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January 9th, 2009

Xen v. ESX

I gave up on Xen.  Coworkers and customers warned me that getting Xen to work was ... a lot of work, and I have no time to fiddle with it's intricacies.  Basically the xen0 kernel wouldn't recognize my Opteron's hvm (despite recompiles of gentoo-source seeing this feature just fine) and the xenU kept crapping out on TAP/TUN (despite that module loading, along with other prereqs).  Since the primary reason I chose Xen was its AMD-V support, I've filed a bug with the portage guys and am moving over to ESXi. 

ESX makes more practical sense because it would have been a pain to get my VMware Workstation images ported to Xen (because of Microsoft's HAL, etc.).  My first test run with ESXi worked marvelously -- even off USB stick!  The requirement to run VI Console on MS is an eye-sore but I've already enabled sshd and hope to learn the CLI so that all this works from Linux (and Mac).

In archived news, the system I got for running these tests is the one Sun rebranded as Fire V20z.  ESX also recognizes its branding, which is way cool :)