MacStadium Knowledge Base

Private Clouds

Can I host non-Mac hardware with you as well?

Keep in mind that you can run any OS on Mac hosts!  However, if you have a lot of non-Mac workloads, we can also add HPE Blade infrastructure to your environment.  Many customers use this for Android builds and testing.

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Can I scale up or down?

You can easily scale up by sending us a ticket to add more capacity. Normal turnaround is less than 5 days, which can also be made faster by providing advanced notice.  Our minimum resolution for upgrades is 30 days. For downgrades, we require 60 days notice.

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How can I get free VMware ESXi licensing?

VMware provides a free version of the ESXi hypervisor. Acquiring a free license only requires creating an account in the VMware Download Center. Once you are logged in to their portal, you have access to a free license key to use ESXi indefinitely on a single server.

We pre-install ESXi on a hosted Mac with a 60-day trial license before providing you access. You simply have to apply the license key acquired from the VMware Download Center to your ESXi installation.

It’s important to clarify that this only applies for our dedicated Mac servers. It cannot be used with our hosted Mac private cloud solutions. The free license has restrictions that make it incompatible with a cluster of servers and the necessary additional VMware software we install for management and automation.

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How do I manage VMware ESXi from my Mac?

While there’s no native desktop application on macOS for managing ESXi like Windows has, there are plenty of alternatives. Check out our article on the topic Managing VMware ESXi With just a Mac.

In 2016, VMware began including an Embedded HTML5/javascript host client for managing ESXi in vSphere update 6.0U2. Meant to connect to and manage single ESXi clients, it’s a great solution for users getting started with a dedicated Mac running VMware at MacStadium.

If your Mac is running a version of vSphere older than update 6.0U2, please open a support ticket to discuss with our engineering team how you can upgrade your existing server to the latest version of VMware and begin using the host client from your Apple Mac computer.

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Is there a control panel to create and manage multiple macOS virtual machines on one machine?

VMware ESXi can do this. VMware ESXi is a hypervisor for deploying and serving virtual machines running many different types of operating system. Utilizing Mac hardware is the only way to legally virtualize macOS.If you choose to have VMware ESXi installed on your Mac server, you’ll have access to a powerful management layer for virtualizing on Mac hardware. 

In the past, it was only possible to manage ESXi from the command line or via a desktop client installed on Windows. In early 2016, VMware began including an embedded HTML5 based VMware Host Client that allows users to connect to and manage a single server running ESXi for the management of host resources and virtual machines. There is no extra cost to use this tool, and it's included in all new installs of the latest version of VMware on Mac servers at MacStadium.

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Should we use resource reservations in VMware?

By using resource reservations, you may be artificially limiting yourself from taking advantage of the full capability of your environment. Techniques like oversubscription can no longer be fully utilized when using resource reservations.

When using resource reservations (even if on just a single virtual machine out of many), VMware will apply the lowest common resource reservation to all VMs. For example, if VM A has x resource reservations and VM B through VM E don’t have any resource reservations, VMware will apply x resource resolutions to all virtual machines.

If your cluster is healthy and has plenty of resources to share between virtual machines, we recommend disabling resource reservations. If you are constantly seeing issues with insufficient resources to your cluster as a whole, you should increase the number of hosts in your cluster or decrease your workload.

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What components are included with every Mac Pro in a private cloud?

When part of a private cloud environment, each Mac Pro includes the hardware, MacStadium upgrades, hosting, and VMware. In addition to the Mac Pro(s), each cloud includes a firewall, vCenter, IP block, SAN (or internal drive), and a cloud bundle discount.

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What is covered in the price of a private cloud?

All of our cloud environments are highly secure and hosted in Tier III and IV data centers. We add patented technology to each Mac Pro.  We monitor and maintain all hosted hardware.  You get access to 24/7 expert Mac networking support.  You get a dedicated account manager that can help you with any issues.  You get unlimited bandwidth.  

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What is the best environment for me?

Most of our customers choose a private cloud. A hosted private cloud has the most flexibility, scalability, security, and performance. We also offer individual dedicated Macs if you do not need the scale of a private cloud.

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Why am I getting a VMware alert about the Data Service container running low on heap memory?

From a customer: 

I keep getting the following alert: >> The Data Service container process is running low on heap memory (> 90% utilized).
Is there anything we can do about that?

This VMware alert can be ignored. It’s a known bug with no known resolution and is cosmetic only. It has no impact on the performance of your VMware cluster.

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