Multi Headed Hypervisor Server

Submitted by Matt on Tue, 04/14/2015 - 20:36

So, being in the server tech business I have access to special high performance hardware. This gives me a special opportunity to fool around with enterprise level software and solutions.

Some cool things I have been playing with:

  • Virtualization (SR-IOV, VT-D, VT-X)
  • Hardware RAID

These capabilities have been around for a while but mainly with servers. And they now arent even necessarily limited to servers since some high end desktops are now hitting 6-8 cores.

My Initial Problem:

Because I like to tinker around with a lot of different things, I pretty much needed a computer to fill each individual specialized task. This began to get pretty rediculous after a while. So many power cables, network cables, monitors, spare parts lying around everywhere. It became very unsightly. And not even to mention that each computer could consume somewhere between 20-100W idle. There had to be a better way!

Sure enough there is. It is called VMware ESXi, and it is awesome. I really wish I would have found it earlier. Vmware ESXi (Do they call it Vsphere now) is a bare metal Virtual Machine Hypervisor. It allows you to take a system''s hardware and divide its hardware resources up among one or more "virtual" machines. There are other products that do similar things, such as VMWare workstation and Virtualbox, but these are not bare metal hypervisors. They run on top of a given OS and tend to not be as flexible or efficient (but still very useful in certain circumstances).

So my server is HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 with two processors with tens of gigabytes of RAM. I have multiple virtual machines set up off all different kinds of OSs depending on its purpose. Most are headless (I VNC/RDP into them) bit 2 are "headed".

Server Hypervisor