OSX Server with Virtual Machines

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by gbredneck, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. gbredneck macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Hi All

    Currently i have a large dell poweredge server running ESX server, its utilisation is about 5-10 percent at most at the moment, and it eats power.

    I've decided to switch over to a single mac mini OSX server, but need a windows machine running as well.

    Is there a virtualisation package for OSX server or can i just use a normal copy of vmware fusion (i have a few spare licences i've not yet used).

    The virtual machine is only going to be running a IP phone system with maybe 4 or 5 handsets, so wont need masses of resources (I've specced the mac mini server with 8gb)

    Thanks in advance

  2. fluffels macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    VMware Fusion will work fine - that is if your intended OS and software will work happily inside a virtual machine.

    If you can live with what the Mac mini brings to the party, it'll likely be fine - I have a handful of clients who use them in this way (not VoIP VMs, but VMs).
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    I have a 2009 Mini with 4GB and I have more issues with processor utilization than RAM. Running one or two VMs with single vCPUs is okay, but anything more than that and it bogs down considerably due to processor.

    If you don't need anything from OS X Server, I'd install Windows on it natively.
  4. gbredneck thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Thanks guys

    Thanks for the feedback guys, i've previously always been of the opinion if it cant be done with microsoft why bother? I'm a reseller who sells small business server solutions, but the cost of supplying SBS 2008 is meaning smaller customers are priced out of the market, the mac mini server seems to be a great way to get a cheap machine and server OS out to those customers, guess i'll find out when my one gets delivered in the next couple of days.

    For the last couple of years, i've been running my Dell server with a couple of NAS boxes, but its getting expensive power wise. I have a server located in a datacentre, which is where i'll be hosting my exchange and blackberry server's.

    The only box i am gonna need is either a windows xp workstation or 2003 server VM, which doesnt take a lot of either CPU or RAM to run.

    Am hoping the mac mini is gonna be able to do the job, cant see any reason why it wouldnt.
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    For one VM, you'll be fine.

    As for OS X Server in the field, make sure you have a good understanding of how it works. It's not trivial to setup compared to SBS.
  6. linux2mac macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    "City of Lakes", MN
    I had a big, loud, Dell PowerEdge 1600SC running Xen that I recently replaced with a 2010 Mac Mini Server. I have 8GB of RAM and I am currently running 3 VM's (2 Linux servers, and 1 SL server) on SL Server Host OS. I use Virtual Box due to ability to run VM's in background as opposed to Fusion. I run my VM's 24/7 and I am very impressed with how well the Mini performs. The C2D Mini is a very powerful little machine.
  7. slackman1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2011
    Voip with Asterisk?

    An Asterisk voip server runs fine "native" on OS X, as long as you don't need any "real" hardware card support, which does not seem to be the case, since you plan to run the voip server in a VM... I've got one running with 42 Siemens basestations and 84 handsets. Doesn't consume any real power on an Xserve.
    Compilation, configuration needs some attention, but possibilities are limitless.
  8. gbredneck thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Voip pbx

    I'm currently running 3CX VOIP PBX on a windows vm which i hope i can just import into whichever virtual platform i end up running.

    Have a few customers running it as well, so am keen to keep running it.
  9. slackman1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2011
    ...then you should be fine with VMware Fusion, if you take into account that this is not a "real" server VM environment. If you need multiple Ethernet connections, you are limited at the Mini to usb to 100Mbit converters.
    There are probably importers for non-VMware images, so you don't have to re-install the pbx VM's. (You could even migrate from "real iron" to VMware.)
    Why don't you just give it a try? VMware Fusion has a 30 day trial and costs almost nothing...
  10. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    What virtualization application are you currently using? I imported from VirtualBox to VMware without hardly any hassle.
  11. gbredneck thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Current VM platform

    Hi currently running the VM's on ESXi 3.5 server. Most of my VMs are moving to an ESX 4 server i have in a datacentre.

    I dont think it'll be that hard to migrate the phone system vm to fusion.

    Was hoping to get going on the job today, but UPS have decided i wont get the new box for a couple more days!
  12. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    If they are already in VMware, then it's just a matter of copying the files over and you're done.
  13. gbredneck thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Shiny box arrived!

    Will let you guys know how i get on with configuring it and if i really can get rid of a lot my windows servers!
  14. assembled macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    running VoIP systems in a VM is possible, but I really wouldn't suggest it. timing is critical for VoIP (and I don't mean at NTP levels of accuracy). I can tell you want to get rid of the "nasty computers that aren't apples" but sometimes there are better solutions...
  15. gbredneck thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2010

    I've always run the voip server on a virtual machine, the current machine is allocated just 300 mhz, and 1gb of ram, it only needs to support 2 calls at a time.

    Once i've tried it will report back and let you know how it goes.
  16. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    You mean latency, and for 2 calls, a VM won't be an issue.

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