I have also been watching/reading this thread for the past two days, and I am just wodering why no one has looked into Acronis's VM offerings? They have a product called True Image for Virtual Servers, basically its the same thing as the regular TIE, just has a different licensing structure. I have been using this for my VM's for the past 2 months since ESXi was made available with no issues, now granted its NOT REPLICATION, but in my environment and the servers I am running I can rely on a nightly backup of the servers. Most of my high-end production servers will always remain physical boxes, but the VM's that I do have (4 ESXi hosts on PE2950s w/ 32 total VM's) are all backed up this way. The VM's are mostly either file shares, programming development servers, print servers etc. They have always been this way, so replication for those are not critical. Now one day I do hope to replicate the running VM's offsite to our DR site but right now with budgets getting tight that will be pushed off.
I am sure someone will come out with a replication solution for the VM's, its only a matter of time. I am running Microsofts Data Protection Manager to replicate my important data shares off my VM's. In a disaster/hardware failure I can restore my nightly backup to a new VM, and copy the data from either a local replication or DR site location, (with universal restore i can even restore to a physical box if need-be). Again, I would love to have a replicated copy of the running server somewhere, but the cost of ESX + hardware + current economic times + bidget constraints = unable to JUSTIFY AT THIS TIME a move to ESX.
If I had the budget I would move to ESX, but my company is in the growing stages, and maybe once our markets turn around and things take off I can revisit all of that good stuff :-). Hopefully!
You said: Eric- I would venture to say that most companies do not buy white box hardware especially to run ESX in a production environment. Thats great that your company saved money on hardware by going that route but I know my company doesn't buy any hardware that is going into production w/o it being on the HCL of whatever it'll be running and has to have hardware support. Also even though that amount of cash needs to be spent to purchase ESX in your eyes isn't that much money, to other small companies, asking for any money is hard especially in the current market status. On a side job I have a hard time justifying a 500$ purchase...
I say: "Most companies", probably large Enterprises, but I am sure many small companies run "white boxes". The Intel hardware and storage cards we use are on the HCL so I don't see what the issue would be there. And yes, I believe that is Foundation is relatively inexpensive for the value received, regardless of size of company. In prisoners case they sound like they have made a considerable investment in their hardware already so another $2000 for Foundation so they can run ESX and create a disaster recovery infrastructure should, in my opinion, not be an issue.
Just a couple of things to note:
4) ESXi is not based on Linux and rsync is not available in the console.
so, why does a statically compiled rsync linux binary run inside the ESXi console then ?
i just compiled it on another box and copied it over to the ESXi box - runs fine.