I’ve been surprised and pleased at just how well Windows Server 2008 runs virtualized under Debian Squeeze. I first started running virtual Windows Servers purely for the disaster recovery and portability aspects,expecting to pay with a drop in performance…but what I found was that in a lot of cases,Windows 2008′s performance is actually somewhat better when running virtually. In particular,the ever-annoying reboot cycle gets cut to a tiny,tiny fraction of what it would be if running on “the bare metal.”
It’s also pretty nice never,ever having to play “hunt-the-driver”–the virtual “hardware”is all natively supported by Windows,so a virtual install “just works”the moment it’s done,no fuss no muss. But what about that performance?
Smokin’! Which exposes yet another reason to think about virtualization:being able to take advantage of Linux’s highly superior kernel RAID capabilities. The box shown above is running four Crucial C300 128GB solid state drives connected to SATA-3 6Gbps ports on an ASUS board;the Debian Squeeze host has them set up in a kernel RAID10. The resulting 250GB or so of storage is on a performance level that just has to be seen to be believed.
Note that while this IS a really “hot”machine,it’s still just one machine,running on commodity hardware –there’s no $50,000 SAN lurking in the background somewhere;that performance is ALL coming from a single machine with a price tag of WELL under $10K.
Ready to upgrade yet? =)