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State of virtualization

I’ve been playing with a number of the virtualization technologies out there and thought I would pass along my experiences.

Hyper V (part of Sever 2008)

– requires 64 bit Windows 2008 with hardware VT support

– installation of System Center Virtual Machine manager (Microsoft’s equivalent to VMWARE’s virtual center) crashed on install

– no USB in the guest

– CD burner does not get passed to the guest

– can support guests with 1, 2 or 4 processors

– supports a 10G connection back to the main host!

– transferring a file from the guest back to the host (on different hard drives) yielded 35 MB/s! Did a transfer of 3.3GB in 90 seconds for a sustained transfer rate of 38MB/s!

– set to two processor I used Apex Super Converter to convert a 4:37 avi video from my camera to MP4 for an iPod and it took 4:36 which is about the same length of time it took locally (not in a vm)

– 457 MB (Godsmack MP3) checker (hard drive benchmcark) showed 32.3MB/s on the guest (73MB/s local on the host)

Esx 3.5

– No usb passed to the guest

– No CD bruner passed to the guest

– 457 MB (Godsmack MP3) checker showed 41MB/s on the guest

VMware server 2.0

– CD/DVD burner gets passed. Nero sees the burner and can burn from it!

– USB gets passed, but I attached a USB DVD burner and the guest did not see the DVD burner

– sees as much memory as the host

– can not coexist with Hyper V (install pukes)

– max 2 processors for the guest

– web only interface to control, not compatible with VI 3

– transfer from Guest to host 340M file took 45 seconds or 8MB/s slowest of them all

– 457 MB (Godsmack MP3) checker showed 17.4MB/s on the guest (73MB/s local on the host) again slowest of them all

– the virtual NIC on the Host that vmware installs is only 100MB in spite of the fact that the one installed onto the guest is 1G. This limits the transfer speed off the guest.

– not compatible with Virtual Center 2.5

ESXi 4.0

– Not compatible with Virtual Center 2.5

– Not compatible with Virtual Infrastructure Client

– Need to load yet another client

– Web interface can not be used to manage it at all, you have to load the client

– Support the guest drive growing as needed rather than allocate everything up front as was needed up to ESX 3.5

– Supports USB but only a 82371ab so USB 1.1, and again I attached a USB DVD burner but the guest did not see the burner

– CD/DVD Burner does not pass through … Pooh

– If you pay for the license you can add network, memory, hard drives and a few other things on the fly without powering off the VM

– 457 MB (Godsmack MP3) checker showed 75 MB/s on the guest (vs 41 on ESX 3.5 on the same Host for an improvement of 82%)

– added an ISCSI Guest with Starwind acting as the target. Measured 30MB/s on the same 457 MB transfer on an inactive network. By the way I found a neat trick when using iSCSI. In a mickey mouse setup like we have in our homes it’s possible for the iSCSI to be down when ESX is up. Especially true when iSCSI is being served up by a software target. ESX really doesn’t like this and will remove the VM from the list. This is problematic. There is a solution … When you create the VM the config file by default is stored the same place as the hard drive images. If you put this on iSCSI then when iSCSI is not there and ESX is voila ESX removes them. The solution is to place the config file local to the server (they aren’t that large anyway) and put the hard drive images on the iSCSI … Simple!

– I transferred the same 457MB file off over the network and yielded 20 MB/s.

Virtual center 4.0

– More of the same. Very similar to V3

– Vcenter 4 can control V3 and V4 ESX hosts! This is a major improvement to V3 which could not handled V2 ESX hosts making migrations and coexistence much more clumsy

So for now ESX4.0 is King but Hyper-V is making nice strides. Vmware server is a joke. .

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August 27, 2009 - Posted by | Other reviews

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