An ESXi IaaS evening with @shengyeo

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An ESXi VM

Many years ago, I remember attempting to install VMware Workstation on a Virtual PC (remember that?) virtual machine on Mac OS 8 my iMac. The experiment ultimately failed, but was ridiculously fun nonetheless. Fast foward to 2013, and our class was tasked with performing a far more advanced, though similar activity!

With the use of some pre-built images, I had:

  • A CentOS 6.4 VM, running on a VMware ESXi VM, running in VMware Fusion on my MacBook Air.
  • The CentOS VM had been provisioned through a VMware vSphere client, running on a seperate Windows XP VM, running in VMware Fusion, and was communicating with the ESXi VM through a shared subnet.

In lieu of using dedicated hardware in class to run ESXi and demonstrate how to rapidly provision VMs using share data pools, this approach allowed us to still get a taste of level 1 virtualisation. It also gave us a chance to make some Xibit Inception Meta jokes about running a VM in a VM provisioned through a VM

Once again at UTS, we were fortunate enough to have Sheng Yeo show us the ropes. Last semester, Sheng gave a talk about Infrastructure as a Service, and how he and his fellow UTS alumni had built OrionVM, the world's fastest cloud. Virtualisation has continued to be an area I'm interested in, and I was thankful to have someone who's worked in the trenches offer his pragmatic, real world experience.

In particular, while I have experience with virtualisation in industrial process control, VPSs and running multipe OSs on my own client machines, discussion into large scale deployment has given me much valuable insight. There's a tremendous amount of fascinating work being done in this field, and some equally large challenges.

Thanks again to Sheng and the University of Technology, Sydney for a productive and fun evening!


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