Virtualization: VMWare, Xen, 32, 64 bit

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Dec 29, 2006, 7:09:34 PM12/29/06
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Happy new year!

So, father Christmas gave me some beautiful new iron (Dell PE 6950: 2
opteron dual core, expandible to 4, 4 GB RAM expandible to 64 and
about 300 GB hd with 3 SAS disks in RAID5, 4 network interfaces and 2
power supply).

It will substitute an Intel monoprocessor 4 years old and alone it
should have processing power to do the job not only of such old server
but also of two other Intel bi-processors servers with less than half
of its RAM, one of which is fully underutilized (like also the
monoprocessor that it will substitute). All these machines are
connected by ethernet GB and have at least 2 network interfaces each
(this one and one other, 4).

In such a situation, it's clear that it would be a waste using this new
mainframe-like with only one OS working as a regular server. It's
really a virtualization situation and I'd like to consolidate on this
server at least 2 or 3 of the physical servers.
Unlikely, now these servers work with Windows, then it's mandatory
that the virtualization solution I'm going to implement support this

Lets begin from the problems.
Then I'll come to virtualize my physical servers in virtual ones on
this new hw.
If it suffers a severe hardware outage that stop the machine and all
the actual users of different servers couldn't work.
How can I avoid that? Clusterizing the new server. But how?
I see 2 solutions. Clusterization at physical or at virtual machines
It seems to me that the last one should be more elegant and flexible,
but I don't know if it's feasible.
Does somebody has any idea about?

I'd like to use Xen (since few days has been released version 3.1 that,
with such hw, supports also Windows 2003 unmodified as guest, but I
don't know if it can guarantee the availability's requirements
(cluster) that I need.
For sure VMWare could, but I'm afraid of costs and performances (in
such case I'd thought
to install Centos 4.4 or Scientific Linux 4.4 and then install VMWare
for the Windows virtual machines), but maybe it will be more reliable
than Xen.
Another question is tha At now I think that neither VMWare, neither Xen
run 64 bit, fully employing my hw features.

The third solution that I dislike also for possible futures license
troubles is Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, but trying to be
professional, I have to evaluate also this one.

Somebody has some experience, idea or hints about?


P.S.: sorry for the bad English, if something is not understandable,
let me know

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