I'm very new to the world of running Virtual Servers.  It's a strange concept to me.  Even though I manage many of my own physical servers I'm finding it a little hard to grasp this whole concept.  Given that, I've manged to do two different installs today. Oh, I should mention I'm doing this on my Mac Book Pro with a 2.2Ghz Core Dual and 4Gb of ram.  So far I am finding Fusion, VMWare's only Mac offering, to be easy enough to use.  I did manage to install Ubuntu from the ISO, however the mouse behavior was real odd and I never did get the VMTools installed right.  I have more to learn.

I did find a neat website, elasticserver.com. Elastic Server lets you use a web interface to build your VM appliance stack.  I was able to pick the software I wanted on my 'server'.  I chose Open Blue Dragon, JBOSS,

Tomcat and PostgreSQL.  It took about 5 minutes for them to build it then I simply downloaded it and ran it in VM Fusion.  I instantly had an Open BlueDragon server.  Elastic Server ships it's builds with a complete web admin console to manage all the aspects of my server. So far it's pretty slick.  You can even share your VM Appliances if your create a free account. (see their site for full details.)

So why am I doing this?  I'm trying to set up several development or testing VM servers for Open BlueDragon, CF9 and CF7.  I'm hoping these will help me build my ColdFusion monitoring tool in such a way as to allow it to monitor multiple CFML server types.  I suppose I should do a Ralio build also, maybe?

Why do this? ColdFusion 8 has it's own monitoring and there are two fully capable commercial monitoring packages.  Well, none of them work with anything but Adobe ColdFusion (as far as I know).  Next, the CF8 monitoring tools are very heavy and can easily crush a production server.  I'm also betting people would like to be able to have some form of monitoring dashboard for their non-Adobe CFML servers.  It would be real neat if it could monitor several different types at the same time.  Plus this project will give me a vehicle to learn some new stuff besides the whole VM world.  I'd like to learn JQuery a bit and possibly AIR.  I think an AIR based monitoring client would be a cool thing.  Then you can run the monitor from your desktop and put even less of a load on the servers.  I'm sure I'll also get the chance to get into a bit more Java at the same time.  (I must be insane.)

So look for a few releases of my ColdFusion monitoring tools.  I plan to release in stages, adding one CFML engine (CF7, CF8, BlueDragon JX, Open BlueDragon, Ralio?) at a time.  I already have the CF7 and CF8 versions working because I had to write these for work.  However, I slap dashed that code pretty hard and now I am working on doing it 'right'.   As I've posted before, sometimes when I need a tool to do something the code isn't pretty.  I just get it done to get the results I need and worry about the pretty stuff later.

Now is later.