VMWare Server

Wednesday 9th November, 2005
I got pinged today by an IT Manager who's considering consolidating his infrastructure onto 2 large intel boxes running VMWare.

Instead of dedicated hardware for domain controllers, file/print, domino etc. with varying resource usage; he'd like to pool them all together on 2 VMware hosting servers and balance resources between the virtual machines appropriately.

This is all good in theory and it's been seen in demonstration. But what's this like in the real world? I can't help him, not been there myself, have any readers done this? Any experiences of running DC, file/print and Domino under different virtual servers all on one physical machine.

Any comments welcomed?

  1. 1) Wild Bill Said: (09/11/2005 15:30:50 GMT) Gravatar Image
    VMWare Server

    Absolutely no worries. Good solution. Like it a lot.

    ---* Bill

  2. 2) Ben Rose Said: (09/11/2005 15:40:20 GMT) Gravatar Image
    VMWare Server

    I failed to mention that the solution involves ditching their AS/400. High maintenance costs is quoted as the major factor.

  3. 3) Colman Carpenter Said: (09/11/2005 15:50:49 GMT) Gravatar Image
    VMWare Server

    Thanks to Ben for asking the question (yes, the original query is mine). I've seen the solution demoed to me so I know it's fine in principle, what I'm really looking for is a pointer towards any potential gotcha's. Any comments are most appreciated.

    Also, the new release of ESX supports iSCSI SAN's, and we happen to have one of those. Ben's not a fan of Domino servers using SAN storage, but other opinions would be welcome, particularly if you have used VMWare in the mix too.

  4. 4) John Troyer Said: (09/11/2005 20:50:35 GMT) Gravatar Image
    VMWare Server

    Not to be too much of an advertisement, but you can also ask at the VMware VMTN Forums at

    { Link }

    Although most of the folks there are VMware fans, they are experts with lots of deployment experience and will give you straight answers. If there are gotchas, they will have seen them and know how to get around them.

  5. 5) Pete Said: (10/11/2005 02:22:37 GMT) Gravatar Image
    VMWare Server

    We use VMware for over 30 production servers and have reduced servers down to 2 at our local data center, We have been using VMware ESX servers for over a year with no issues with either the ESX server or any of the guests running on the ESX server. We have Domain controllers, web servers, and Domino servers (mail, apps, Sametime, Quickplace). In our experiance we have not had any issues. It has been so successful that it is now the default option to put all new servers in the VM enviroment. One thing we have found is that its better to invest in CPU power that memory on the ESX server as ESX manages memory very well, but if the ESX server has not got the base CPU power it effects the performance of the guest server. We only found this on servers that were CPU intensive. I hope this has been of some help.

  6. 6) MIchael Weitzel Said: (03/12/2005 16:30:17 GMT) Gravatar Image
    VMWare Server

    First of all, I 'love' VMware and we are using it for training and test environments (don't know about production).

    I guess my biggest concern would be that if you are consolidating several machines into one then you are looking at some emergency outage if you have a hardware failure but with sufficient redundancy built-in it shouldn't be a problem. I guess it's just a point to take into consideration when architecting the environmment.


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