Super Fast Server Reboots – Another reason Virtualization rocks.
If this were a physical server, it may be worth the 10 minutes or so to wait for the prompts and go through all the trouble of restarting the stats software rather than rebooting. I say 10 minutes because that's how long it seems to take a physical machine to boot... I've not timed one, so I don't have an exact number, but it goes something like this on a Dell:
- BIOS – 15 to 30 seconds or more depending on the amount of RAM
- Adaptec BIOS – 15 seconds, easy
- PERC RAID BIOS – 30 more seconds unless you have to wait for the drives to spin up.. then you're looking at a minute or so.
- Remote Management BIOS – another 30 seconds
- Boot OS
On a virtual machine, it goes like this:
- BIOS – 5 seconds
- Boot OS
I am in the habit of starting a consistent ping while waiting for a server to reboot. That way I would have an idea of about when to expect it to be operational again. At times, when rebooting physical servers, I get nervous waiting and watching the ping responses. The server room is down stairs and on the other side of the building and often I don't feel like going there just to watch it reboot – unless there are problems. Also, we don't have an IP KVM, so I can't see the console of our physical servers when they reboot – unless I go to the server room.
Enter the virtualized server: We didn't spend the $$ on an IP KVM because we have VMware's Virtual Center. The console for each virtual machine is a window on my PC.... but that's off topic. What I really want to show you is my ping window for rebooting this server:
This is Windows 2003 Server Standard running in a virtual machine on a Dell 2850 Dual Xeon 3.6Ghz running VMware ESX 2.5.2.
This is one of the things that makes me love virtualization more and more every time I experience it.