So I finally got round to trying virtualisation
I've been meaning to look into this for months, but have been busy with coding and generally keeping things running as they are while at work. I'm often stuck between "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and the knowledge that I could improve the way things are working around here if it weren't for the fact that there are workers in Houston who need to connect into our network til about midnight UK time, so any serious maintenance I want to do I've had to do at midnight on a friday night. At home I spend most of my time playing the PS3 or watching movies, though this past weekend I finally remembered to try setting up a VM.
I have been using OSX exclusively at home and decided that I may as well run OSX at work too, with an XP VM for the things that need XP (Outlook, Windows development IDEs.. and I guess Winamp
After a test of this I may consider rolling VMs out onto some of our servers, but I'm not convinced that the overhead involved in running several OSes instead of one will be worth it when it comes to server performance - especially when it comes to memory. Exchange likes its memory. Hardware permitting though, it would be pretty cool to be running a Linux base OS (which wouldn't need rebooting very often, if at all) and some Windows Server stuff on top, with different services across different VMS, so that if one service screws up it can be rebooted (or otherwise sorted, but reboots are usually a good start) without affecting anything else, and it would be easier to do stuff like roll back patches. Our fastest server is a dual core Opteron with 4GB of RAM - which to me doesn't seem suitable for server virtualisation. We're also going through a bit of a cash crisis at the moment (the sales department haven't been doing their job very well!), so I'm definitely not going to ask to upgrade any servers at the moment, but I'll bear it in mind for the next round of hardware
I'm also interested to see if any of our engineering packages can run properly on VMs (would probably require a decent level of OpenGL support to run at anything near acceptable speeds), and then I'd be justified in buying something like an 8 (or more
If anyone reads this I'd be interested to hear what they have been doing with Virtualisation? One of the most basic and practical ideas I've heard is that someone does all his browsing in a VM - that's a great idea from a security standpoint, but if it requires keeping a spare copy of XP going just to browse then it is perhaps a bit wasteful. Running a browser in DSL could be a good idea from a resources standpoint, but then you can't use Internet Explorer for the very few sites that may still require it (though you could always install WINE). Thankfully I haven't seen any sites recently that don't work in Firefox
I do ramble a bit, sorry if my sporadic thoughts smack slightly of ADHD, or if my thinking is still a bit behind the bleeding edge - I am perfectly capable when it comes to technology and especially computers, but since I moved away from home I no longer spend all my spare time in geeky pursuits, as my friends have always been more interested in stuff like music and film. I love music and films too of course, but I often forget how much of a geek I really am deep down