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Bobby on Fri, 10 Apr 2009 04:41:02 +0000
VMWare ESXi environment - VMWare ESXi is a virtualization platform which enables anyone to run multiple systems side-by-side and concurrently on a single machine.
As far as ESXi goes my environment is pretty typical, i have 20 or so Virtual Machines available, of which a select few are actively running at any given time. The VM Host server has sufficient resources to run all the VMs i need without going over 50% memory and 20% CPU utilization.
The server itself is a Dell PowerEdge 1900 which has the following specs:
Here is a screenshot of my VMWare ESXI environment:
Among my VMs i have:
The challenge is that i only have one internet IP - this means that i would need different DNS entries, all of which point to my IP on port 80, to come in and be routed to separate environments. Or even worse, to have requests coming on a single domain be routed to different machines depending on the URL (e.g. http://dev.bloo.us/ go to Windows, and http://dev.bloo.us/latex/ go to Linux). I tried different options to obtain this configuration, including a ZXTM Virtual Load Balancer (which didn't seem to be able to do the job) and an Apache reverse proxy (which can do the job, but not without effort) until i settled for an IIS7 reverse proxy.
IIS7, in combination with the URL Rewriter and Application Request Routing (ARR) modules can allow you to easily configure behaviors such as:
I put this to use in creating a Web Service site that can host interfaces for the technologies that i can't presently move to the AppEngine (e.g. LaTeX, GraphViz, .NET libraries, etc). The diagram below outlines the topology:
The end product is an environment where any system can be quickly virtualized and exposed to the outside directly or as a web service without additional DNS entries or IP addresses and without complex routing/configuration. If you're a web developer i recommend you take a look at this VMWare plus Reverse Proxy configuration to find out how much it can do for you, it's worth it.
The VMWare Environment & Site Architecture article by Bobby Soares, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.