Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I currently have a 1U server in a data center. I run my (mostly personal) DNS, mail, and webserver on it. It will be time to replace/refresh it soon.

When it is time for the new machine I am considering switching over from a physical machine running all services to VM model with each VM being relatively stripped down and running one major service (so if a vulnerability compromises a service only that VM and service would be affected instead of all of them). I want to use a free (as in beer) solution.

The machine would continue to be remotely-located, so while I'd have full console access when initially setting up the machine, I would only have serial console access (I have a networked serial terminal concentrator in the rack), though perhaps full console access via integrated, networked lights-out-management/console redirect hardware if the box I end up buying supports something like that).

Things that seem to come up a lot when reading about this sort of thing are Xen, KVM, and the free edition of vSphere.

I don't imagine I'd be doing very much creating/destroying/modifying of VMs. I envision setting them up and taking periodic backups, but that's about it.

So for this sort of use, what do people find to be the best free solution?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by EEAA, Zypher Feb 29 '12 at 21:04

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

KVM sounds like it's the best option in this case. We use ESXi here but that's overkill. Xen can be tricky to setup while KVM is relatively simple and stable. I've seen it used in production environments.

share|improve this answer
Why is ESXi overkill? – EEAA Feb 29 '12 at 21:04
ESXi is designed to manage enterprise level infrastructures. This guy is managing 1 server. Have you used ESXi? It's a great product but it's a bit excessive for what he needs it to do. – Publiccert Feb 29 '12 at 21:58
Yes, I most certainly have, in a large environment. Yes, it's great, but there's absolutely no reason it shouldn't be used in a single-server environment. Just because something is good for "enterprise" environments doesn't mean it's not very useful elsewhere. – EEAA Feb 29 '12 at 22:22
Then we should agree to disagree. I don't think it's 'tuned' towards small environments such as what the OP is looking for. – Publiccert Feb 29 '12 at 23:53
Fair enough. I guess I'd be interested in hearing why you think KVM is any more tuned for small environments than ESXi is. – EEAA Mar 1 '12 at 6:14

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.