I have been talking the praises of VMware ever since I was introduced to it a few years ago. This week it moved up a peg in my book. We have been having issues with some production hardware for some time. It is a long story but lets just say that by fixing the machine we could very well destroy it since we have had bad results with similar equipment. In theory the state that the machine was in could remain stable indefinitely, but who was going to risk another drive failing (SATA RAID issue that is unnecessary to go into details about). Rebuilding the box was out of the question since it would take way too long to do so. Since it was an application that is slated to be retired in a few months, it isn’t worth putting in tons of man hours setting up a new box, but we need the app in service. Rolling the dice and hoping the machine stayed up was not a risk anyone was willing to make.
Then the solution came to us. Lets virtualize the machine. We had been testing it for a while and the results looked great. We had even taken some non production box’s and virtualized them for use on one of our new ESX servers, so it looked like a viable option. The issue was convincing our dev staff and my boss that this was what we needed. The dev staff needed some convincing. Now that the work is done they are still worried about some quirk creeping up in the system. My boss was more enthusiastic about the prospect.
The only down side that came of the whole situation was that the Physical to Virtual conversion took triple the amount of time we had hoped or planned for. Was it worth it? Yes, but we could have lived without the hours of waiting.
I am continually amazed at what this software can do.