The following is an excerpt of a chapter from Practical Virtualization Solutions, a book that serves as a guide for managers and CIOs involved in planning, deploying, or managing virtualization projects. Among the topics the book covers are: how to transition your data center from being focused on the physical to being primarily virtual; a comparison of VMware ESXi, VMware Server, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and other virtualization technologies; advanced techniques for simplifying virtual machine management; and where virtualization comes into play for networking and storage.
In general, ServerWatch does not publish book excerpts. In this case we've made an exception, as the authors of Practical Virtualization Solutions are ServerWatch editor and Virtually Speaking columnist Amy Newman, and ServerWatch's Cover Your Assets columnist Kenneth Hess.
We hope you find it useful and informative. Should you wish to read more, the book is available for purchase from InformIT.
This chapter enters the mix of solving problems with virtual machines (VM) and services. We’ve chosen solutions that are somewhat generic in nature and thus applicable to the widest range of situations. The software we will use to demonstrate those solutions are VMware Server and Microsoft Virtual PC. In this and the two subsequent chapters, the software is ancillary to the solution and should not be viewed as an endorsement of a particular solution or company. In this case, VMware Server and Virtual PC were chosen because they are free and work well with a variety of guest operating systems. There is also a huge repository of VM templates, server appliances, and images available for both platforms.
This chapter illustrates how to create and configure dedicated virtualized servers; then it covers migrating physical machines to virtual ones. It also provides an overview of backup and recovery, server appliances, VM migration, tuning, and concludes with a look at VM security.
This section is probably going to take the most time to absorb because it is such a shift from tradition. The next server you create and use will not be a physical one with a system board, drives that you plug in, or memory boards that snap into place. You won’t need to worry about downloading drivers for that video card, network card, or controllers of any kind. In fact, there might not be any hardware compatibility troubleshooting whatsoever.
These days we hardly even bother with CD/DVD drives to install an OS. ISO images are much easier to deal with, and there is hardly a point in searching for a disk that might be scratched in some vital area, making installation frustrating, if not impossible.
A dedicated virtual server (system) is one that, like a physical server, is dedicated to a job or jobs for which it is designed. Configuring a virtual dedicated server is much the same as configuring a physical dedicated server. After installation, the server needs security patches, software updates, and service pruning. Service pruning is halting or removing unneeded services from your system.
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