I am not exactly sceptical, more like cautious about virtualisation. But ESXi on a Proliant DL380 G6 is a rocket machine.
Virtualisation is great, but I am a little bit cautious about where it fits in. Obviously it is great for development and testing. And it is good for under-used and/or poor quality software that requires isolation. But if you have a file server, a Citrix server or a SQL server that is using most of two processors and most of its memory, then you don’t get far by making it a virtual machine.
But the new HP Proliant DL380 G6 has 2 processors with quad cores. It has a maximum of 144GB of memory. And space for 16 300GB SAS disks. This is a mighty machine.
The unit of cost in a data center today is power. The DL380 has dual power supplies like anything else, but it consumes no more power then before. So you have more memory, more cores, more storage but not more data center costs.
Normally you might think of running the OS on a pair of mirrored disks, using up two of your slots. Or if you are brave you might consider Boot from SAN. But the DL380 has another options. You can insert a $5 2GB flash card onto the motherboard and run the whole partitioning software (hypervisor) from there. It really is almost as if the hypervisor is an extension of BIOS, and why not? Its function is to enable the OS to access the hardware, but in this case it is multiple OS’s. I don’t think it can be long before partitioning the hardware is just a natural part of building the system.
Buy the flash card and download the HP version of ESXi: HP VMWare ESXi 4.0 Getting Started
Install ESXi on the flash card:
Then when ESXi is up and running, you can manage your virtual machines from the vSphere client.