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Thinking About Moving to Virtualization


FleurDeLis425
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Months ago when I was asking for advice on a server build, one of the pieces of advice I got was with regards to getting a larger CPU in case I wanted to play with VMs.

 

Well that time might be here, but there are some things I am not clear on and was hoping I could get some advice on.

 

1) Hyper-V vs. ESXi. Is there a reason to go with one over the other I don't know about?

 

2) Does the Hypervisor need its own NIC port?

 

3) I currently have WS 2012 R2 Essentials running on my machine. Is there an easy way to port it over to a VM? If not and I have to reinstall, am i at least able to save my storage spaces configuration so I don't loose that data?

 

4) It appears you install the hypervisor onto a USB stick. Is that correct?

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1) Not really they both do essentially the same thing. ESXi is less tolerant of hardware, you need to carefully check that all the components of your system are compliant and on the list otherwise you may run into issues. Hyper-V tends to run on a greater range of hardware. ESXi has a built-in web server to manage it, Hyper-V Server 2012 has no real interface at all, you need to set up remote management tools on a networked PC to set up and configure the VMs

 

2) Strictly speaking no (at least not in Hyper-V, I'm not sure about VMWare). You can have an interface shared between the host and various VMs but it is certainly not recommended and there are a few scenarios where this configuration just doesn't work correctly.

 

3) There are utilities (some free) which can be run on the physical machine and turn it into a virtual disk image which can then be run on your hypervisor. I have to say that I've never found them quite so seemless as they claim. Physical HP servers used to be renown for not virtualising properly if you first didn't uninstall all the HP management tools. I'm afraid I have no idea about the storage space issue, I'm not sure how the host would see it and pass it through to the VMs or if indeed it's even possible to do.

 

I'm not a fan of Storage Spaces - no lets' qualify that, I think it's a cunningly disguised trap just waiting to spring shut and take all of your data with it and I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot barge pole if my life depended on it. So having said my piece, I'll leave it at that, I'm sure that others who know more about this than me will jump in and have their say.

 

4) You can do so but it certainly isn't compulsory. Both Hyper-V Server and ESXi are quite small and don't themselves need much disk space. The idea is that if you can put them on a USB stick and can boot the host from it, then it saves physical disk space. Personally I'd put it on a mirrored disk pair is possible, the last thing you want is your host's OS falling over because the USB stick has gone bang.

 

 

 

Just some thoughts.

 

 

John 

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I assume you just use the management tools with Windows 7 or 8 to control the Hyper-V.

 

Is there any hidden cost I am missing between the two? I am also assuming either can run Server 2012 without an issue.

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To manage Hyper-V remotely, you'd need to install RSAT on the client, and make sure the Remote Management ports are opened.  RSAT being "Remote Server Administration Tools".

 

 

HyperV Server is free (any version) but it's server core, so it's all CLI and no GUI.

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Hyper-V Core 2012 - free as it comes , is pretty awesome to be modest and beats ESXi on price :o) if not on any other area hhehe

 

Its a matter of taste, but its pretty much like this:

 

- install ESXI and your happy until you realise your limited in 'free' license and cant reconfigure your virtual machines created on latest platform.

- install Hyper-V Core your unhappy until your realize how to install and configure the remote server management stuff (which is fairly google friendly).

 

Hyper-V will cost your maximum a weekend of headache, if its new to you. I'm a freebie in this game, so its not a fair comparison, but I choose Hyper-V :o)

 

One thing I haven't figured out yet, is advanced  firewalling/virtual routing/Nat withing Hyper-V .. I remember this as much more advanced in VMWare, but its not really a biggie for a home lab.

 

Let me know if you jump on the bandwagon and need help.

 

Brian

Edited by adsboel
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Actually, with HyperV Server 2012 (R2), the CLI interface has an option to enable remote management, IIRC. From there, you install RSAT on a client computer, and it shouldn't be too difficult from there.

 

But then again, I cheat. Domains FTW.

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In regard to the usb stick, dont worry about it if you use esxi, it only boots from the stick. There are tools to backup the esxi config. Thats all you need. In case your usb stick goes bang, create a new usb stick on any pc, add it to your server, restore the config, done. Takes 10-15 minutes, had to do it onces. Havent done the same with hyper-v.

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1. What's the advantage of using HyperV Server 2012(R2) as the OS over using a Physical Version of 2012 Essentials(R2) and implementing all the VM's from there?

 

Is it just more efficient use of resources and power?

 

2. Can you use IPMI on a supermicro board to ac access the HyperV Server 2012?

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Probably the biggest advantage is price, as in HV Server is free :)

 

And, yes, I would say it has to be at least somewhat more efficient, given that it's not running any GUI.

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OK, but if I am going to have 2012 E R2 on my network anyway then there is no problem running the hyper v on the physical server and then run  my other stuff as virtual boxes.  Just trying to work out how best to set up my R2.  Have R1 at present but it won't do the hyper V and I like the idea of restoring over the network without the need of disk or USB.

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