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  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    I run virtual machines on my home PC (Phenom X4). It's a nice way to sample different linux distros without resorting to partitioning or buying and installing a second HDD. Also, if one jumps to linux, yet still needs windows for occasional tasks, a VM is much quicker than a reboot. I know coupon printing refuses to work in linux, and IE in wine just doesn't work. Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    In most cases it's not a even question whether to virtualize or not since it doesn't make sense not to virtualize. That "VMware" (ESX/ESXi perhaps?) is the most widely used hypervisor should not be a surprise either. It's got a considerable install base, excellent third party support and it's just damn good. Too bad VMware has pissed off many users with it's licensing changes. KVM and Xen are not the big contenders right now: Hyper-V is. I'd like to this graph again a year from now. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Could not agree more. VMware vSphere is a rock solid, high performing and "keep its promises" software...that is rare in the software world. But people who like to kill the goose with golden eggs always manage to get into the management of successful enterprises. The current licensing is really driving people into the arms of Microsoft, which is growing 3 times as fast. Reply
  • Braumin - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Yeah I have to agree that there basically is no x86 workload anymore that can't be run on VMware. vSphere 5 has really increased the virtual maximums.

    I need to look at Hyper-V though. As expected, they had a mediocre product at launch, but have been aggresively updating it to close the feature gap with VMware. They are still behind, but way less than even 2 years ago.
  • esSJae - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Ah, how do you run ESXi on Ubuntu server? ESXi installs on the hardware level. I'd guess that the VMWare here is either Player, Workstation, or Server.

    From the survey: “If you use your Ubuntu servers as a host for virtualisation, which product(s)/technology(ies) do you use?”
  • PreOmegaZero - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    You can run ESXi in a VM. HOW they are doing it is the interesting part: KVM or Workstation for Linux running an ESXi VM? Reply
  • physical - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    It is interesting to note that Hyper-V doesn't appear on the graph. We are implementing a Hyper-V solution in our infrastructure.
    It's also too bad that all of VMware's products are grouped together in a single statistic.
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    The graph is a survey by Canonical of customers using Ubuntu Server. Hyper-V does not support Ubuntu Server, and so will probably never appear on the graph.

    Hyper-V only supports SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS. Yes, you might technically be able to run other distributions inside of it, but you'll rarely find that kind of a thing in enterprise (running unsupported operating systems).
  • cbf - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Actually, I think you'll find that Microsoft is creeping closer and closer to supporting a wider variety of Linux distributions on Hyper-V. (See -- admittedly that article is in The Register).

    I expect some sort of official announcement might not be that far away. It appears that the Hyper-V guys are eager to do what they need to do to take business away from VMWare.

    We're currently running Ubuntu server under Hyper-V, but we did have to struggle around some kernel bugs with Hyper-V's network cards. Interestingly enough though, the fixes we needed were checked in to the Linux kernel by Microsoft employees.
  • Shining Arcanine - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    cbf, I think you misunderstood Guspaz's comment. Canonical did a survey to determine what software people used to virtualize software on a Ubuntu host OS. Unless Microsoft plans to make Ubuntu a future host OS for Hyper-V, this is unlikely to change. Reply
  • apinkel - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Like pretty much any other technology, virtualization has it's place. But before rollout it does need to be tested pretty extensively for the intended use and the environment it will run in.

    In the environment I work in we've encountered issues with time sync between virtualized servers to the point that that we haven't been able to roll this out in anything other than development servers (where it is very handy).
  • Braumin - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    What kind of OS are you having issues with? Timesync has been an issue on older kernels of Linux, but there are work arounds that fix it. Reply
  • apinkel - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    It's redhat... but I'm not sure what release they ran into the issues with. We have a large deployment so our releases lag behind by quite a bit. Reply
  • Braumin - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Here is a great article on the problem:

    We used clock=pit on our bootloaders for SLES, and it completely corrected the issues we were having. NTP is of course still needed to keep it accurate.

    Newer Linux kernels support tickless timekeeping so this has been fixed.
  • Bert Bouwhuis - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Since these were 6000 Ubuntu server users, it IS surprising that VMware is the number 1 hypervisor being used. It is NOT surprising that Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer are not used though. Reply
  • JesseOsby - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    I've read Google produces their own hardware, and Johan's recent article on Facebook's "Open Compute" initiative indicates they are heading in that direction too. I don't know about Intel, but since they produce motherboards already, seems like they might produce their own internal servers as well.

    All three would probably sub out the actual manufacturing, but still, would that be counted as a "purchase"?

    If not, it seems these players would not be skewing the numbers after all.
  • Sivar - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    This tells me Ubuntu is used more in the enterprise than I thought. VMWare is "not OSS", so pure Linux geeks would tend to avoid it. (I use VMWare but not for enterprise servers).

    On a side note, I think it's amazing that even a writer for a technical, geeky site like Canonical's blog uses JPG image format for something like bar charts.
    That's like powering your alarm clock directly with an internal combustion engine generating heat to make elements glow to get electricity from a solar panel. It technically works, but it's a horrible tool for the job.
  • beginner99 - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Well they asked Ubuntu Server users not all Ubuntu users. Server version has no GUI so it is probably only used for servers (And not by linux geeks) and hence explains this. Reply
  • Sivar - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    You are right in that Ubuntu Server includes no GUI for the default install, but adding one is a single command (and a lot of downloading) away.
    Of course, that implies the installer needs to know the Linux command-line interface.
  • HMTK - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    That would mean that Linux geeks should never make business decisions :-) Reply
  • TheNuts - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Not sure why you would not use VMware in your Enterprise. I am a VI Admin and have 200+ VMware VMs in my Enterprise. The VMs consist of running Tier1 (Exchange, SQL, SAP, etc) to Tier3 (File, Print, DCs, etc) apps running a mix of Windows and Linux OS's. Very, very few issues. No reason to be afraid of running just about anything on a VM in an enterprise environment. Reply
  • L-Set - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    I've been working in presales for reseller for over 18 months and quoting servers/storage/networking is pretty much my daily bread and butter. When I started my job I would have said about 30% (maybe 40%) of servers we quoted/specced were for virtualisation projects. Now I would easily say that figure is closer to 70%. Reply
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    I don't see Hyper-V listed anywhere. I have 3 Hyper-V hosts here at work running a total of 10 VMs for test lab infrastructure, with plans for two more. (The hosts are small, only a single processor and 16GB of memory, and that was intentional.) Why wouldn't it be listed? Reply
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Duh, I didn't read far enough into the article before posting. Of course Hyper-V isn't listed: Ubuntu 10 and up won't work as a VM in Hyper-V. Neither does RedHat 6 or CentOS 6. I know, I've tried. RedHat and CentOS 5 work OK, but they have some minor issues. (I actually have 2 DNS/DHCP servers running CentOS5 as Hyper-V virtual machines, so it can be done.) So, yeah, no Hyper-V numbers.

    Hyper-V is really only designed around making more Windows virtual machines, and doesn't support Linux very well.
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Hyper-V officially supports CentOS 6 (both 6.0 and 6.1), so if you can't get it running, you're probably doing something wrong:
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    I know. I've seen their documentation on it. Maybe it's the server (Dell R310) or the processor (Xeon X3470) that I'm using, but when I install it, it sees all optical disks or isos I mount as blank DVDs and the network won't work. (Yes, I'm using the "legacy network adapter".) That makes it kind of hard to work with. Reply
  • esSJae - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Still didn't read far enough. The survey asked: "“If you use your Ubuntu servers as a host for virtualisation, which product(s)/ technology(ies) do you use?”

    Hyper-V doesn't run on Linux, neither does ESXi. The virtualization technologies used are running on top of Ubuntu Server.
  • alpha754293 - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Like any tool, there is a time and place for them.

    I virtualize so that if Windows, being the virus/scam/malware magnet that it is, gets hit, I can always just restore to a checkpoint rather than spending days trying to hunt it down leading to a reformat and reinstall.

    Personally, I like VirtualBox. It's relatively quick, but most importantly, it's easy to use.

    I haven't tried any of the new VMWares, or any of the other Hypervisors, but since VirtualBox works for me, I really don't see much of a need to.

    It'd be interesting to see if virtualization can be profiled to see which parts of the system it taxes.
  • LoupeGarou - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    I work for a large hospital and we use Vmware. We Use vms for test systems and backup systems for our production stuff. For the most part other than that we us it to replace any low end system that would just sit there and waste space and power. We have replaced almost ALL of our little Desktop/server boxes with vms. The only ones we don' replace are the ones with special pci modems or other items that would be cumbersome in a vm.
    Now VMware has changed their licensing for Vsphere 5 and that is going to cause us to look at Microsoft and Citrix virtualization options.
    For our New citrix/EMR enviroment our EMR folks told us they use vmware to host their servers. But with only 2 vms running per host that cost gets pretty bad (current Vsphere 4.0) compared to just building physical boxes. I think VM's have their place but for me its not Full scale production, its a balance between the two.
  • dgingeri - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    VMs are great for situations where you can only get massively overblown hardware, such as DNS and DHCP. I have a couple Dell R310 servers running 4 DNS servers each, 4 subnets/vlans with one set backing up the other set, and two infrastructure servers, one running infrastructure storage and one running WDS, and two remote desktop machines for the testers to interface with the IPMI on the test servers for builds. Even with that, the quad core processors in those R310s are barely getting used. <$2000, 4 cores on the processor, 16GB of memory, 2TB of hard drive space, and it's barely taxing the servers. Both hosts running Win2k8R2 and using Hyper-V, half the VMs use Win2k8R2 as well, the others run CentOS.

    There are other uses for VMs, but for me, this is the best. It fits Hyper-V's restrictions and weaknesses, as well. I wouldn't want to use VMWare, as it would cost three times as much. Others are available, but the Windows licensing costs would go up.

    With Win2k8R2 Enterprise, the license includes up to 5 virtual machines under one $1000 license. So, we set this whole thing up for just under $6000. Without Hyper-V, it would have been 12 servers and 6 Windows licenses, and a ton of overblown hardware that barely gets used.
  • mitcoes - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Qemu with KVM or XEN being OSS should have more share.

    I would like to read benchmarks for MS WOS and GNU/Linux OSs native vs virtualized, with different programs. Specially Xen with VGA passthrought, where MS WOS performs very good for games and better with no resident antivirus vs bative with resident antivirus for SOHO directx gamers.

    Of course not only benchmarks for gamers, it is not the issue here, multi virtualization with several virtual servers at one machine is what is on demand, and I would like to see benchmarking for software and hardware.

    Perhaps here AMD performs better than Intel having more cores, but i want to compare it with benchmarks not with market share.
  • Einy0 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Both of my jobs use VMs for nearly all the servers. They both use Blade Centers with tons of VMs on them. One job site uses a mix of about 45% MS / 5% Linux / 50% AS\400 (IBM Power 770). At least 75% of the MS/Linux boxes are VMs running on vsphere on the Bladecenter. The AS/400 is basically virtualized at it's heart anyway. The other job has a total of about 560 VMs all running on vsphere. That's a mix of servers and desktops clients. 75% of the all the desktops are VMs running on Bladcenters. We use mostly RDP sessions on the client side. The other 25% of our desktop machines are used in situations where accelerated video or 3D is needed CAD/CAM/video editing and such. VMs and RDP sessions do not work well for that just yet. All of our servers(primarily SLES) are running on vSphere. We've even gone so far as to recycle old desktops into rdp clients. We can more readily share the given computing resources needed this way while remaining efficient and keeping our operating costs in check. It also makes management a cinch. If a given user's VM gets a virus, corrupted or what not we can simply revert it to the last snapshot. The user looses no data because all that is kept on the SAN. We provide a great user experience because our servers are equipped with lots of RAM and RAID10 SSD arrays. We can afford to upgrade our servers because the desktops and notebooks(rdp client based) don't need to be constantly upgraded and maintained. Users can log into a machine anywhere on our campus and get their own desktop, with their own files and programs they always use. Reply
  • Jaybus - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    In trying to determine if the use of VMs has increased, it is first necessary to determine a baseline. Increased from what? VMs have been used extensivley in the enterprise world since the release of VM/370 in 1972. I worked for a company in the late 80's where every development team had their own VM and the production systems ran in VMs. Nobody kept tabs on it. It was just assumed that things worked that way at a IBM mainframe shop. Fast forward past the period when x86 processors simply weren't powerful enough to worry about VMs, I have been using VMWare xen, and now kvm for several years. As usual, the advances made decades ago in the mainframe world are being repeated in the x86 world. And once again, nobody kept tabs on VM use, at least at first. So, there is no baseline for a comparison. Nevertheless, we can be assured that VMs are being extensively used now that x86 systems are powerful enough for the job. It's not like we haven't known the benefits of virtualization for many decades. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I'm a network engineer, for a global leader of telecoms equipment, and their 'craft' (think config environment) requires a MS SQL database running, and the application simply hates to run on anything but XP (and 32bit at that).

    At work we've tried all the usual suspects to get around this (who has 32bit XP on their new laptops now?), compatibility mode, XP mode to name a couple, with varied results. So, enter VM Ware with 32bit XP, and boom - config environment fires right up, on whatever host OS.

    Getting all the above running & configured, for people who are (but shouldn't be) in this job, and over the phone, is like trying to heard cats & makes me want to strap explosives to myself, as I'm usually the one told to bail them out...

    And the beauty is, I can hand my saved VM to the less-clued-up-colleague, pre-configured for the network environment he is about to visit (over a GigE connection of course), and know that he can perform his tasks on arrival.

    If VM was a girl - I'd kiss it!
  • ravib123 - Sunday, October 04, 2015 - link

    I know for us one of the reasons to use vmware as our hypervisor was the licensing costs actually saved us money.

    We were able to easily implement VSAN instead of handling storage and compute separately.

    This wouldn't be the case if we were using a different storage solution.

    In fact we deploy a lot of Hyper-V (by far the most), then KVM, then VMWare ... so I think we're very nearly the opposite of this chart.

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