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So we received a lot of great software from Microsoft's Bizspark program. This in turn started our use of Hyper-V. Overall I really enjoy the product. However it is not the greatest solution for Linux VM's.

Is it a horrible idea to mix and match virtual solutions? Say Hyper-V for strictly Windows VM's and maybe Virtualbox or VMWare for linux VM's?

I'd hate to create an infrastructure that later I regret and have to recover from.

Thanks. (Not on the same machine of course. VBox would be on it's own machines separate from Hyper-V boxes)

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd personally recommend against running multiple VM platforms just because it's more management overhead and more documentation overhead. No reason it's horrible to do it though.

I wouldn't use Virtualbox for a server to be virtualized just because in my experience Vbox is more of a workstation-oriented platform, while VMWare and Xen and Hyper-V are more of a headless-multinode VM platform. But if it works for you, more power to you.

In all it's relative to what you're most comfortable with. If you're going to be comfortable with the overhead of managing multiple platforms and well as getting backup solutions in place you should be all set. Randolph Potter mentioned the same hard disk format for easier migration; he has a point. VM's make it more crucial to have backup plans in place since VM servers are a single point of failure.

You might be just as well off, though, if you have a backup solution in place that treats the virtual servers as real servers. Then you can do a "virtual bare-metal" recovery of your server in place; test it, though, as you don't know how drivers will react if you switch platforms for some reason.

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Thanks for the response! –  Physikal Sep 22 '10 at 18:08
    
+1, There's also management tools available (Like System Center Virtual Machine Manager) that will manage both VMWare and Hyper-V from a single console. –  Chris S Sep 22 '10 at 19:30
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Best practice in this case is relative to your situation. I use a mix because VirtualBox is better at non-Windows OSes than Hyper-V. Just remember to document everything.

If possible, try using the same virtual hard drive format for everything as well. That makes migration easier if necessary in the future.

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How do you propose using the same virtual hard drive format? Yes, it's possible to convert between vhd/vmdk/etc, but as far as I've seen, it's not possible to get VMware to use VHD files and vice versa for Hyper-V. –  EEAA Sep 22 '10 at 17:41
    
Hence "if possible". –  user3914 Sep 22 '10 at 22:02
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I think VMware vSphere ESXi (free) is more powerfull and feature rich than Hiper-V, can handle Windows and Linux VMs and you can easily migrate to an enterprise infrastructure when you got the money for.

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