Paul Maritz, ex-Microsoftie and current president and chief executive officer at VMware, is learning just how much fun it is to compete against his former employer. While with vSphere 4.0 VMware arguably has the most sophisticated server virtualization tools in the market, it is tough to beat free and bearing the Microsoft …
Wrong description of features in the article...
vMotion has nothing to do with disaster recovery; it allows you to move a live, running VM from one ESX server to another. If there's a disaster, there's no running VM to move, and no vMotion to perform.
The essentials plus bundle does get you the HA features, which is an automatic restart of a failed VM, in the event of hardware failure of the hosting ESX server. HA, however, is a high availability feature, not a disaster recovery feature.
To cover a DR scenario, you'll need software to replicate the VMs and their disks to another site.
VMotion is definitely what I want. I run 32 physical virtual servers in 5 separate physical sites. Every one of them ESXi with *spit* local storage. (We don't even have enough to spring for 5 SANs!) At $2800 a pop, the VMWare costs to get VMotion up and going on my servers would be $89600. That's almost 90% of our yearly budget!
I haven't even begun to dream of HA features, though we desperately need them. We've had to make do by buying extra hardware. E.g. we run a pair of virtual servers in each small site worth $2500 a pop. So we managed to get a third without any disks for about $2000. If an extant system dies, have a staffer onsite yard the entire group of disks out and put it in the spare machine. *sigh*
VMWare, your prices are way to ***ing high. Friendly to SMBs my lily white arse.
You need a VSAN virtual appliance
Have a look at Openfiler (there is a freebersion) or FalconStor (there is a free version).
In the commerical world, Lefthand VSAN (HP punt it).
You can setup a VSAN on each of those boxes and replicate the data between them. Then you can connect back to itself using iSCSI and benefit from the replication. It'd be smart to run extra NICs in the server and separate the replication traffic onto a separate virtual switch and the new NIC... and then via either crossover cables or some decent layer 3 switches.
I had been working on a FREENAS prototype recently. The latest openfiler release had some sort of iSCSI brainfart and refused to work properly. I was promised it would be fixed in the next release, but that hasn't been forthcoming. Might be time to check back in with it.
Adaptec 3805s and velociraptors make for fun RAID10s. I have enough that a small reworking of the hardware on each site would make for some bitchin' roll-your-own-SANs. (By reworking I mean “buy a new box and shove extant RAID cards and drives in it, leaving the ESXi boxes diskless.)
Takes time to test it and get it from the lab to production though…
Still; cheers and thanks for the advice!
correct me if I'm wrong
"But that $495 will get you three licenses to ESX Server 4.0 or ESXi 4.0, the latter being the embedded version of the VMware bare metal hypervisor for installation on flash drives inside servers"
I thought ESX & ESXI 4.0 were both bare metal Hypervisors, the difference being that ESXi relies on a remote console for administration whereas ESX has a built in Linux based console.
The ESXi embedded version is the one that can be embedded.
good for some
I have just bought the essentials product. We have been using the free ESXi for some time, and this was the ideal cheap way to get licensed for ESX and the ability to get access to the CLI and VCB.
All the other bells and whistles like HA and Vmotion would be nice but hey maybe in the future when the estate grows.
You pay for what you get.
Vmware ESX is far too expensive an it will come back to bite them.
That said, if you are putting all your eggs in a basket you had better make sure it's bullet proof and backed up by good support. We have extensivly tested ESX, Xen and shiter V. ESX for critical backend. XEN for desktop, havn't found a use for the other yet.
Vmware support is the best I have ever experianced. They have better integration with the major hardware vendors, server and storage which let's face it is not exactly a trivial point, and the hypervisor does what it says on the tin. It's the only piece of software I have ever purchased that delivers what the marketing bumph promises on every single level.
VDI is a different story however, They talk the talk but they are behind and I still can't get them to provide a decent site reference.
Let's hope they realise they need to adjust the pricing, and don't even get me started on the cost of training.
Paris? I'll get my wallet!
@ Trevor Pott o_O
Even if you can't run to a SAN, buy an NFS server and put your datastore on that. Then you can mount it from multiple ESXi hosts, so it's quick to move a VM around, and if you snapshot a running VM, you can take a back up without downtime.
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