Virtual machine provisioning sometimes requires administrator guesswork which doesn’t always yield the best results. To help address this need, Portsmouth, N.H.-based VKernel has launched a beta-stage community website, CompareMyVM.com, which will post configuration of virtual machines to help virtualization administrators.
At this point on the site, there are hardly enough virtual machines to make a quality sample of how the world is using ESX-based VMs. So, I encourage you to upload to the site, and as it matures the quality of the site will improve with more data. Uploading a VM or appliance’s configuration is easy, simply go to the CompareMyVM website and select to Snapshot My VM via a Java applet that will connect to VirtualCenter or the ESX host, or you can click the Contribute My VM button to enter the configuration manually. Once a virtual machine is loaded into the site, it is shown in the list among the other contributed VMs. An example of a VM I uploaded is shown below:
Uploaded VMs can be given information about what applications they run, such as a Windows domain controller, Apache 2.2 web engine or an Exchange mail server. At first glance, you may think that this is simply a way that virtualization admins can put their data on the CompareMyVM site and have it sold as data that says how administrators configure their VMs.
Not so according to Christian Simko, director of marketing and communications from VKernel who states that “The idea is to keep it open and never charge for it… We may eventually publish a best practices guide with data derived from CompareMyVM, but that will also be a freebie.” This is good news, as the site develops, there will surely be value to determine how other administrators are provisioning VMs with similar application inventories.
As the site matures, look for more comparative performance data on the contributed configurations as well. To date, there is only a limited number of virtual machines posted from virtualization users. I’ve put some VMs up there and hopefully you will as well. As more users contribute data, this free service will hopefully provide some valuable comparative information on how people use virtualization across different market segments. Most importantly, this information will be vendor-neutral, so different server hardware as well as various software configurations will be represented on the community site.