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VPS (Parallels) or VM (VMware ESX)

October 31st, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ever heard someone use the term VM or VPS? About the only thing they have in common is the V in their name.

A VPS (commonly OpenVZ or Parallels Containers) is a Virtual Private Server and usually runs on what is referred to as a “host node” or the main hardware node. VPS systems allow you to dynamically adjust resources without a restart.

A VM (commonly VMware ESX) is a fully paravirtualized system which all hardware is also virtualized. Many operating systems seem to work the best with paravirtualized systems as the hardware is presented as regular physical hardware.

VMware Pro’s
  • Full Paravirtualazation
  • imageVirutualizes at the hardware level- most compatible
  • Flexibility
  • Industry Standard
  • Can run Windows/Linux/Suse/Novell/OSX all on the same host
VMware Con’s
  • Cannot dynamically scale resources, VM’s must be rebooted to apply new allocations
  • Slightly slower than software-level virtualization
  • Cost, expensive

imageParallels Pro’s
  • OS level virtualization
  • Fast provisioning
  • Dynamic resource allocation, no reboots
  • Tighter control of space and inode allocations
  • Burstable RAM settings
Parallels Con’s
  • Only Linux or Windows VPS systems may exist on a single hardware node
  • Price, although cheaper than vmware, still pricey. OpenVZ is a safe free version.

Conclusion

There are many different solutions to virtualizing or “chopping” up the resources for a single, large host system. Our winner was Parallels for their ease of installation, dynamic resource allocation and faster performance. Also keep in mind that if you are virtualizing systems make sure to have a good backup plan and spare parts or on-site warranty. One large host system may provide 20-50 virtual systems. An outage is now multiplied by the systems you have running on top of your hardware node.

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