Apologies for the delayed (and rambling) update. Have been very busy. Following is an update on the experiments with installing various virtualization technologies. The common theme is: the video card on the older box isn't recognized by any of the software installs. I believe this to be associated with the removal of the frame buffer as a default device on many install disks. Ubuntu is only now adding it back.
The issue with Proxmox 1.7 turned out to be the video driver. The built-in video on the motherboard wasn't recognized by Proxmox. I got around this by putting the hard drive in a newer computer (have I said that I really like BlacX?), installing there, and moving the drive back to the original computer.
CentOS 5.5 just doesn't like my boxes, either of them. The install (net or DVD based) completes successfully but, upon reboot, hangs when udev starts up. I'm probably missing a boot option or two. Again, it's more work than I care to do at this point.
XenServer 5.6.1 installs nicely on the older hardware. One drawback is that the official management program (XenCenter) requires Windows to run. A decent alternative appears to be Open XenCenter. If I end up using this, I'll need to figure out how to load ISOs onto the server as there's no upload tool like what vSphere has.
Which brings me to a side topic: management software. One of the drawbacks for most commercial hypervisors is that you need Windows to run some sort of management software. For an all-Unix shop, this can have drastic affects on production networks (think required infrastructure to support that one Windows box). Fortunately, a number of non-Windows management pieces are available:
|home grown||- easy to customize||- must be customized for each install |
- extremely limited feature set without a large investment of time
|vSphere||- I'm familiar with it||- requires a Windows box |
- requires moderately powerful hardware
|XenCenter||- similar to vSphere in function||- requires a Windows box|
|Open XenCenter||- doesn't require Windows||- somewhat limited feature set|
What each needs most:
|vSphere||A non-Windows version of vSphere|
|XenCenter||A non-Windows version of XenCenter|
|Open XenCenter||A built-in means for uploading ISOs into local storage|