OT: Best virtual machine server?

Rick Chadderdon mailscanner at yeticomputers.com
Tue Nov 13 17:27:10 GMT 2007

Since I haven't seen it mentioned yet, I'll throw in a vote for
VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/).  I use VMWare Server on several
machines, but gave this thing a try on my Ubuntu Gutsy workstation
'cause VMWare was broken on Gutsy and I didn't feel like fiddling with
all of the patches I'd found to fix the problem.  Plus, it gave me an
opportunity to play with something different.  I always like that.  :)

Installation was easy, and migrating a Windows XP and an Arch Linux
virtual machine worked well.  Virtualbox read the vmdks without a need
for conversion, although I did convert them later to get full
functionality (I love snapshots).  The Windows XP guest did need a
repair install in order to detect the new virtual hardware, but it ran
great after than.  Arch just worked.  Networking can be a bit tricky if
you need more than NAT, but it only took about an hour to get it
working, including getting shorewall working with a bridged interface,
so I'm sure it's nothing you can't handle.  :)


Julian Field wrote:
> I've been badly bitten by VMWare, so that's out. No discussion there. It
> can't even keep its clock running to time :-(
> I've used Parallels quite a bit, but not suited to a server environment,
> it's a workstation tool.
> I've used Microsoft Virtual Server quite a bit, well suited to servers,
> dead easy to manage, I already have a VM in MVS that I will need to move
> to the new physical system. We get it free (as in beer). Big
> restriction: only supports 32-bit guests, no 64-bit guests at all :-(
> Xen?
> Never used it, have been reading the RedHat docs on it, looks like it
> needs a lot of text editing, but there also appears to be "virt-manager"
> that does a lot of the hard work for you. I want a system that is easy
> to get up and running, and easy to do everything with the host and the
> guests without physical access to the host hardware, once the host is
> setup.
> One question: what is the difference between domain0 and the host
> physical system?
> Any others I should be seriously considering?
> Basically what I'm doing is this: I am often asked to run a service for
> someone in a research project that doesn't have (yet) the hardware they
> need, and want to borrow a server for a month or two. So I'm spending
> some of my toy budget on a cheap 1U Dell server to do this in an
> organised way.
> So I'm looking for your thoughts and advice, as I know some of you use
> virtualisation in quite a big way.
> How can I move a Microsoft Virtual Server guest machine to the new
> server setup? And the same from a VMWare guest? I've two I have got to
> move, and don't want to have to totally reinstall from scratch if I can
> avoid it.
> Thanks folks!
> Jules

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