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We are building a server to run our web site, where we will have following apps running 1. ASP.NET Web Application 2. ASP.NET WCF middletier 3. SQL Server 2008 4. Lucene + Solr + Tomcat 5. MongoDB 6. Memcached

Server will have 6 core intel processor, 24 Gb memory, 4x1TB 7,2k in RAID 10, 4x300GB RAID 10

We are thinking to install either ESXi or Hyper-V and run different apps in different VM's - Lucene, MongoBD and Memcached ar ebetter be run on a Linux; SQL Server is also better be run in a separate VM (IMHO).

My problem is - I know almost nothing about ESXi, so I woul dprefer Hyper-V, but is the performance difference going to be big between those?

Also, any ideas on how to better organize mentioned applications among VM's?

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The hypervisor performance difference will be negligible (if any) compared to how many VMs you're running, memory allocation, disk I/O, etc. –  gravyface May 2 '11 at 22:31
    
When you say you don't know ESXi, does that mean that you do know HyperV? It isn't just another windows install. If you opt for it based on that assumption you'll not be happy. I think both are viable platforms FWIW but that VMWare's ESX/VSphere platform is about 2 years to 18 months more "mature" as a product and this shows up the most in extreme areas. If you don't touch on any of those extreme areas then the differences may not be as important. –  RobM May 3 '11 at 8:17
    
@Robert - What I meant, I feel comfortable with Windows 2008 as Server OS - I know where to go to look things up or to setup a VM in Hyper-V. On the other hand, I've never seen/done an ESXi install. But I think we are moving towards ESXi anyway. –  Andrey May 3 '11 at 14:08
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'll admit I'm horrendously biased towards ESXi but if you're dealing with any form of Linux guest you should use ESXi, HV does support certain Linux's but it's through gritted teeth. 95% of my VMs are Linux on ESXi and I couldn't be happier.

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I've successfully installed Ubuntu Server 10.x on a Hyper-V VM without issue. –  gravyface May 2 '11 at 23:22
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Not saying it's not do-able, just that the support is far less comprehensive. –  Chopper3 May 2 '11 at 23:27
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Agreed, and I'd never use Hyper-V as my choice hypervisor either, but I just wanted to make it clear that it can be done. –  gravyface May 2 '11 at 23:31
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I have moved from Parallels (2006) to Hyper-V when it was released and then to ESX 3.5 about 18 months later, now running ESXi 4.1 (paid). Hyper-V works, and has gotten substantially better/easier to administer over time. The biggest benefit of Hyper-V is that it will run on pretty much any hardware. ESXi may or may not work with the hardware you have, especially not with your RAID controller. Check the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide before you commit to ESXi.

I agree with gravyface that the performance difference won't be too different. What will make all the difference is how easy (less payroll burned!) it will be to administer the environment. In my opinion Hyper-V lags in ease of administration unless you have System Center deployed (which by the sound of it you will not have). I propose that you go with ESXi because there's a large number of commercial and free apps out there which will make your life as admin significantly easier.

Learning ESXi won't be much of a problem, at the end of the day it's all point and click if that is the way you want to administer it and the VMware Community (official forums) are very helpful in receiving feedback on your build and just general suggestions. In addition there are a lot of 3rd party communities out there to help you get started (i.e. Virtualized Computing @ Hardforum.

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Thanks for the link to the compatibility page - I was looking for it when ordering hardware and haven't found it at the time. –  Andrey May 3 '11 at 14:11
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