[nSLUG] vmware for Linux virtualization on production servers

Ian Campbell ian at slu.ms
Thu Mar 12 18:17:00 ADT 2009

On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 03:33:50PM -0300, D G Teed wrote:
> The powers of wisdom at my workplace feel our
> future should be run by vmware.  Blades or no blades
> that is what the powers of wisdom want.

VMware has compelling products. They've been doing virtualization for
a long time, their products bench well, they have intelligent support,
and their management suite (assuming you're shelling out for it) is
quite good.

> My experience with vmware has been limited to
> workstation, and I've seen cases where the
> virtual machine files become corrupt.  One
> way this happened was if the host was shutdown
> or powered off without the guest stopping properly.

Very few things will survive flicking the switch when they're running.
Xen or KVM won't be any better in that regard. If a process in a guest
environment (be that PVM, HVM, or whatever) is shutdown forcibly,
you'll probably still get corruption.

"Doctor, it hurts when I do this!" --> "Stop doing that."

> You can't boot a vmware file from CDROM AFAIK,
> so how can it be fixed?

You can, how did you think guest OSes got installed?

> Doesn't seem to have the benefits of journaling or this wouldn't be
> happening.

I'm not sure what "it" is in this context. If you're talking about
something like Workstation/Fusion/Server/Player then it will have the
benefits of whatever your underlying filesystem is. Journalling isn't
a magic bullet, if you kill the power and updates haven't been flushed
to disk, they get lost.

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