It’s a step on which I thought a lot. Our primary virtualization server was feeling a bit “outdated”… it has been started almost six years ago with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and then upgraded to the “R2” release, looking forward the (at that time) promising code-name Viridian technology (now called “Hyper-V“). After Microsoft’s fall, I evaluated CITRIX XenServer and VMware ESXi hypervisors, but the first one, based on Xen, was not able to virtualize Windows without the support for Intel-VT or AMD-V in the host’s CPU, and our server was bought just a few month before these technologies come out. ESXi seemed the right choice for us, but I wasn’t able to get a test machine which complies with all ESXi hardware requirements in a timely fashion. In the meanwhile I started looking at VirtualBox on FreeBSD… until a couple of weeks ago I did not consider it a viable solution to operate as a server-side headless emulator, but after some days of studying and testing I realized that it is actually a strong choice if you need a simple yet reliable hypervisor to consolidate a few non-FreeBSD servers!
Now we have a good virtualization host, on which both Windows guests and FreeBSD jails can run at the same time. With this move the last Windows Server host has gone from our server farm! 🙂
I’ll post some technical details about this migration as soon as possible.