Smoothwall Firewall project

Friday 13 March 2009

Using VMware Server to help save the Planet

I know that all the many new forms of Virtualization can be put to all sorts of tasks today, but I used VMware server 2 the other day to save having to deploy a screen and keyboard for a Windows application box. I have been using and looking at the latest KVM hypervisor in Ubuntu as this I feel will be the future of Virtualization on the Open Source roadmap, but for this implementation I felt VMware would do the job quickly, and without fuss.

The requirement was to set up a simple Windows machine to load the license manager for Mercury Loadrunner performance tool, which will only run on Windows. Now we could have just dumped this onto a lightly loaded windows server, if we had any, which we don't, so I decided to turn this into an XP virtual image.

Normally, this would require you to have the box setup with a screen and keyboard, which is a complete waste of equipment, and makes managing this single application box a real problem.

So as I try and Virtualize everything these days, I decided to Virtualize the XP instance, and install it on the same box , just with Ubuntu server 8.10 and VMware server 2.0 (latest build).

This now means I can stick that box in the server room with no screen and keyboard and manage it remotely with the VMware console and VNC , alongside all my other virtual images. That's because Linux allows me to run it without a screen attached.It will also benefit from all the backup services that are provided there and a computer monitor didn't need to be manufactured or ever powered on.

We can also use this virtual image for other small application requirements as they come along, so the effect will only be more positive over time. I have already thought that we can use it as a TFTP server for network equipment configuration file backups.

I did have some fun and games getting VMware web manager to work on this box, which was down to a miss configuration of the loopback network interface, but it now runs a treat. It would have been helpful to have more diagnostic output from the Java servlets, but that's another tale.


Anonymous said...

This is really cool and i think it works and we should try it for the sake of our planet.
We've got to be united to save earth! Earth Hour is practiced at large scale in all developed and developing countries but there has been more publicity and awareness this year, as well as participation from large corporations like which is a good sign - that there is still hope and that people still care!

Let's all do this, no matter where you are! Saturday, 28 March 2009. Lights off from 8.30pm to 9.30pm!

Codfather said...

I will make sure my lights are off for that hour. It definitely is worth saving, and every little helps.