Thank you all for the kind words and emails - though I was bedridden for two days (and later quarantined at the doctor's office - Swine Flu? - Seriously?) I am already ramping up to capacity once again.
Here we go:
I'm still facing the pros and cons of everyday life, much as we all are, with the difference that I have tried, and tested ESXi. It is a fantastic multipurpose tool which has no place whatsoever in my home, unless as a third box, perhaps. It is NOT a replacement for a graphical workstation (VMware Workstation truly has earned its special niche), and I won't bore you with the details as to why (interested parties, if any, can inquire in the comments). Suffice it to say, its absolutely killing me, and I'll have to go back to running XP as a primary on one of my boxes. It is however, a gorgeous solution for our new proposed collocated server for a myriad of reasons, up to and including "attaching" to an internal, virtualized enterprise-standard EMC Celera NAS. Go drax0r.
Building my own ESX server was a great learning experience (I can now say I've built and managed one) and once drax0r saw what it was capable of, he started salivating as the nearly endless possibilities started playing out in his head. With the click of a button, I have at my disposal, a Solaris x86 box, an OpenSolaris box, and any flavor of linux I choose to run. ESX gives me the ability to clone entire operating systems for backup or archival purposes, or with "P-to-V" turn any existing x86 box into a virtual machine at the push of a button. I can't even comprehend what fanciful things we'll come up with having such flexibility at our fingertips. Windows runs even faster virutualized, as there are no drivers to set aside memory for (though I can't imagine a single scenario where we'd need to run one collo'd), but it was that 'virtual desktop' drax0r saw which really got him spun up by way of the minuscule resources required to run it as he peeked under the engine. Imagine - running Windows, without ever having to admit to running Windows! No wonder Parallels is so popular. "Minimize" and the embarrassment is gone.
As things stand now, I'm preparing to once again tear down my two boxes, swap parts in some semblance of order that only makes sense to me, and hopefully finalize my production workstations. I've been without iTunes, a printer, and audio (another lengthy story including HDMI-audio out; Ugh) for far too long.
And a special thanks to Blue Portal Productions for the beautifully aromatic "Ambrosia" cigars which arrived in the post today!
CEO Blue Portal Productions