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I want to built a virtualised Server Environment using XEN or KVM. The virtual machines should be purely debian systems - so XEN or KVM should be a sane choice. Now while buying servers, I am confronted with the fact, that the vendors obviously only support commercial solution. I think, on a good server, one should be able to install uncommercial software as well - but of course sometimes systems have hardware, that requires drivers, that are not found in the OS Community.

So I am asked the question: Is it straight-forward to use Debian with IBM Server System x3650 M4 791562G with Debian - or even virtualising the IBM Server System x3650 M4 791562G using XEN or KVM.

I am sure there will always be a way to achieve this goal - but this way might have a high milage - so I am not asking, whether this is theoretical possible, but whether this should be straight-forward and practically easy to do, no major headaches to be expected.

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Why not KVM or VMWare?? –  ewwhite Dec 4 '12 at 9:53
    
VMWare is very expensive. KVM also is an option! –  ChrisZZ Dec 4 '12 at 10:11
    
I understand, that there is a free version of VMWare. But we prefer an open source solution. So this question is about, whether somebody has experience using such - usually unsupported - solutions with the specified (or similar) IBM Hardware... –  ChrisZZ Dec 4 '12 at 10:19
    
@ChrisZZ You could maybe take a look at Citrix XenServer as something inbetween. –  Dan Dec 4 '12 at 10:24
    
Is Debian an requirement? CentOS would enable you to use RHEL drives from IBM, and it's also the (arguably) best platform for KVM. –  pauska Dec 4 '12 at 10:24
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

KVM can definitely work. Look at Red Hat's RHEV (expensive), Proxmox (free), oVirt (free).

Despite that, VMWare ESXi is the most straightforward and least troublesome platform (momentum and mindshare). I wouldn't be concerned about it being open-source or not, since the hardware-compatibility is well-documented and there's a very large user base. I've seen people do amazing and creative things with the free version before eventually graduating to the paid product.

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oVirt is the codebase on which RHEV is based. –  Michael Hampton Dec 4 '12 at 17:28
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