I'm just evaluating ESXi. Sorry if these are are stupid questions, but I've already read as much documentation as I can handle and haven't found clear statements for these (simple?) questions...
#1) We'll sometimes want or have to run VMs created by VMWare Workstation. We get them from colleagues or partners who created them on their, well, workstations I guess we can do this using VMWare Converter, but I'm curious what it does. How compatible or incompatible are "WS 6 - VMs" and "ESXi 3.5 VMs"? If we convert WS6 -> ESXi, then use it for a while and then convert it back... do we have to expect any problems or is this completely harmless?
#2) Right now, I'm using local storage (S-ATA) for evaluation. Is there any way of importing a VM other than the network? Transferring 30 GB over a 100 MBit/s network is no fun - and I've also had network errors! Is local storage "discouraged"? Somehow, the ESXi server seems like a big black box and it's hard to get stuff in and out... We're just a small company and we don't have a SAN... What are the performance implications of using NFS? I would think that local storage is much faster than NFS, isn't it?
(I'm mostly talking about access time, not necessarily bandwidth)
#3) on a similar note: how can I copy / clone a VM in ESXi? The documentation mentions menu items, but I don't see them. Does that apply only to ESX, but not ESXi? I haven't found options for templates either... Now what? If I want to copy a 20 GB VM, I have to download it and then upload it again? That would be almost useless for us... being able to copy VMs easily is the whole point of using VMs for testing and development...
Thanks in advance for any help!
#1 - Using vmware converter they migration form WS to ESX is very compatable - I have not seen any probelms-
#2 - Network transfer is the only you will be able to convert back and forth - local storage is not discouraged but for shared storage NFS might be the ticket - it works well and you can get decent perfomance - you can also look at open source iSCSI targets as a possibility -
33 - The most efficient way to copy/clone is to use virtual center and templates is only a virtual center feature - otherwise you will need to download thes rervice console appliance which will allow you access the storage for your ESX server and be able to use the Linux copy commands -
#1 + #2: ok, I'll try that. I mostly needed XP and I usually used IDE drives (just easier for installation)... in the forum, I saw that ESXi doesn't support IDE? Also, I used growable disks (better for "testing", when high performance is not needed) and don't know if those are supported... Where can I find information about (in)compatibility?
#3) well... for a start, we'll only have a single ESXi server and from what I've read, VirtualCenter is only available with VMWare Infrastructure - and that would drive up the entry price from 500 to at least 1500 dollars... and ESXi does't have a console Looks like ESXi is quite limited and a single ESXi without VI seems to be a real administration hassle...
i think its better to use the old vmware 1.8 with iis support to run a virtual environment in a smaller customer environment.
Have you ever tested the free Hyper-V with the Core Server ? maybe this can be an alternative Solution....
Im on the trial to get ESXI running, because i have to evaluate this environment,
but i think, if you want to be on a supported and legal side, it will create higher costs and more trouble to find solutions for Problems you were never in (at a mostly windows driven environment).
- having Problems with NIC Support
- had Problems with installing Windows XP
- have not found the support for USB Devices
- can not copy my VM's from VMWare 2.0 to ESXI
The Chance to get a quick functioning, smooth and supported Solution for an environment with not so much Linux-Knowledgeworkers is very small.
Because thats my actual, very own personal impression, but im working on it