VMware ESX 3.0

After running VMware Server for about two months at work we managed to display the advantages of using VMware, which convinced management to allow us to purchase VMware ESX and install it on one of the primary servers. Since we started running VMware Server we have stopped having the weekly problems with the Domain Controller going down at night and slowing the other production server to a crawl. We installed ESX about a month ago now, and it has been worth every penny. It has allowed us to separate all the services and applications that were running on the two servers. The ESX server is currently hosting 4 Windows 2003 Servers, 2 Windows XP boxes, 1 Netware Server and a Ubuntu Server. Most of the time when I check to see how the server is running it is only at 25% utilization. We purchased the VMware Infrastructure Starter package which only supports local SCSI drives and NAS. It does not support SANs or iSCSI, but we do not need any of these options. The only real problem I have found is that the Virtual Infrastructure Client used to manage the server is designed on the .NET framework and only runs under Windows. It is not the best solution, but right now I am running the VI Client in a vm running on VMware Workstation on my Ubuntu notebook. There is a web based console for it, however it is not as full featured as the VI Client. All in all I would have to say that I would recommend this to anyone looking to better utilize there resources.

ECLUG Meeting for September

Dave Desrosiers had some goods to hand out before starting his presentation on installing Linux on a USB key. We spent about one and a half hours going over some of the distributions designed to run from USB keys and what they can be used for. It was a very good demo, and we found out that my Alienware notebook was totally useless. Any time I tried to boot from a USB key the notebook locks on of all things, scanning for USB devices. The presentation has been posted as a PDF file.

Some of the distributions talked about were:

Also displayed during the meeting where some options for how to encrypt your USB key so that is still accessible from Linux and Windows with TrueCrypt. Dave showed us a USB key that he has for everyday use that is protected with TrueCrypt. When it is used inserted into a Windows box it autoruns to display the login for TrueCrypt, and then displays a menu with any Portable Apps that are installed on the key. Many of the Portable Apps are packaged in a way that allows them to also run under Linux.

Before ending the meeting Devin Duval talked about XGL and compiz eye candy. He is going to be doing a demo of this at the next meeting. I am not sure if he will be covering installation and configuration.

When the floor was opened at the end of the meeting there was some discussion about the Ultimate Boot CD and some of the software packages that could be useful for a public Library. We have someone who is looking a setting up three stations a his public library and they have no real budget for the project, so he is looking at what can be done using Linux.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 4th at 7PM at NFA. The pre-meeting dinner will most likely be at Dillans in Norwich starting at 6PM.