Hypervisor choice



  • I mentioned in the welcome section that I was in the process of switching away from Hyper-V in my homelab and in my volunteer work. Hyper-V is out due to the loss of 5nine manager. esxi is out because of the expense and their inability to provide a fully functional Web client to replace the thick client they've killed off.

    I was leaning toward XenServer because Xen Orchestra makes it very usable and they do have at least a small market share making it easier to find information and other users. The new, fully open source model is appealing because I know that even if Citrix totally screws it up, the code base won't die.

    Replies to my 'hello' message are stongly suggesting KVM and it appears that there may be some gui options - not sure they're as good as XO though.

    I run Debian (and Ubuntu), Centos and a smattering of Windows at home. My volunteer work is 90% Windows.

    So, everybody really likes KVM. Is there a particular problem with XenServer? I know they had some real problems with IO bottlenecks in versions prior to 7.0, but they claim to have improved, and I get decent iSCSI performance to a FreeNAS server I'm using for testing.

    Thanks for the information already provided and for any other comments or suggestions.


  • Service Provider

    No question that XenServer and Xen Orchestra together are a great pairing and will work just fine. Not a bad choice, regardless of what the final choice is. And loads of users and support here in ML. It's a venerable product, totally open source protected and well known. Has lots of limits and caveats, but is generally solid and decent, especially when used as intended.


  • Service Provider

    Do you have any needs around high availability?


  • Service Provider

    KVM has a small performance advantage for Windows clients.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor choice:

    ss of what the final choice is. And loads of users and support here in ML. It's a venerable product, totally open source protected



  • I agree that hyper-v can be a pain to manage without 5nine. Does your choice have anything to do with you attempting to learn another hypervisor for work? If you are using this as an opportunity to learn, KVM is a better option IMO. If you're trying to make things easier on yourself (opinion) XenServer is your best bet.



  • I never used the 5Nine's product - what did it give you that was so great? Was it the single pane of glass?

    I know I was frustrated with Hyper-V due to their native free option in this area, after using ESXi free for so long.



  • @Dashrender said in Hypervisor choice:

    I never used the 5Nine's product - what did it give you that was so great? Was it the single pane of glass?

    I know I was frustrated with Hyper-V due to their native free option in this area, after using ESXi free for so long.

    You can use it to get around the version limitations of hyper-v manager



  • I use XS at home (and at my last job) it was a perfect fit for the business (and at my home I don't really invest to much into different hypervisors).

    XSXO is a very solid solution in a lot of cases. 2 server, primary stand-by. Single server, bunch of individual or pooled servers.

    All works well.

    There are limitations to XS though, like 2TB - 4GB local storage limitation (is one that comes to mind)

    It all depends on what the business needs, both are offered for free, and both will act as a hypervisor. Weight the options.



  • No need for HA. The volunteer work is for a few Boys and Girls Club locations that shut down every night and most weekends, so maintenance windows are large. Even a mid-day failure can be worked around with the redundancy currently in-place.

    I'm always trying to learn and will probably switch one of my two homelab servers to KVM just for the experience. My task for this week is to settle on a simple-to-use replacement for the clubs though, and I am really enjoying XO.

    5nine made Hyper-V usable especially in non-AD environments. Without it, bringing a Hyper-V (core) server up and getting it configured was a bear. I do some powershell, but not enough. The rsat tools are OK, but Windows only and require more effort without AD. In a nutshell, without 5nine there is almost no local config or management ability on a Hyper-V server and most remote management requires expensive MS tools. Probably fine for your datacenter, but a PITA in a one or two server environment.



  • @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    No need for HA. The volunteer work is for a few Boys and Girls Club locations that shut down every night and most weekends, so maintenance windows are large. Even a mid-day failure can be worked around with the redundancy currently in-place.

    I'm always trying to learn and will probably switch one of my two homelab servers to KVM just for the experience. My task for this week is to settle on a simple-to-use replacement for the clubs though, and I am really enjoying XO.

    Did you use the community version of Xen Orchestra or did you download the appliance from their website?



  • @DustinB3403 I started with the appliance, but have since installed the community version in my homelab. If I settle on XS / XO for the clubs, I'm going to make a budget request for the XO Starter Edition because I'd like to support the project.



  • @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @DustinB3403 I started with the appliance, but have since installed the community version in my homelab. If I settle on XS / XO for the clubs, I'm going to make a budget request for the XO Starter Edition because I'd like to support the project.

    How much is the 5Nine's support renewal compared to the $700/yr price for XOA?



  • @Dashrender said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @DustinB3403 I started with the appliance, but have since installed the community version in my homelab. If I settle on XS / XO for the clubs, I'm going to make a budget request for the XO Starter Edition because I'd like to support the project.

    How much is the 5Nine's support renewal compared to the $700/yr price for XOA?

    $749 /year


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Hypervisor choice:

    I never used the 5Nine's product - what did it give you that was so great?

    A decent interface :) And cross version compatibility.



  • @wirestyle22 Until 5nine decides to change the licensing model again. They completely lost my trust with the latest change - I assumed I would at least have the free version features if they increased the price yet again. They have moved full version pricing from <$100 to $350/core to $700 enterprise and killed the free version in the span of a few years.
    If XO were to fork a closed source branch, we would at least have full source for the current version.


  • Service Provider

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    No need for HA. The volunteer work is for a few Boys and Girls Club locations that shut down every night and most weekends, so maintenance windows are large. Even a mid-day failure can be worked around with the redundancy currently in-place.

    It's funny because I've had IT at other boys and girls clubs (paid IT, not volunteer of course) stating that it's worth every penny that they bring in to not be down for one second, even on a Sunday early morning off hours. That's how strongly people in those non-profit places overstate their cases trying to build unnecessarily large and complicated infrastructures.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    No need for HA. The volunteer work is for a few Boys and Girls Club locations that shut down every night and most weekends, so maintenance windows are large. Even a mid-day failure can be worked around with the redundancy currently in-place.

    It's funny because I've had IT at other boys and girls clubs (paid IT, not volunteer of course) stating that it's worth every penny that they bring in to not be down for one second, even on a Sunday early morning off hours. That's how strongly people in those non-profit places overstate their cases trying to build unnecessarily large and complicated infrastructures.

    Don't even get me started



  • @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 Until 5nine decides to change the licensing model again. They completely lost my trust with the latest change - I assumed I would at least have the free version features if they increased the price yet again. They have moved full version pricing from <$100 to $350/core to $700 enterprise and killed the free version in the span of a few years.
    If XO were to fork a closed source branch, we would at least have full source for the current version.

    I spoke to someone claiming to be a VP and I told him that this decision is ultimately going to lose them customers. No one is going to pay what they are asking. I'd rather switching hypervisors



  • @wirestyle22 said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 Until 5nine decides to change the licensing model again. They completely lost my trust with the latest change - I assumed I would at least have the free version features if they increased the price yet again. They have moved full version pricing from <$100 to $350/core to $700 enterprise and killed the free version in the span of a few years.
    If XO were to fork a closed source branch, we would at least have full source for the current version.

    I spoke to someone claiming to be a VP and I told him that this decision is ultimately going to lose them customers. No one is going to pay what they are asking. I'd rather switching hypervisors

    5Nines probably doesn't care. Those low end customers weren't paying the bills, so they dumped them.



  • @Dashrender said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 Until 5nine decides to change the licensing model again. They completely lost my trust with the latest change - I assumed I would at least have the free version features if they increased the price yet again. They have moved full version pricing from <$100 to $350/core to $700 enterprise and killed the free version in the span of a few years.
    If XO were to fork a closed source branch, we would at least have full source for the current version.

    I spoke to someone claiming to be a VP and I told him that this decision is ultimately going to lose them customers. No one is going to pay what they are asking. I'd rather switching hypervisors

    5Nines probably doesn't care. Those low end customers weren't paying the bills, so they dumped them.

    How many future purchases will that kind of mindset cost them?



  • @wirestyle22 said in Hypervisor choice:

    @Dashrender said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @DustinB3403 I started with the appliance, but have since installed the community version in my homelab. If I settle on XS / XO for the clubs, I'm going to make a budget request for the XO Starter Edition because I'd like to support the project.

    How much is the 5Nine's support renewal compared to the $700/yr price for XOA?

    $749 /year

    This seems like a small amount compared to switching the whole platform. Plus I thought they had no budget for the renewal? But now they can come up with $700 less?



  • This seems like a small amount compared to switching the whole platform. Plus I thought they had no budget for the renewal? But now they can come up with $700 less?

    See my comment above about loss of trust. What about next year when it becomes $5000 / year and this year's license expires leaving zero functionality? I'm out.



  • @wirestyle22 said in Hypervisor choice:

    @Dashrender said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 Until 5nine decides to change the licensing model again. They completely lost my trust with the latest change - I assumed I would at least have the free version features if they increased the price yet again. They have moved full version pricing from <$100 to $350/core to $700 enterprise and killed the free version in the span of a few years.
    If XO were to fork a closed source branch, we would at least have full source for the current version.

    I spoke to someone claiming to be a VP and I told him that this decision is ultimately going to lose them customers. No one is going to pay what they are asking. I'd rather switching hypervisors

    5Nines probably doesn't care. Those low end customers weren't paying the bills, so they dumped them.

    How many future purchases will that kind of mindset cost them?

    Again, probably not many that they care about. This is the same mindset that XOA is in. They don't want the low end SMB, because supporting those people costs them money, not making them money.



  • This seems like a small amount compared to switching the whole platform. Plus I thought they had no budget for the renewal? But now they can come up with $700 less?

    Also, note that I said I would put in a budget request. If they can't afford the Starter Edition, I'll make do with the limitations of the free edition. I just lost that ability with 5nine.



  • @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    This seems like a small amount compared to switching the whole platform. Plus I thought they had no budget for the renewal? But now they can come up with $700 less?

    Also, note that I said I would put in a budget request. If they can't afford the Starter Edition, I'll make do with the limitations of the free edition. I just lost that ability with 5nine.

    The free edition is unlimited (besides XOSAN (HA) solution). It literally does all of it.



  • @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    This seems like a small amount compared to switching the whole platform. Plus I thought they had no budget for the renewal? But now they can come up with $700 less?

    Also, note that I said I would put in a budget request. If they can't afford the Starter Edition, I'll make do with the limitations of the free edition. I just lost that ability with 5nine.

    Stick with the free edition unless you need or want the additional features, then use the XO script that is provided here.



  • @black3dynamite said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    This seems like a small amount compared to switching the whole platform. Plus I thought they had no budget for the renewal? But now they can come up with $700 less?

    Also, note that I said I would put in a budget request. If they can't afford the Starter Edition, I'll make do with the limitations of the free edition. I just lost that ability with 5nine.

    Stick with the free edition unless you need or want the additional features, then use the XO script that is provided here.

    The difference isn't free vs paid. It's Community Support vs Developer Support.



  • @DustinB3403 So, no limitations on using the community edition in a business / non-profit environment? Other than risking possible build-it-yourself issues? I was assuming I should stick with the free XOA if they can't pony up.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Hypervisor choice:

    @jfath said in Hypervisor choice:

    @wirestyle22 Until 5nine decides to change the licensing model again. They completely lost my trust with the latest change - I assumed I would at least have the free version features if they increased the price yet again. They have moved full version pricing from <$100 to $350/core to $700 enterprise and killed the free version in the span of a few years.
    If XO were to fork a closed source branch, we would at least have full source for the current version.

    I spoke to someone claiming to be a VP and I told him that this decision is ultimately going to lose them customers. No one is going to pay what they are asking. I'd rather switching hypervisors

    Well, except were you going to pay before? If not, how is it losing them customers?


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