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Virtualization for WHS 2011


Lord_ranger
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So recently i built myself a WHS 2011 box with flexraid running on it. Loved the thing worked great....but oh last week i went to swap out a drive for a bigger one and i messed it WAYY up and now the OS wont boot.. Ive dont everything i cant think of so i thought why not rebuild the box. Its a 6core amd 8gb ram with and SSD boot drive...so just running WHS on it is a big waste of power. So i thought why not run some virtualization. I like to tinker so it would give me something to tinker on without having the space of another computer take of my desk area.

 

 

 But since WHS only supports 8gb i can't use that as the host OS. So i have to find something else. I was thinking i could use WSE 2012 as the host and Vmware of some sort for the virtualization. Or i could run a bare metal virtualization and do everything that way. But see i have no experience with type 1 virtualization so i would be venturing into the unknown. The whole thing needs to be stable because it hosts and backs some of my files and my computer, along with my customers data for my small computer repair business. I basically i cant afford to loose data. 

 

What do you guys think would be best? 

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Your best bet would be to wait for Server 2012 R2 or Essentials R2 and use that as the host OS.  Which OS's do you have access to?

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Hi Lord_Ranger!

 

Before doing anything – be sure you have a 3-2-1 backup solution in place – learning about VM’s on a box that also contains your critical data is sure to result in disaster at some point.


Here’s some ideas on running VM’s on top of WHS-2011:


VirtualBox addon for WHS2011?


Listen to the discussion of Home Server Show 180 and check out the show notes too and also Here.


Personally though, I wouldn’t do it like you’re thinking.  I would have a separate box with WHS-2011 built for reliability and low power consumption.  Put that box someplace safe out of the way with a solid 3-2-1 backup strategy --- then have a 2nd box to be your “virtualization play box” with at least 16GB RAM – you wouldn’t need a real powerful cpu for the “play box” either just lots of RAM and some fast HDD’s for your VM drive.



 

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Your best bet would be to wait for Server 2012 R2 or Essentials R2 and use that as the host OS.  Which OS's do you have access to?

What type of advantage is that going to have over WSE 2012? I really do not want to run a domain controller just because of the maintenance it requires. Im not quite ready for that yet. I have access to anything that i can get in my technet or MSDN subscription so thats usually between 1-3 keys per os/product. So i am left pretty flexible. 

 

 

 

 

Hi Lord_Ranger!

 

Before doing anything – be sure you have a 3-2-1 backup solution in place – learning about VM’s on a box that also contains your critical data is sure to result in disaster at some point.

 

Here’s some ideas on running VM’s on top of WHS-2011:

VirtualBox addon for WHS2011?

Listen to the discussion of Home Server Show 180 and check out the show notes too and also Here.

 

Personally though, I wouldn’t do it like you’re thinking.  I would have a separate box with WHS-2011 built for reliability and low power consumption.  Put that box someplace safe out of the way with a solid 3-2-1 backup strategy --- then have a 2nd box to be your “virtualization play box” with at least 16GB RAM – you wouldn’t need a real powerful cpu for the “play box” either just lots of RAM and some fast HDD’s for your VM drive.

 

 

 

Oh believe me ive learned my lesson with data backup....not repeating that again. I currently backup my WHS box with backblaze so im pretty safe. What about running WSE 2012 as the host os and install virtualbox using the guide you provided or vmware server? That way im not playing with the actual box that host my critical data. But i dont have to invest in another computer. 

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Server 2012 or 2012 R2 does not have to be a DC.  What makes you think it does?

 

How much more maintenance does Essentials require over WHS?   Hardly any, in my opinion, but its not for everyone.

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Adding to what jmwills said, it's WSE2012 that has to run as a DC so, if you want to avoid having a DC, WS2012 or WS2012r2 would be better choices.

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Server 2012 or 2012 R2 does not have to be a DC.  What makes you think it does?

 

How much more maintenance does Essentials require over WHS?   Hardly any, in my opinion, but its not for everyone.

I just kinda figured since WSE 2012  requires a DC, 2012r2 may also. I do know microsoft has a guide to using WSE2012 without a DC. Also when are they supposed to release WS 2012R2? If i started with WS 2012 now, would i be able to do an inplace upgrade to R2 later?

Edited by Lord_ranger
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R2 is scheduled to be out in the Fall, from what I remember.  And yes, if the past holds true, you could do an in-place upgrade from 2012 to 2012R2.

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I just kinda figured since WSE 2012  requires a DC, 2012r2 may also. I do know microsoft has a guide to using WSE2012 without a DC. Also when are they supposed to release WS 2012R2? If i started with WS 2012 now, would i be able to do an inplace upgrade to R2 later?

 

Nope. WS2012 couldn't be required to be a DC because companies will have dozens of WS3012 computers -- they sure don't want all of them to be DCs. WSE2012, OTOH, is intended, really, to be the only server on the network.

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