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  • VM Newbie...

    I am an admitted newbie to virtualization. I have the following scenarios for two different clients:

    1. SBS2003. We have 3 client machines (all very hefty). There are basically 2 employees and 5 contractors that are part time for a legal firm. What we essentially want to do is create VM for the 5 contractors since they will only remote on maybe 3-4 times a week since they each only work about 10 hours or so. So my question is:

    A. Is this an applicaiton for VM PC 2007 on the one desktop or since there might be simultaneous access would we be looking at VM Server 2005? If we go with either product I am assuming we will need to have 5 licenses of the OS and obviously a separate license for each application loaded on the VM.

    2. 64 bit 2003 with option to upgrade to 2008 with 8 client machines with only 6 machines physically in use. We want to create VM with the other 2 machines so 4 outside workers can login to work.

    A. same questions as above.

    Thanks in advance for a reply. We have another client that already has this setup so I know it works, but we have not been able to look into it yet.

  • #2
    Re: VM Newbie...

    I would recommend Virtual Server rather than Virtual PC. I would also recommend setting this up on a member server, rather than the DC, for performance reasons.

    Yes, you will need individual licences for each VM, for both the operating system and applications, in addition to the licence for the host OS.

    How do you intend to setup remote access - VPN presumably, with the users then accessing the VMs using Remote Desktop?
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: VM Newbie...

      Thanks for the quick reply. This is awesome. Let me ask a few questions...


      1. Since we are starting very slowly on this, will Virtual PC even work with multiple people logging into the same system at the same time? What is the advantage of Virtual Server to Virtual PC?

      2. I get the point of not trying this on the DC, but I do have a beast of a machine with a VERY small company - we got it anticipating growth. Do you think it will have a significant pull down on it?

      Thanks for the additional input,

      Brian

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      • #4
        Re: VM Newbie...

        Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
        will Virtual PC even work with multiple people logging into the same system at the same time?
        That's down to the guest OS - to everything else on the network, VMs look the same as physical PCs. If the guest OS is a desktop edition of Windows, then no - this is not supported and attempts to enable this would be against the EULA. If the guest is a server edition of Windows then yes, provided you comply with the licence requirements - Terminal Services requires TS CALs in addition to the server CALs. It is possible, but quite flakey, to run Linux under Virtual PC.

        Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
        TWhat is the advantage of Virtual Server to Virtual PC?
        They're both free to use... the main difference is that Virtual PC is an application, Virtual Server is a service. If you're using Virtual PC, somebody has to be logged in to the host OS on the server whenever you want the VMs to be running. If you use Virtual Server, then you only ever have to login to the host OS on the server when you want to configure the VMs. Virtual Server also offers the advantage of remote management. While Linux support is still quite flakey, in my view it seems to be more reliable than on Virtual PC.

        Essentially, Virtual Server is targetted at meeting your requirements. Virtual PC is not.

        Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
        I get the point of not trying this on the DC, but I do have a beast of a machine with a VERY small company - we got it anticipating growth. Do you think it will have a significant pull down on it?
        Is this beast the DC, a member server (running Windows Server) or a workstation (running desktop Windows)?

        If it's a workstation running Windows XP etc, double check the EULA to ensure what you want to do is allowed - while I believe it is, this is a pretty similar scenario to one that was discussed a few months ago, which fell into illegal territory. As I said, I think that what you want to do would be legal, but best to be safe.

        I would not recommend running this setup on a Windows workstation though - desktop releases of Windows are not designed to be used as servers. Invest in a copy of Windows Server 2003 and install it as a member server on your beast.

        What OS would the VMs be running? What applications would be in use? What is the hardware spec of the beast?
        Gareth Howells

        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: VM Newbie...

          Thanks so much for the info. To boil it down it sounds like Virtual PC is designed for me to load multiple OS's, but only run one at a time. With Virtual Server I can load multiple version of my client OS (in this case XP Pro) that run concurrently for remote users (all these workers are part-time contractors that work from home). Is this correct?

          So my last question is whether there are limitations in running multiple OS's concurrently (understanding I need to buy a separate OS) with XP Pro as the host OS for the Virtual Server. Are there advantages in having a server based OS (2003)? The reason I am asking is that we are thinking we can run 4 VMs per piece of hardware (the load will be fairly light as the users are only running MS Office Apps pretty much on Core 2 Quad Q9550/2.83GHz with tons of memory). Does this sound realistic? If so, do I need 5 Pro licenses per machine (one host and 4 VMs) or can you log into the host as well?

          With OEM licenses assumming I can run the host as one of my machines, I can setup a box for hardware costs + 4*$130 for OS and 4*$199 for Office. Does this sound right? If I have to get a server based host, this jacks up my price quite a bit. Your thoughts?

          Thanks...

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          • #6
            Re: VM Newbie...

            You would need to run Virtual Server on a server class operating system. Microsoft do not allow it to be used in a production environment on an XP host.

            I would strongly recommend that the hosts are used as servers only and that you only allow users to login to the guest machines.

            I'd also recommend you look into ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V rather than Virtual Server.

            My previous point about OEM licences stands - I do not believe that installation onto a VM qualifies as complying with the OEM licence.

            How much is "tons" of memory?
            Gareth Howells

            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: VM Newbie...

              Point taken on OEM. We will buy full versions. 4 Gig memory expandable to 8. I am thinking for now to keep our costs down we go with 2003 server with XP Pro on each virtual machine. Have you found that 2Gig per light user should do it or is 1 Gig enough?

              I saw the note about non-production now in: http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...c0/VSvsVPC.doc

              Thanks for all the info.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: VM Newbie...

                Get Server 03 x64 for the host - 64-bit will allow you to use a lot more memory. While 32-bit systems can be tricked into using more memory, it is less efficient.

                I'd recommend 2GB per host at least - even our 'light usage' machines at work have 3GB.
                Gareth Howells

                BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: VM Newbie...

                  First post in thread, point 1. SBS 2003 is a 32bit application so is limited to 4GB RAM. Having tons of memory (I am assuming this is what you refer to as RAM) in this case is really wasted. 32bit 2008 Server will also only utilise 4GB RAM.

                  Just a couple of points to keep in mind.

                  SBS 2008 may be worth looking at as a viable option since it is a 64bit application and it may like tons of memory.
                  1 1 was a racehorse.
                  2 2 was 1 2.
                  1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                  2 2 1 1 2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: VM Newbie...

                    bwarner - are you intending to setup the VMs on your SBS DC? I would strongly recommend that you install a member server to host them. To justify the cost, you could use it for other purposes too.
                    Gareth Howells

                    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                    Comment

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