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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Virtualisation - where to start? in Technical; I know nothing about virtualisation - where would be the best place to look to start gaining knowledge please....
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Virtualisation - where to start?

    I know nothing about virtualisation - where would be the best place to look to start gaining knowledge please.

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    comedydave's Avatar
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    If its just to try running virtual machines try a piece of software called VMWare.

    Server virtualisation, I don't have a clue if it is any different or not?

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    speckytecky (27th March 2008)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Server Virtualisation - Is essentially one physical server which is divided/split into several isolated virtual environments.

    The advantage here is because servers have so much power, they can serve multiple operating systems (at the same time), which contain their own applications. It allows much higher densities and lower costs. It's also very green too so it's a win-win situation for everyone.

    Another way to look at it is with traditional dual booting, of say Windows 98 and Windows XP which a lot of users did when XP first came out. Problem being you chose one or the other. Virtualisation would allow you to run both operating systems on the same hardware at the same time.

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    speckytecky (27th March 2008), zag (12th May 2009)

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    An easy way to mess around with the basics is to get Virtual PC - it's free from Microsoft and install an OS. You soon get the hang of the concepts once you try configuring it. I've set up a little virtual network on my home PC, to assist with my MCSE study, with servers, workstations, domains, DNS, DHCP, subnets, NAT server etc. Only took an evening and I don't know what I'm doing!

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    If you're looking to just pick up some knowledge, the way I did it was just to take the plunge and try it out.

    I tried Microsoft's offerings: Virtual PC, Virtual Server and Hyper-V. With the exception of Hyper-V, the former 2 are very simple interfaces with very little in terms of features. They are free so give them a try. If you have a free workstation and it's relatively powerful enough, then give Hyper-V a try, much better than the other 2. Better still, if you can get your hands on a copy of Windows Server 2008, try Hyper-V on that.

    I did all that before actually running Smoothwall's Network Guardian in our live environment. After finding that Smoothwall didn't go too well with Hyper-V (Hello Microsoft, meet my friend, Linux... err... no) We then moved over to the free VMware Server and I saw the differences straight away. For a free product it's great and definately worth a look at to get a true feel for virtualisation.

    On my main desktop, I'm using VMware Workstation just for playing around. It's all bundled into a nice application as opposed to the web based interface with VMware Server and it has LOTS more features. It costs about 80 (Ramesys) and I love it! The kind of program that demonstrates why VMware is the market leader in Virtualisation.

    There is also VMware ESXi (Free, I think - Again, needs a free workstation) and VirtualBox by Sun, albeit I haven't tried those 2.

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    I Agree with the above.

    When i wanted to take the plunge all i did was download VMware Server 2 (infact i downloaded a few different Virtulisation products) and installed server 2003 on it so i could mess around with that at home as a test server. once i did that i then created a windows xp virtual machine and started creating a virtual network

    I never really got any books etc i just messed around at home and picked it up that way.

    Its all good fun! on Vmware make sure you test our the snapshot functions etc so you know how they work it comes in useful

    If you need any help though just give us a shout

    James.

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    OverWorked's Avatar
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    VMWare Server is how I got started, and it's still my product of choice. I haven't tried the MS products. It will run on a Windows OS. Just make sure you use a machine that has plenty of RAM (ideally 2GB or more), and also preferably run the virtual machines on a different drive from your host OS (for speed).

    I've also looked at ESXi. It's also free and installs on the bare metal, rather than on a host OS. Because of this, it has a narrower range of machines it will run on.

    EDIT: I second all that EduTech just said!

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    I have used VM's virtual server and virtual pc but currently we are using 2008's hyper-v and its very straight forward to use.

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    ServersPlus's Avatar
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    We work closely with a chap called Simon who runs Techhead.co.uk, a site devoted to virtualisation - It's a great source of information to get you started.

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    Proxmox is a great open source solution. OpenVZ via Centos/Debian is also good. Proxmox provides a nice front end to OpenVZ and KVM. Well worth a look. We have got proxmox doing live machine migrations and is working great

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    speckytecky (12th May 2009)

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    We are using VirtualBox All my techies have it installed on there machines and they use it quite a lot. I found it a good place to start personally when looking into virtualisation.

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    speckytecky (12th June 2009)

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    diggory's Avatar
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    Using VMWare ..

    Using VMWare here. Tried it out using VM Workstation (free and installs as a normal windows program).
    Found that VMWare do a free utility for converting machines to virtual ones, as well as converting between most virtual machines.

    Running vSphere 4 on our servers - works very well.

    Watch out for a few gotchas...

    VM's will eat RAM - you'll need more
    They'll also eat a fair amount of disk space.

    They don't fair quite so well with disk intensive stuff - SQL databases and the like (although we are happily running exchange VM).

    I'd try VMWare workstation on your machine - or even better, ESXi on a 'spare' machine to host a load of servers.
    You can download fully setup virtual machines from the net or get a free P2V (physical to virtual) converter from VMWare to copy an existing machine to a virtual one
    Last edited by diggory; 12th June 2009 at 09:28 AM.

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    speckytecky (12th June 2009)

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    john's Avatar
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    I'm a Microsoft Virtual Server guy and that works really well, use it on one server to run 2 VMs and I use it on my XP Pro PC to run 3 or 4 VMs on that which also is good

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    speckytecky (12th June 2009)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    If you're serious about learning server virtualisation then one of the best places on the internet (even if it is brand specific) is the VMWare Community Forums: VMware Communities: Online Community for Virtualization and vSphere Experts

    A very active community with an extremely good shared skill set and knowledge base. They helped me out tremendously while I was studying for my VCP and implementing my first virtual infrastructure at my last school.

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    speckytecky (12th June 2009)

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    I'm moving this thread to the Virtualisation forum. Perhaps that would be a good place to start?

  29. Thanks to Dos_Box from:

    speckytecky (12th June 2009)

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