I’m becoming quite the little handy man with virtual servers at the moment. Seems every time I’m turning around, there’s a service that is a potentially good fit for one of these. And with the lightweight linux virtual servers taking relatively little memory and CPU, the choice of adding a service on to an existing box vs. making its own server is getting harder to make.
Ironically, the downside to all this is account administration. I don’t have a good general solution at hand to enable authentication from external sources, and I haven’t yet really dug into what it would take to enable external authentication for some services from an external NT or Active Directory domain.
I also decided to head agressively into VMWare (as opposed to Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 R2). Microsoft’s product is decent, but like many MS products, it’s a lot about lockin. There’s a lot more flexibility with VMWare’s product line, and VMWare is doing the “right thing”. I just converted a MS Virtual Server machine to a VMWare machine – one that was already in a domain too. I figured it was a long shot – it would probably bust with some ethernet mac address changing. But it worked – beautifully. The only downside is that when I installed the VMWare tools, I lost the ability to find the cursor in the screen. I just uninstalled that (thank god for keyboard shortcuts) and moved on.
While I’ve heard Parallels Desktop is quite a fine product, VMWare has impressed me enough over the years that I’m holding out for something from them. Gus has a theory that we’ll see something cool at WWDC pertaining to this. God, that’d be nice. So there’s my Apple rumor for the year, eh?
Oh – and I totally know why EMC bought up VMWare. Good lord do you go through disk space fast!