This post is not about comparing VM performance with specific benchmarking software, rather it is a feature comparison to match my requirements. Important factors in my decision are ease of installation, ease of scripting and how easy it is to copy VMs.
My workplace hosts a VMware ESX cluster connected via vCenter. The cluster hosts over 200 VMs, which are easily managed via vSphere – VM templates, live migration and load balancing are key features that make managing the VM farm feasible. Unfortunately these features are licensed by VMware on top of the bare-bones VM server software at quite a large cost, beyond the scope of an individual hobbyist.
I have a PC at home that I am using less frequently for its intended purpose, running high performance games. I would like to repurpose it as a server that hosts VMs that I can easily manage from my laptop, which I use as a development environment. Cloud based solutions are not feasible, as I do not have the finances to pay for continuous online hosting.
My development environment is a Macbook Pro running OSX Mountain Lion, so any VM management software should ideally not be Windows-specific.
The aim is to be able to deploy and provision a VM by running one script from my laptop or via Jenkins, without manual intervention. Jenkins will be manually provisioned onto a linux instance that is hosted on the VM host, another linux VM will run Chef server. Any other VMs will be testing environments that are provisioned by Chef, and controlled by Jenkins. Read more