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There are 10 of game servers running on 10 virtual machines. Each server listens to 10 different ports for dedicated purposes. However, usually the CPU/MEM utilization for each server is less then 10%. It's kind of a waste for using 10 VMs, since it takes more time to manage each VM. Is there any way to consolidate these servers?

The only fixed thing is each server needs an IP and fixed 10 ports.

Thanks.

EDIT: These VMs are already on VMWare ESXi host. On resources perspective, it's well consolidated. On management perspective, it still requires people to go through every machines to do the duplicate things. Also, every machine also need a copy of Windows Server 2003, license, which is a waste. Since the application only utilizes less than 10% resources.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Did I get this right: You are running 10 virtual machines on one or more physical systems and want to consolidate them into one physical system without any virtualization or just run them all together into one virtual machine?

If yes, you would just have to install all the server software directly on your one (physical or virtual) machine, make sure you have 10 ethernet aliases with IP addresses and assign them to the respective game servers.

Should your question be if there is a way to automagically move all installations from 10 virtual instances into one, without the need for configuration or reinstallation, the answer will be no, that's not possible.

I am no big fan of virtualization just for the sake of it, but compartmentalization is a valuable benefit of this, and since it is possible to streamline the administration of 10 nearly identical virtual machines to only a minor overhead compared to one machine, you should think about if you really want to give up that benefit.

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+1 - the perceived "overhead" of running multiple virtual OS instances is a lot higher than the actual impact (in terms of CPU\Mem\IO resources and in terms of SysAdmin effort) and the complexity and risks of running multi-instance software stacks on a single OS are not to be underestimated when you go beyond the trivial as we are here. –  Helvick Aug 21 '10 at 0:48
    
Helvick, good point. guess I will leave the system as it is. BTW, how can a machine have 10 NIC (to the same network, like 10 IPs to internet)? –  Stan Aug 21 '10 at 1:28
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Yes, and you won't even 10 NICs, see the link below. If you really need 10 physical interfaces, there are PCIe cards with at least 4 interfaces available for servers. windowsreference.com/windows-2000/… –  SvW Aug 21 '10 at 1:44
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Whether or not you can consolidate all depends on the application. The answer will almost certainly be yes, however.

I'd still recommend starting off by virtualizing. Lower heat, power, and higher utilization make that part worth it no matter where you go from there. VMware ESXi and VMware Converter Standalone is a tough combo to beat.

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ESXi is free and is great for memory oversubscription.

But before you put all your eggs in one basket, make sure you understand the risk of it going "poof" and taking all your servers out at the same time.

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