Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ubuntu the Enabler! Moss the Interrupter!

You have to go to Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto to get that second bit...

Anyway, I'm decidedly 'over' Linux as a desktop... I'll be running XP into the ground and wait for the next version of Windows, which will be out before XP support ends if Microsoft stick to their "no more 5 years between OSes" mantra. Besides, all the stuff that's interesting to me in Vista / Longhorn (ie .NET 3.0) will be available on XP anyway. I could care less about Aero, DX10 games won't be out for ages, and my shit is locked down so security isn't an issue.

But back to the topic of the post - Ubuntu the Enabler! I've been playing more and more with VMware over the last month or 2, coding up some stuff in C# that interacts with the VI3 web service, and gearing up to take the VI3 VCP exam. And in my preparations, Ubuntu has been indispensable. Now that ESX 3 supports VMFS on iSCSI, I can finally setup something with a decent amount of storage at home using commodity hardware. Specifically, ESX 3 (developer license courtesy of VMTN subscription) running on a P4 3GHz box with IDE drive, 2GB RAM and dual Broadcom PCI GbE NICs, with half a tera of VMFS courtesy of 2 x 250GB SATA2 disks in an Athlon64 X2 box running Ubuntu 6.06.1 Server and the Enterprise iSCSI target. Seriously, it's so easy to install and configure, just read this howto.

This, along with the bare bones Linux build required for VMware Server (search the vmware forums, there are several threads), has effectively had me ditching Microsoft Virtual Server completely... I guess my interest is more in the virtualisation and C# space at the moment, which eliminates my previous needs of having heaps of VM's available (which the differencing disk feature of Virtual Server allowed quite nicely). It will be interesting to see what happens when Microsoft comes out swinging with their Hypervisor and virtual infrastructure management tool, but I can't imagine them knocking VMware off anytime soon... they're just too far ahead of everyone else in the field.