Virtualization

7 02 2013
  Virtualization of servers has been going on for awhile, but still gaining steam. The same can be said for desktops, where I have seen a lot of people using it to run Windows on a Mac for example.

  I have been testing out both of these tools and am amazed that everything is not done this way. I certainly think that as people become better informed that it will continue to be the wave.

  One neat thing I have been playing with is running VMware ESXi on a middle of the road desktop to test it out. Most run it on real server hardware of course for production use. I then have a couple of virtual servers running within the ESXi server. I have 3 Windows 2008 R2 servers virtualized and they run great! I tasked one as a VMware Mirage Server, one is running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express. The last one a Mirage Management Server.

  What they will allow me to do is create virtual desktops to deploy out to client machines. It will allow me to maintain a “golden image” desktop OS, making management and maintenance easier as I don’t have to take care of a bunch of individual desktops. I can focus on the core OS and any corporate apps that we use, like Office or Photoshop. The end user can run it locally on their machine, so they are not reliant on servers or network connectivity to use their virtual machine. But when they are connected, they do sync up. Each individual can customize to whatever extent I allow the user(s) to do. Their individual data, settings, apps will also be in sync with our servers so that disaster recovery will not be an issue.

  Another similar product is MokaFive. They pretty much compete with each other, though the individualization seems easier to do with Mirage. If you don’t need that, then you really need to compare and do your homework. It is good to do a proof of concept and test it all out. The vendors will accomodate with trial software and documentation.

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