[mythtv-users] Mythbacked on ESXi 5.0

Tom Hill tom at ninjabadger.net
Mon Oct 24 16:46:29 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-10-24 at 11:27 -0400, Raymond Wagner wrote:
> On 10/24/2011 04:29, Tom Hill wrote:
> > On Sun, 2011-10-23 at 20:55 -0700, Govindarajan wrote:
> >> I am trying to comprehend the advantages of such a set up but I am not
> >> getting convinced. One could just run Mythtv (front and backend) on a
> >> physical box. Running more than just backend VMs or multiple backends
> >> on the same physical box could be one. Could you explain the other
> >> advantages please?
> >>
> > People running separate file storage, router/firewall applications can
> > have them all on the same hardware.
> >
> > m0n0wall, Vyatta, pfSense, FreeNAS, openfiler, etc. will all run very
> > happily in a virtualised environment.
> But the question is _why_ would you want to?  One has to seriously 
> question the sanity of the person who uses virtual machines so they can 
> run half a dozen border firewalls on the same machine.


> There are really four specific cases to run a virtual machines:
> You use a virtual machine because you need to run multiple independent 
> kernels.  Para-virtualization doesn't require the same environment, but 
> it does require everything be run on the same kernel.  If you've got 
> some applications that need Linux, other that need Windows, and still 
> others that only run some ancient blend of HPUX or some such, full 
> virtualization is your only option.  Well, that or just running multiple 
> servers.

Like FreeBSD (m0n0wall/pfSense)? Windows? Solaris? Plenty of people are
using Nexenta/OpenIndiana for ZFS storage on their LANs.

> You use a virtual machine because you're using software with a licensing 
> scheme written by a panel of proctologists.  I'm looking at you, 
> TACOMA.  The software grabs all sorts of identifying information about 
> the hardware, and the license key is subsequently written to only 
> operate off that single machine.  The virtual machine looks like the 
> same hardware regardless of where it's running.  Rather than having to 
> deal with technical support any time you need to change hardware, you 
> throw it on a virtual machine and ignore it.

Like Windows?

> You use a virtual machine for development work.  Either you need to run 
> a completely different architecture, or maybe you just simply want to 
> isolate development work from your workstation so its not disruptive 
> against other applications you've got open.

Sure, why not. I'm aloud to, right?

> Finally the big one, you are running a number of "mission critical" 
> server applications for a business[...]


> So where does this get you with MythTV?

Nothing more, nothing less. That's the point. Well, except maybe less

> The home user isn't doing anything that is going to be bothered too much by the occasional crash.  
> The home user isn't going to have hot spare systems to fail over to in 
> the event of a hardware failure (and the free ESXi doesn't allow such 
> anyway).  With all its runtime information stored in the database, 
> MythTV is already fairly close to the "elegant solution".  Change the IP 
> address of the master backend, and with a few keystrokes, a slave 
> backend gets promoted to master and you can start back up.
> There is a time and place to run VM software, but like Govindarajan, I 
> don't see a home user running MythTV to be one of them.  If you find it 
> fun and amusing, or even just good practice for a career, have at it.  I 
> just don't see how it can make management and operation an easier task.

Maybe you live in a world where power is cheap, I don't know. Do you
have your own fusion reactor? Perhaps you do, but at home my electricity
rates aren't low (and matter more to those that I share my abode with,
more than myself) so the benefit of having a single machine that can
serve a number of purposes, all cleanly separated so that any random
mucking-about or fiddling does not affect the others //whilst// keeping
the power bills down, *is really useful*.

I fail to understand why you needed to write out that entire e-mail and
send it, given that you've basically answered your own questions (see
the careful quoting above) as to why someone would want to virtualise.
You forgot power, hence I've mentioned it.

ESXi is certainly not the only option either. KVM exists with PCI
passthrough (although it's not quite as mature) and even VirtualBox can
do the same job if you're able to rely upon USB passthrough. If you
think it's difficult to maintain, then 'ur doin it rong'. :)

All of them allow me to run my home the way I like it, with all the
features I can conceive and without lots of boxes scattered about,
eating watts.


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