Over the next several weeks I will be making posts related to my recent experience of deploying VMWare ESX Server. ESX Server is a bare metal hypervisor offered by VMWare. Supported guest operating systems include just about any Windows or Linux based server based OS. For me, I am initially deploying four instances of Windows Web Server 2008 R2.
My principal objective in deploying ESX Server was/is the ability to snapshot backup a running guest OS, thus simplifying software upgrades. Other reasons include the ability to start-up a new guest server OS for any reason without the need for deploying new hardware.
The principal candidates in the virtualization marketplace include VMWare, Microsoft and the Citrix XEN offering. I have always found Microsoft to be several steps behind the marketplace with respect to virtualization technology. I was quite disappointed with Microsoft’s virtualization offerings for the desktop at the time of the Windows 7 release, and as a result I moved from Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to VMWare’s Workstation 7.0 for my development environment. I had my share of problems in moving to VMWare Workstation, however I now consider it a smart move. Many of the issues encountered with the VMWare Workstation migration are outlined in my Sep/Oct 2009 blog posts.
I also had many problems in migrating to VMWare ESX Server, however again, I think it was worth the move. The forthcoming blog posts will discuss some of the challenges.