Friday, October 21, 2011

Building A Bot Server (Part 6 of 7)

Last time I teased that you didn't need to use Windows to run VMware Server. I'm sure some of you are thinking about UNIX or Linux. Those are viable solutions as well. Depending on the distribution of Linux, you can greatly customize what is installed and what is not installed. Linux isn't as scary as it was only a few short years ago. Installation of various distros, like Ubuntu and SUSE, are graphically depicted so no cryptic command-lines are needed. The auto-detection is much better now thanks to the offers that the Linux community made to the hardware manufacturers: (We'll write the drivers for you, for free, if make your products compatible with Linux.)

VM Server has been ported to run on some flavors of Linux so that will help maximize the hardware usage to the VM's themselves and not the operating system itself.

However, isn't what I was thinking of. VMware has recently made one of their paid products freely available: ESXi.


This formerly paid product allows one to have as minimal environment as possible so that maximum usage can be dedicated to the servers themselves and not the topside OS. ESXi only requires 32 Megs of memory. That's right, 32 Megs.

This means that on a 4 Gig, 4 CPU system, I can dedicate 1,016 Megs of memory for each of four (4) bots. ((4096 – 32)/4). While not quite 1,024 Megs, I doubt the the loss of 8 Megs is going to be noticeable.

This is a far improvement where you devote one gigabyte of memory just to run the underlying Windows OS, which means you can only devote 768 Megs of memory for each of three (3) bots. While better, than 512 Megs, my experience is that the bot likes 800 Megs of memory at a minimum to be happy and responsive.

A friend of mine wants to try an ESXi installation but that's been placed on hold as he recently bought a house and now that he's moved, in, his employer has been making him work only eighty (80) hours a week. He also has more expertise than I do and has the actual test hardware necessary for this little experience and it would be best if we did this together so we can solve the problems together.

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