Okay, I am getting a replacment for my little 4 core 1U machine that I have run for the last 18 months and getting a large 16 core 48G machine, and now I have to figure out how to best utilize it. Here is the issue, and I am interested in what people think.
The machine is supported with ESXi (in fact could have been purchased with it preinstalled) and comes with 500+G of SAS storage. The virtual machines I am moving however are on VMware Server 2.0 RC 1, which means I will have to rebuild all them as they are HW Type 7, which isn't supported on ESXi. I have 14 virtual machines today, and this represents several weeks of rebuilding if I have to start from ground zero. Understand that the new server was sort of a surprise to me, I thought I was just going to be geting 2 more 1U pancake servers, so I hadn't been planning for this change.
The PROs for ESXi is the performance characteristics and bare metal install, but the big CON for ESXi is I have no Windows in my arsenal. My two workstations are pure Linux machines, 13 of the 14 virtual machines are Linux and the 1 Windows virtual machine is fully taxed and belongs to another team who will likely be taking their license when their project ends. I have no money to buy additional licenses but may be able to get buy with a trial license till the beginning of the year when I may be able to acquire a Windows license. I know that next year some time VMware is supposed to have a control center for Linux for ESX, but I have to do something this year and would hate to have to do it twice.
Does it really make that much difference in performance, given that I am going from 4 cores to 16 cores, to jump to ESXi find a way to wrangle up the Windows license to manage it temporarily until the Linx client comes along and I can hopefully hook that into IBM System Director (the literature on IBM System Director seems to indicate that I need the VMware console as well as IBM Director). What do you all think?