After talking to Brian from agis, I’ve decided that the way to utilize our existing XServe that has nothing running on it but FileMaker 9 Server is to implement virtualization method.

The plan is beef it up with RAM and have core server installation hosting multiple VMWare machines.

The benefits of running virtual machine vs actual server include but not limited to:

- Less hardware to buy – you can better utilize Apple’s extra powerful 8, 16 and 32 core XServes
- Less hardware means more space on the rack and in the server room, smaller server rooms and less energy to burn
- Flexibility and expandability of virtual machines – increase size of virtual drive or re-allocate ram from one VM to another
- Easier backup solution – schedule VM shut down on the weekends, create scripts on mothership machine to backup those VM files and power them back on
- Kernel panic recovery – if VM gets Kernel panic, just restart it through the console, no need to come in to the office anymore
- Easy upgrade, recovery, installation of new machines – just create simple installation machine, save that file in the safe place and copy it to create new server when needed. Same for recovery, ready to apply updates but not sure if it will break anything? Power it off, copy image, update and if it didn’t work, toss it and get back to older one

For us it was the matter of spending $7,000 on new XServe with all backup drives for existing and new one or spend $1,700 on licensing and backup drives just for one. Choice is obvious.

So here I was, playing with freshly installed VMWare and freshly created DMG file in DiskUtility only to find out that VMWare does not like DMG. Fine, convert it to iso/cdr using hdiutil command. Nah, everytime I try to start VM I get BIOS read error. I’ve searched for it everywhere. So far instructions have been quite straight forward. Use install disc or iso image, if you have dmg – convert it using hdiutil…. But it does not work… in rare cases, when I do not get error, Please wait while DVD is loading message sits forever, and I mean forever without any changes. My home computer, after displaying that message for almost 8hrs, still has |/-|/- spinning.

Well, nowhere I found that dmg file and therefore converted iso from it, nor cdr created in Disk Utility work with VMWare. Anybody out there got it working, share with me. I had to use Toast.

Open Toast, load OS X Server Leopard Install Retail disc, select Copy from the left columns (Data, Audio, Video, Copy) and choose File->Save as Disc Image… navigate to the folder where you want to save it, change .toast extension to .iso and click Save.

Now, this ISO file is working file with which you can easily install Virtual Mac OS X Leopard Server, as I am doing right now.

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