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.

  • 1
    Why not KVM or VMWare??
    – ewwhite
    Dec 4, 2012 at 9:53
  • VMWare is very expensive. KVM also is an option!
    – ChrisZZ
    Dec 4, 2012 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, 2012 at 10:19
  • @ChrisZZ You could maybe take a look at Citrix XenServer as something inbetween.
    – Dan
    Dec 4, 2012 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, 2012 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


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.

  • oVirt is the codebase on which RHEV is based. Dec 4, 2012 at 17:28

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