Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
There you go fella.
powdarrmonkey (27th October 2009)
A Windows 2008 Standard licence allows you to run a single virtual instance on top of the OS - so you can install Windows on the box and legitimately virtualise your network server with one single licence.
It seems to me that the problems people here have mentioned with virtualising DC's are around using snapshot type features, but it's not something I've paid too much attantion to, so a little more research would be recommended.
@tmc35: I've not had to do any windows repairs with VMware converter. Exchange worked straight away and I've not had to do a repair... is this something specific to hyper-v?
You'll be take a DC offline for an extended period of time and performing a repair install of Windows on it. It could seriously get out of sync with your live AD and cause all sorts of problems. If at all possible demote the server from a DC first and re-promote to a DC after P2V conversion is complete.
P.S.> Did I mention M$'s P2V convertor (free) works on live running systems and is very very fast. The VMWare convertor (last time I used it) had to booted from CD and took an eternity to run through.
Its free as in when you buy your 2008 lic you automatically get the right to run another instance of 2008 virtualised as that extra lic is free. If you buy enterprise you get 4 instances virtualised where as standard edition is only one.
Running 2008 on the bare metal does use resources but the hyperv layer means it only mimimally effects the virtual machine performance. The VM's access the hardware using a direct layer rather then just routing through the OS (but it does still a little)
As for converting, I have used SCVMM which is sweeties to license and so far not had a bad image yet or a reinstall. SCVMM works with vmware as well and can coverter multiple drives etc, its really quite nice tbh as well as converting a vm in hyper-v to say esx if you wanted.
With most P2V conversion you have to do a repair install because of the change of hardware between the physical and virtual environments. Without doing it you can get BSOD's and the like.
Like I say I found the VMWare Convertor very touch and go as to whether is wanted to run or complete on some hardware. Seemed to be as picky about hardware as ESX is. Grrrr.
Our VMware converstion of exchange03 was done live (converter4 rocks) and took about 6 hours with about 100GB of data and a resizing of the HDs as they were coming over (thanks RM for the 8gb C drive)... I've not personally had any hardware troubles with conversion, just powered on afterwards (removed a few devices) and it worked.
i struggle to come to terms with using windows on a nice bit of expensive server kit, but heck we all do it. but, using hyper V just seems to be asking for trouble : basing potentially multiple virtual servers on one bit of hardware all under the auspices of microsoft software. alarm bells ringing anyone?
Ric_ is the only xen expert i know, so maybe he can give you some tips, he has SIMS running on it and probably much more. It's too unixy from my understanding.
I've been testing VMWare and much prefer it. VMWare server is free to use on Windows but very limited. VMWare Fusion for macs is awesome. We're looking at going for ESXi for our new blade server but to get the best out of it, you have to pay for the management tool.
When we researched one of the biggest differences we saw between esx and xen was something to do with memory management and allocating dedicated amounts to each VM.
I think Xen would be the best option if i / we had the time to play around with it and learn it well, but we'll most likely go with VMWare as it seems easier to use.
The VMWare stuff is free to download and use so you can test it out.
As for converting physical to virtual, it's possible, but i had a few problems because i was sending the VM to some kit with rather different hardware to the original machine and it didn't like it. If you are going virtual and it's possible i would recommend starting from scratch and rebuilding the server if it's possible. It's a good excuse for getting rid of any legacy issues you may have.
Search the forums there are some very good threads on different bits of kit and the advantages and differences between them. Plenty to take in.
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