance via Webmin as soon as the install is complete.

ConVirt is a bit more involved in this regard, in that it won't mount the disk image and modify its files the way Cloudmin can, so you have to go about things a little differently. This is likely due to the fact that ConVirt isn't really intended to be run on the VM host (or doesn't look that way) - Convirture need to extend the functionality of the tools which get installed on the host metal so that installation and cloning is more automated (maybe the Enterprise Edition can do this better).

I've also been looking at Canonical's Landscape/MAAS product on YouTube. I definitely will not need mass bare metal deployments, but quick provisioning and management of VMs is appealing.

@tycoonbob

Cheers for that, I'll give that a look. smile.gif
Edited by parityboy - 6/16/13 at 5:11pm
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