I have an old Rackable System I recently purchased which doesn't have a CD drive and currently has an old version of Ubuntu. Eventually, I'd like to run 1 (or more) copy(ies) of CentOS on it. It's got 4GB RAM, 2x processors, and 4x 250gb hdd RAID.
I originally thought about burning a network install iso of CentOS onto a USB drive and booting from it. However, I'm also thinking about virtualizing the box and putting 2 or 3 different servers on it.
I've never actually installed a virtualization product like ESXI onto hardware before, so have absolutely no idea which product I should use - or if what I want to do is even possible. However, I do have experience using Hypervisor and creating VPS's in an already-running Hypervisor environment.
I want to do this for a few reasons: 1) Learn more about doing virtualization. :) 2) Have a (safe) test bed for Linux applications I want to consider for my production VPS's 3) Have a separate VPS on this old box running backups of my production stuff, doing monitoring, etc...
So, my question, restated, is this: is it possible to run a bare-metal virtualization product on a server like the one I'm describing? If so, which out of the 3-4 big names in virtualization would you recommend? And how would I go about doing this? Is installing a product like this similar to installing an OS - pop in a USB drive or a CD with an ISO on it or something?