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Re: [linux-392] Vmware ESX vs. Citrix XenServer

From: Ravi
Sent on: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:29 PM
I have both Citrix and VMWare ESX running on my networks.  I also have both of them running on similar machines(ie  two 2.4 GHZ processors, and 2 GB RAM on the ESX server and 4 GB RAM on the Citrix server).  I have windows 2003 server installed on both of them and I have to say that I have less trouble with the VMWare server.  The Citrix server, when it runs for just about 24 hours, it slows down to a point where I need to reboot the server nightly (even though it has more RAM).  The VMWare server on the other hand runs for about a week before I see any performance issues.

I bought another server recently for a critical production application and I will be installing VMWare ESX on it tomorrow.

If money is not an issue and your primary environment is Windows Server, I would recommend VMWare.   Just my two cents.

Ravi


On Sep 23, 2008, at 6:03 PM, Chris Munns wrote:

Clyde,
    I haven't played with it at all in a while.  XenServer 5, which was recently released, has been touted as being an extremely strong product, but I haven't yet seen the performance comparisons.  Citrix says they support all the main major flavors of Windows http://www.xensource.com/products/Pages/XenServer.aspx but obviously your results may vary.  There are some stricter hardware requirements to running Windows on Xen, as you need to have a new CPU that supports it.  I continue to hear that Linux VMs will run better on Xen or KVM than they will VMWare's stuff.  Theres just less in the way when it is all done in the kernel.  With Windows obviously this won't work out the same. 

Are you running more Linux or more Windows VMs?  What does performance matter in each of them (ie if you need to chose Windows performance vs Linux performance).  I think whichever your choice is, there is a sacrifice.  I feel that the VMWare suites of software do have more bells and whistles, but these all come at cost.

I didn't need support contracts or anything like that for what I was doing, so I went with free Xen to run many linux instances, and free VMWare, to do the little Windows stuff I needed.  I script or do all Xen stuff by hand.  As Varun hinted the free software has some difficulties with Windows stuff and/or requires a lot of time and tweaking.

Good luck!  And would be awesome to hear what your results end up being.

- Chris

Clyde Goffe wrote:
Chris,

Can you point me to any documentation that talks about Windows support by the current version of XenServer?

Also have you used XenServer in a production environment?  How have you found it to be?

Clyde

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:50 PM, Chris Munns <[address removed]> wrote:
Varun,
    This isn't true.  XenServer by Citrix is different than the free open Xen software you can get for your distro.  Citrix has actually done some tuning and provided a bit more to help make Windows instances run well on XenSource.  Comparatively if you run RedHat Enterprise, their versions of Xen and the Xen drivers they provide don't work as well with Windows but I hear stories to the fact that their linux(running RHEL ofcourse) performance is better.

- Chris


Varun Mehta wrote:
Clyde,

Both are equally good in their own way, VMware the UI based management is more appealing than Xen. Xen is more bare metal OS for free, (now with ESXi) that is also true, but things are a bit different compared to the ESX.  Xen and windows don't mix well. You cannot install a windows VM on Xen. It has worked for some, but it's not an out of the box solution like VMware.

--
Regards
Varun Mehta
http://varun.cjb.net

2008/9/23 Chris Munns <[address removed]>
Clyde,
    Are you virtualizing mostly Windows or Linux oses?

- Chris


Clyde Goffe wrote:
Hey All,

I'm looking for a production ready virtualization product and I've narrowed it down to VMWare ESX and Citrix XenServer based on features and reputation.  I'm finding it difficult to decide between the two however.  Does anyone have any experience with both or either and can offer of your opinion on the benefits of one over the other? 

I'm noticing with VMware is feature rich but obviously the more features the more add-ons and licenses you need.  Xenserver doesn't seem to be in better with that regard. 

As far as advanced features, I'm intersted in live migrations, cloning, monitoring, backups, etc..

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Clyde




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