I'm a newbie developer wanting to learn a bit about Virtualization (from the IT point of view, not theoretical/academic).

What I'd like to do:

  • Prepare a machine
  • Install VMWare or VirtualBox
  • Prepare 3 Guest OSes (one for Win2k8 server, 2 for Ubuntu Server)
  • Win2k8 will run SQL Server 2k8 and IIS (for ASP.NET MVC deployment)
  • 1 Ubuntu Server for Drupal, SugarCRM, MediaWiki, typical LAMP stuff
  • 1 Ubuntu Server for Java (Tomcat/Jetty + MySQL/PostgreSQL)

What I'd like to know:

  • What would be the ideal Host OS such that the Host OS should not spend too many resources on itself but should boost these instances of VMs (e.g: does Win2k8 performs better vs Linux?)
  • What would be the ideal machine for this (preferably AMD base chip)
  • I'm not expecting the best performance out of this setup, just a decent one to host one drupal instance, one ASP.NET MVC (future, not now), and one Tomcat/Jetty instance.

NB: If you have a better suggestions on the setup, feel free to let me know (e.g: maybe Drupal and Tomcat can be in one instance but move the database to another instance instead of 1 instance map to 1 webserver and 1 dbserver).

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


I would suggest using VMware ESXi which is the free version of their hypervisor based system. This would take the place of the host OS, and you manage it through a web client. That solution will get you the most power to those images without dropping any coin on your virtualization software.

If you would rather have a fully featured OS for your host and use something like VMware server, I would suggest something like Xubuntu where it has a more lightweight GUI.

As for hardware you will want something newer with hardware virtualization acceleration. As well as a fair amount of ram. A new AMD Phenom II x4 can be had very inexpensively, and would run those 3 systems well. Put like 4 to 8 gb of ram on it and you probably would be amazed at the performance you are getting.

  • Wow. That's ... very interesting. Sorry if I sound like a cave man. The last time I used VMWare products was 4 years ago. Didn't know about ESXi until today. May 8, 2010 at 0:31
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    It is important to note that you will not have console access to your virtual machines. You will need to use another computer to access your virtual machines. May 8, 2010 at 0:35
  • @PaulWaldman so for example, I could only use Remote Desktop (or similar technology) to access a Win2k3/8 instance and SSH to access *NIX instance right? May 8, 2010 at 0:50
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    Those are options. VMWare also provides vSphere Client which would allow you to remotely access a virtual machine. I was just making note that you can't access a virtual machine directly on an ESXi host. This will require you to have another computer to actually access your virtual machines. May 8, 2010 at 1:09
  • Be aware that the host for vSphere Client must be a Windows box. Since I normally use linux, I run the Win OS in a VM under VMPlayer or on another ESX server. May 14, 2010 at 1:06

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