Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

New to Virtualization


texasPI
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ok, so I have Virtualbox running the WHS RC and it's working fine but I'm thinking of going to a fully virtualized build when it goes RTM. As it stands now, I have a dedicated WHS v1 box. I'm kind of confused on how drives are managed within a VM. I have technet and am willing to try something other than Virtualbox. I've also played with the VirtualPC function in Win 7 but I understand that it does not run guest OS in 64bit?

 

So what VM would you recommend for e relative newbie? Any resources I can check out on this in regards to WHS. I've read threads here and elsewhere but a lot of them talk in jargon or shorthand that a newcomer like me does not fully understand. (like Hyper-V)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not the best at explaining a lot of things but I will give it a go. In the beginning :) a physical server was created and within the resources of that physical server exist enough memory and storage (hard drive space) to allocate to build new virtual machines. Depending on how many virtual machines you are going to build within the host/parent server you can allocate physical storage space from the host as needed.

 

Say for example I build Server A (Server 2008 R2) with 12 gigs of RAM and one 1 TB and six 2TB drives. I know up front I am going to use this server as the host. I need to pre-plan the builds to know what virtual machines I would need and the RAM/storage requirements needed by each.

 

For my own personal preferences I am going to build the physical server using the 1TB Drive for the OS but create a secondary partition for some utilties, etc. Build the OS, patch and update the OS and then install your Virtual program. I like VMware ESXi because I am familiar with it and think it has the better options for networking. Just my opinion. Okay, we now have a Server 2008 R2 built and patched. Let’s now take one of the 2TB drives and allocate that drive for our virtual builds. This is where your VM's will live and breathe so to speak. Format/initialize and label the drive Virtual machines or something similar. The prep work has now been done for installation but lets think about storage. All virtual machine builds (the files for the VM’s) will reside inside folders on this drive.

 

You still have five of the six 2TB drives available so you need to allocate storage for the soon to be created VM's. Take four of the drives and create a RAID 5 array either form the BIOS or Disk Management Console on the parent server and this will yield about 6TB of storage. When you build the Virtual Client WHS 2011 server, you can allocate that entire drive to the WHS and one drive will be “presented” to the WHS server. You can also do this with an external device such as a Drobo or Icy Dock. In short, any physical storage that is attached to the host server can be used in part or whole by a Virtual Client.

 

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The fact that you got it running on VirtualBox is a great start, but now you need to take it to the next level. :) I'll tell you what I did, which hopefully might be of some use. BTW, I'm a very technical person but was a complete newbie to virtualization when I started this project about 6 months ago. (I was also brand new to WHS) I had been thinking about going virtual for other reasons, and the desire to get WHS going was the tipping point that made me decide I needed to figure this out rather than have multiple pieces of hardware in my basement running 24/7.

 

You may have already seen this link, but if not here's the guide I followed to get WHS v1 running on Hyper-V: http://www.unproductivitydefined.com/2010/02/virtualizing-windows-home-server-on.html

 

I followed it to a T, and had success. Like the author of that blog, I originally started this project intending to use VMWare but ended up failing because my hardware wasn't compatible. (VMWare's ESXi has pretty narrow hardware requirements, whereas Hyper-V doesn't) I didn't want to invest in all new hardware so I decided to follow this guy's guide and go with Hyper-V. You can run Hyper-V in one of two ways: either install the full Windows Server 2008 R2 which has Hyper-V built-in, OR you can install the "bare-metal" Hyper-V. If you didn't have a technet subscription then I would recommend the bare-metal version since it's free. I also have technet, but went with the bare-metal version because I liked the idea of having the host software be as minimal as possible. (why install the full-blown windows server when you only really need the hypervisor part?) On the other hand, the setup is more difficult with the bare-metal version since it's a lot of command-line configuration. I made some mistakes along the way, but it's definitely doable. Regardless, there's trade-off's either way but both are good choices and will work well.

 

As for the hard drives, again I followed that blog and "passed-thru" my storage drives. To clarify, I created an 80GB virtual drive which contains WHS. But the storage pool drives are talking directly to WHS, not Hyper-V. This is a cool feature that is pretty easy to setup in Hyper-V. You could virtualize the storage drives too (and be just fine), but since WHSv1 has drive extender (and therefore the data is protected) I didn't see a need to virtualize the drives. Plus, having them talk directly to WHS probably gives you a little performance bump as well.

 

Anyway, that kind of rambled on but hopefully it helps you. Despite the time and effort getting this working, I'm really pleased with my setup and am glad I virtualized WHS. Plus now I can add other VM's for other reasons and not need new hardware!

Edited by eagle63
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link. I will begin a build soon and everything I can get my hands on related to hyper-v is appreciated as this is the first install guideline I have seen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link. I will begin a build soon and everything I can get my hands on related to hyper-v is appreciated as this is the first install guideline I have seen.

 

From no-control:

 

"I mentioned it on BYOB a few times. In case you missed it here's the links for setting up Hyper-V Server 08

 

Part 1 - Installation

 

Part 2 - Setup"

 

From the Hyper-V vs Xenserver topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...