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ESXi vs Xen

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  • ESXi vs Xen

    Has anyone used Xen Server?

    For me this arises out of my need for a template mechanism ... apparently Xen server has that capability whilst ESXI does not (apparently it also has the ability to migrate systems and XenMotion for free if you have the right H/W).

    Does anyone know how it otherwise stacks up against ESXi?

    I ask because I am considering migrating to that (though I have no idea how to migrate (i.e. backup) a VM with some 700GB data ... "migrate" (for me) means trash my current ESXI server and build it using Xen instead BTW

    Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 7th August 2009, 15:27.
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  • #2
    Re: ESXi vs Xen

    I would not use Xen, because configuration is much more complicated than using ESX

    We moved off Xen to ESX
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    • #3
      Re: ESXi vs Xen

      VMware ESX(i) all the way. Far more mature product than any of its competitors.


      • #4
        Re: ESXi vs Xen

        Yes, I did !
        Did you know about Citrix implementation of XEN ?
        If not - you better check this out.
        The license of XEN and Citrix is a GPL license which means you can use this product in any way you want.
        Citrix actually made XEN looks like the WMVare using the .NET console.
        Also its still the same XEN which means you can use also a third party tools for the GUI which implement the product open API's.
        Xen Citrix now comes with the Templates for most Windows and Linux version so you can provision the VM's in a minute ...
        If you care about the "sexy" features like Live Migration, Snapshots, Clones - well they all available in Citrix XEN Server !
        However, there are some limitations for XEN, like the CPU power allocation, memory ballooning, and some more ...
        XEN Based VPS


        • #5
          Re: ESXi vs Xen

          VMware ESXi, see [1]
          Only a 32 MB footprint ought to yield a good performance
          The technology (ESX) is widely used and mature (but refer to the disadvantages to view this in perspective)
          Not open source
          Would require a LARA-setup to install on a hosted server
          Doesnít support software raid
          To quote [1]:

          Xen, see [3]
          Open source
          The virtualization technique is called integrated virtualization or paravirtualization. This means that unlike with VMware ESXi and Server, the virtualized operating systems are aware that they are being virtualized. This means that thereís no need for a SBE-mechanism (Scan-Before-Execution) to handle special or privileged CPU instructions. This is an expensive operation because every instruction has to be scanned before the execution of it, and making that expensive scan unnecessary yields greater performance
          As far as Iíve experienced, the learning-curve can seem more steep than both the one of VMware ESXi and Server (but Iíve also used VMware Workstation for some time). But that something is harder doesnít mean that it isnít as good . But I mainly think itís because of quite a lot new concepts Ė after getting my hands dirty, Iím actually very impressed of the simplicity of Xen! For reference, navigate to [4] and review the installtion process Ė itís not that complex after all.
          Requires an underlaying operating system (but if this doesnít run other services this doesnít seem to be a huge problem)

          More information


          • #6
            Re: ESXi vs Xen

            We use Xen in production because it stable enough for us.
            ESX-i is limited black-box where you cannot do almost anything from its console.
            For example, if you want to use Linux IPTABLES firewall ... if you are using ESX-i you cannot do that at all, while XEN it's just a Linux that you know (probably) .
            XEN Based VPS