Parallels on Xserve

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by Frank Roscher, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. Frank Roscher

    Frank Roscher

    Messages:
    9
    Hi,

    for now I use Parallels to run W2K & Linux on my MBP. Now one of our development server in our rack dies, I like to replace it with an Apple Xserve and run multiple Instances of Parallels to run Windows and Linux remote on the server. I've an Gbit Connection to the Server and like to use Apples Remote Desktop to get access to the Windows VM (for Linux I use X11). The VMs should run always and perform nightly builds etc.

    Has anyone experience with the Xserve, Parallels and Apples Remote Desktop?
     
  2. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
  3. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Have Experience

    Frank,

    We have been using Parallels on an XServe for about three and a half, four months now. It runs 'pretty well'... I am using an older RC, why in a production environment? It has some feature that I needed and I have not had a good day on a weekend to 'brave' upgrading it yet. I never upgrade things on the server unless it can be down for a couple hours without people moaning... A lot of people work late and/or early here so it just leaves it to when I have a spare weekend to do it. I am hoping to put Build 3188 on the server Sat. Anyhow, to address your question....

    It does crash every once and a while, which is irksome because it also takes down OS X Server. I just configed the tools and watchdog to auto-run any/all services I need. Then, I set it to auto-login to the account I normally use on the server for day-to-day administration (which is now couple weeks-to-couple weeks... I only go in for back-ups now, I barely even open the Server Admin utility, I just read logs :D ), next I made Parallels an app to launch when logging in. Then, inside of Parallels I told it to auto-start the VM upon launch. Result? 99.99% uptime on the XServe (meaning OS X services) starting after the first month, and 98-99% uptime for the Windows side.

    We currently have a 'low-end' XServe, but it serves its purpose. It has the Xeon 2GHz Dual-core Dual Processor with 5 GB of its beautiful DDR2 ECC RAM. It runs a single 750 GB 7200 RPM drive as of now which backs up via Firewire 800 to a LaCie drive. It has never hit 20% utilization of processor, including the VM. The VM runs MSSQL Lite for a DB intensive app (we still have less than 10 people and we just decided to defer the cost of a few hundred, at least for now, we are growing rapidly).

    All told, the XServe fully, and more than adequately, hosts a small web site, runs Jabber, DNS, AFP, SMB, is a PDC, is an Open Directory Master (my Open Directory has Network Profiles, both roaming and mobile, in addition to ACLs), DHCP Router, fully configured Firewall, Print Server, and VPN. In addition to the running of MSSQL in a VM.

    We are very happy with our purchase, actually a lease which is besides the point :D. It has saved an incredible amount of time over my previous Windows P2P network, I can actually work on productive things now! It has proved to be MUCH less expensive than getting an equivalent Windows machine which would have required getting a Small Business Server, on top of the hardware...

    Parallels is the biggest issue in my set-up across all of the Apples I have deployed, I am hoping that the new stable build helps a bit, we shall see when I get a 'free' weekend. If you need ultra-high uptime and NEED a Windows set-up but don't need the Apple side, get BootCamp. You can always have Parallels run from the BootCamp image.

    Alright, I rambled on a lot, but hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  4. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    I would be interested in seeing your launch scripts for Parallels. I always hate to reinvent something - especially when there's just no time anymore.
     
  5. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Sometimes simplicity overrules writing launch scripts. I just set the server (which is locked up with out a monitor, keyboard, or mouse) to auto-login to the user which has Parallels (as far as I know, Parallels MUST be a user-run item, as it is not like VMWare), from there, I just right click on the icon in the dock, tell it to open on log-in. Then, from inside of Parallels it is just a matter of telling the Virtual OS to start on launch.

    It definetly not anything spectacular, but it does what is needed, and very effectively at that.
     

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