Bare metal hypervisor to run windows server



  • Can someone recommend a cheap or open-source BM Hypervisor that will run windows server 2008.  I have a side project that needs this.  Most of my hypervisor experience is of the hosted type.

    Thanks



  • VMware ESXi 5.5 standalone is free and top of the line.  That's what I run pfSense on.

    http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/


  • Moderator

    +1 for VMWARE ESXI



  • How do you manage VMware ESXi 5.5 standalone? Is there a platform independent full-featured management solution integrated yet?

    I would much prefer using VMware over other vm-solutions but as I'm trying to get rid of the MS-dependancy, that was the showstopper for me the last time I looked at the product.


  • Moderator

    VMWARE has nothing to do with Microsoft. It it managed with its own software. You are thinking about Microsoft's Hyper V, which can only be managed with another Microsoft Product.



  • ESXi is directly managed from either a Windows GUI client, a CLI for Windows or Linux, or through a web interface.  The web interface does not have all of the functionality of the Windows client, but they are closing the gap with every release.  They are trying to get to a place where you don't need Windows for anything.  If you need to manage multiple ESXi servers, that's where vCenter comes in and its associated licensing costs.  However, you can get (or used to, I haven't checked lately) an Essentials bundle that gives you a 6 pCPU license and a lot of goodies including vCenter for ~$500.  That's enough to run 30-50 VMs on three decent blade servers.



  • @BBcan177:

    You are thinking about Microsoft's Hyper V…

    No I'm not.



  • @KOM:

    ESXi is directly managed from either a Windows GUI client, a CLI for Windows or Linux, or through a web interface.  The web interface does not have all of the functionality of the Windows client, but they are closing the gap with every release.  They are trying to get to a place where you don't need Windows for anything.

    That is exactly what I'm waiting for. ;)

    Is the web server part of the management integrated in VMware ESXi 5.5 standalone? Scanning quickly over the VMware documentation I got the impression that the web interface work only towards a management application (vCenter?), which in turn also requires Windows? Please enlighten me.


  • Moderator

    OK sorry about that.

    I haven't tried this solution but might be worth a try:

    http://virt-manager.org/
    http://libvirt.org/drvesx.html



  • No, you can't control ESXi standalone via web interface.  That's only available with vCenter.  For what it's worth, VMware provides a Linux-based VM for running vCenter on ESXi itself so you don't need Windows for that either.  The only thing you currently really need Windows for with vSphere is the Update Manager, and they're working on converting that as well.

    If you are running from Linux then your best bet for management are the Linux CLI tools which are very powerful.



  • I'm not afraid of the command line but I find a GUI far better for managing virtual machines.

    If I need to buy a management application to manage a free product, I don't really consider the product free.

    Thank you very much for answering my off-topic questions!



  • Hopefully they will end their Windows dependence soon.



  • thanks for the suggestion of esxi  I will give it a try.

    We are a Hyper-V shop and while I think it is a great product it is not the right solution for this project.  ESXI should work.



  • IIUC, the web interface is only available if you install their supplied guest for that, and that entire feature requires a non-free license be purchased for ESXi.

    Even then, I'm told that the web UI only works if you have Flash installed, which could be a problem. They also only certify that it works on Windows with specific browsers.

    Since I'm almost all Macs at home, I found all of this to make ESXi very unattractive. I'm still having to use it on my particular pfSense box until 2.2.


  • Moderator

    Chrome browser has Flash built-in. Maybe that will work for you to access the ESXI Web UI.