Does virtual make sense?

I’ve been hearing good things about VMWare and other hypervisors. It seems virtualisation can do no wrong. My main problem is finding suitable references. How many people have deployed VMWare or Xen or even Microsoft Virtual Server in a real production environment? How do these products scale in a live data centre rather than a development lab or pilot rollout. Is there anyone out there who can help?

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We have been using ESX server for years, and it's worked flawlessly on semi-janky, less than ideal servers. We've also just deployed a XenEnterprise server that does critical communications elements and it works fine as well.

We have a VMware VI3 & ESX2 production farm running 16 hosts with 117 vms. This farm hosts vms in 5 sites in US, UK, Japan, and India. We host everything from developement and test systems, desktops to critical manufacturing systems, print & license service, and domain controllers.

While there are systems that don't take well to virtualization at this point I would say that if you are not implementing virtualization now you are at a disadvantage finanacially and technologically.

Hi Cliff,

Come on by the VMTN Community Forums ( and ask the question. There are plenty of folks with a "VMware-first" policy, where all new servers, including production, are assumed to be virtual unless you have a special case. Don't worry, we don't bite.


I am a consultant for a VMware/IBM partner. I would say that 99% of my customers go straight to production with VI3. Even when we are slated to do a POC, once they see how it works and understand it, they jump and move production, albeit non-impact, machines over. I usually do a day of training, a day to install and create templates/test VMs and then a day of sitting back and letting them 'play'. That third day they end up either building new VMs for production or moving current machines.

my employer is running what was, as of launch last fall, one of the world's largest production VI3 implementations.

1000+ VMs (Windows, FreeBSD, Linux) on ~150 blades serving 500+ Mbps of production traffic to the Internet with a couple hundred terabytes of backend storage.

So yeah, I'd say it's ready for prime time.