|07 Apr 2011||#1|
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VMWARE ESxi users White Box site
For those who want to try ESXi (Vmware's Hyper Virtualization OS) here's a great site which has details of compatable hardware so you can use your own White Box systems at home
Here's the WHITEBOX site
ESXi isn't like a normal OS -- It's a super thin minimal kernel allowing maximum computer use for the Virtual Machines --however it IS a bit picky on the hardware it works on --for example I haven't seen a home computer grade MOBO where the ONBOARD LAN works.
Note also that once you've installed ESXI you will need a separate Windows machine initially (use a laptop or whatever) to intall Vsphere Client which is needed to define and create your Virtual Machines on the ESXi server.
While this stuff is intended for large server farms and datacentres there's no reason why you can't run this at home on much lower and cheaper grade components.
It WILL work on SATA domestic drives - but remember if you start up too many VM's you'll find the I/O will kill the system as one VM writing willl HOG the entire disk for its write.
If you CAN afford a RAID card then it's worth putting one in to avoid this type of contention which doesn't matter a lot on home computers.
Note also that ESXI 4.0 and above will only run on 64 bit CPU's -- version 3.5 will run on 32 bit CPU's but I think you'll find it harder to get compatable hardware -- the latest version is a bit less choosy over hardware.
Once you get started into this its hard to stop !!!!.
Here's a quick tutorial also on how to install a Guest OS on to your ESXI server
It's fairly similar to the same procedure when you use vmware workstation / player or VBOX but remember you have to do this from the REMOTE CLIENT computer. Also you are using "Datastores" but if you've ever installed a GUEST OS then the procedure should be reasonably familiar.
Have fun and its a great way to learn about servers, virtual machines etc and its FREE.
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