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I have an older machine, AMD Athlon X2 5600+ on an nForce 520 (I think) chipset with 4.5 GB RAM and 160GB HDD space (2 160GB drives mirrored). This machine is currently my development web server but I'd like to move function to a virtual machine and add a second VM running Windows 7 Pro for general tasks.

The machine is currently running 2003 Ent x64 with IIS 6 and SQL 2005.

With the age of the hardware, I'm curious what you recomend for the hypervisor to use. I've primarily used Virtual Box for my prior testing on my i5 540M based laptop, but since this is to be a dedicated virtual host, I thought VMware or Hyper-V may be better and both are free.

The dev web server will be running 2008 Server with SQL 2008 and IIS.

The workstation VM is planned to run Win 7 Pro x86.

Am I asking to much from this dated hardware?

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Posted

Answered my own question trying the installation of both.

ESXi doesn't have a built in driver for my onboard nforce NIC, Hyper-V 2012 does out of the box so thats the route I've gone. Hyper-V management isn't as painless as ESXi of course but I'm always up for learning something new. :)

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Posted

forgive mebut you seem to know what you are doing, is there a VM software that virtualizes in full screen? the oracle version only has this small worthless screen. thanks

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Look for a .vib file for the nforce driver.

[url="http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php"]http://www.vm-help.c...ize_oem_tgz.php[/url]

You will also need this to convert the tgz into the .vib file
http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi5-community-packaging-tools.html

ESXi customizer so you can load the vib inside ESXi:
[url="http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi-customizer.html"]http://www.v-front.d...customizer.html[/url]

also see this:
[url="http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=149"]http://www.vm-help.c...c.php?f=8&t=149[/url]


[url="http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1015023"]http://kb.vmware.com...ernalId=1015023[/url]

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[quote name='ChrisJ1968' timestamp='1364175351' post='595596012']
forgive mebut you seem to know what you are doing, is there a VM software that virtualizes in full screen? the oracle version only has this small worthless screen. thanks
[/quote]
If by "Oracle version" you mean VirtualBox, it does have a full screen option, it's in the "Machine" menu I think.

Also IMO Xen and/or ESXi is best for running on really old HW. I've got an old single core Atom netbook running 3 or 4 VMs using Xen, and it works pretty well. Though there is next to no worthwhile GUI support for it, which is my only gripe.

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Posted

VirtualBox's fullscreen hotkey is Right-CTRL-F, same to return to window mode.

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Xen/Vmware/Hyper-V are class 1 or bare metal hypervisors

Oracle Virtualbox, Vmare Workstation, Vmware Player, Parellels Workstation are class 2 hypervisors that need an underlying OS.

You are gonna get better performance running a class 1 hypervisor.

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Posted

ok great thanks a million

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[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1364175489' post='595596024']
Look for a .vib file for the nforce driver.

[url="http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php"]http://www.vm-help.c...ize_oem_tgz.php[/url]

You will also need this to convert the tgz into the .vib file
[url="http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi5-community-packaging-tools.html"]http://www.v-front.d...ging-tools.html[/url]

ESXi customizer so you can load the vib inside ESXi:
[url="http://www.v-front.de/p/esxi-customizer.html"]http://www.v-front.d...customizer.html[/url]

also see this:
[url="http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=149"]http://www.vm-help.c...c.php?f=8&t=149[/url]


[url="http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1015023"]http://kb.vmware.com...ernalId=1015023[/url]
[/quote]

Thanks for the tips remixedcat, perhaps another attempt with ESXi then.

VirtualBox does do fullscreen, I've used it often in the past. The reason not here though is as noted, I'm looking for the class 1 type of hypervisor to run as the base OS as this is the sole purpose of this machine.

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Posted

Please let me know if those work.

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I'm surprised your CPU actually has the support for Hyper-V...I have an Athlon X2 4800+, and it won't run it, although VMware Workstation, the older Virtual Server, Virtual PC etc worked fine.

The requirements are summarized quite nicely here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper-V#System_requirements_and_specifications

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If you have the X2 4800+ "Toledo" core, it has no AMD-V support. However, the "Windsor" core CPUs (which the 5600+ is one of) does have the AMD-V virtualization technology. If it's an X2, you have to know what core it was, and whether or not it had AMD-V support or not (and of course, some CPU speeds, like the 4800+, could have been had with multiple different core technologies at their rated speeds, so the underlying core technology mattered more than the speed for certain things like virtualization support......).

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[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1364176035' post='595596040']
Xen/Vmware/Hyper-V are class 1 or bare metal hypervisors

Oracle Virtualbox, Vmare Workstation, Vmware Player, Parellels Workstation are class 2 hypervisors that need an underlying OS.

You are gonna get better performance running a class 1 hypervisor.
[/quote]

Hyper-V can be either bare-metal (MIcrosoft Hyper-V Server) or use an underlying OS (Windows Server 2008 and later or Windows 8/Blue) - generally a bare-metal (thin) hypervisor will give better performance to underlying virtual machines (that is, after all, the reason why BOCHS is still attractive) due to lack of overhead - however, that very nature creates several disadvantages in terms of management tools. Hyper-V itself, due to its duality of nature, is an excellent example - the better management tools come with the class two (thick) version or from third parties (most of these, like the native thick tools, also require an underlying OS).

That is often the most obvious tradeoff when selecting a hypervisor - performance vs. manageability.

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I have both implementations. This machine is currently a regular use windows server with full workstation config as well as it performing various server duties and running 2 VMs most of the time as well as running 2 minecraft servers.

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[quote name='PGHammer' timestamp='1364496610' post='595604164']
Hyper-V can be either bare-metal (MIcrosoft Hyper-V Server) or use an underlying OS (Windows Server 2008 and later or Windows 8/Blue)[/quote]Hyper-V is always a type1 hypervisor. Once you enable Hyper-V, the OS you log into on that machine is ultimately just a VM with special permissions (Hyper-V server is just server core with no other roles/features - it's no different than a full Server or Win8 client OS in that it's just the "management partition" VM).

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[quote name='cluberti' timestamp='1364573702' post='595605734']
Hyper-V is always a type1 hypervisor. Once you enable Hyper-V, the OS you log into on that machine is ultimately just a VM with special permissions (Hyper-V server is just server core with no other roles/features - it's no different than a full Server or Win8 client OS in that it's just the "management partition" VM).
[/quote]

Hyper-V is only type 1 for the simple fact that by definition of 'Type 1': the 'Hyper-V' hypervisor is loaded before the management operating system, that's it, otherwise it would be type 2.

It has nothing to do with special permissions or anything of the sort, just the fact that the Hyper-V part of the system is loaded before everything else. :)

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Well, running directly on hardware (and giving the VMs running on it access to -1) has a decided performance benefit over a type-2 running *through* the OS. There's more too it than that (hypercalls, EPTs, etc), but suffice to say it's not "that's it" ;).

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[quote name='cluberti' timestamp='1364784166' post='595609646']
Well, running directly on hardware (and giving the VMs running on it access to -1) has a decided performance benefit over a type-2 running *through* the OS. There's more too it than that (hypercalls, EPTs, etc), but suffice to say it's not "that's it" ;).
[/quote]

That is why type-1 hypersivors are preferred (less overhead); that doesn't take away that managment tools of type-1 hypervisors tend to blow chunks compared to their type 2 counterparts (even compare management in Hyper-V Server and HVVMM in any version of Windows Server 2003 R2 and later/8/Blue to each other - which is more polished?). That is why I said the typical tradeoff is performance vs. manageability - that was, in fact, the typical faceoff point in type 2 hypervisors prior to Hyper-V (I'm talking merely vmWare vs. VirtualBox vs. lower-end type-2 hypervisors such as BOCHS, Parallels Workstation, or VirtualPC (either from Connectix OR Microsoft).

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Technically you manage any type-1 hypervisor remotely with tools designed for the job. Server Manager in 2012 isn't actually half-bad, but compared to SCVMM (or vCenter in ESX/VMware world), the tools aren't very good. However, the tools built-in with Hyper-V aren't bad, per se, they're just not as good as enterprise management tools go. I would certainly not call Hyper-V's management tools "blowing chunks" by any stretch, but I wouldn't necessarily run Hyper-V in an enterprise without real management tools either - on a Win8 desktop though, they Hyper-V management console is more than enough and competes just fine with tools you'd find in a type-2 virtualization program.

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[quote name='cluberti' timestamp='1365274419' post='595621136']
Technically you manage any type-1 hypervisor remotely with tools designed for the job. Server Manager in 2012 isn't actually half-bad, but compared to SCVMM (or vCenter in ESX/VMware world), the tools aren't very good. However, the tools built-in with Hyper-V aren't bad, per se, they're just not as good as enterprise management tools go. I would certainly not call Hyper-V's management tools "blowing chunks" by any stretch, but I wouldn't necessarily run Hyper-V in an enterprise without real management tools either - on a Win8 desktop though, they Hyper-V management console is more than enough and competes just fine with tools you'd find in a type-2 virtualization program.
[/quote]

HVVMM is identical to the tools used in 8 (or Blue) because they are literally the same product - Hyper-V Server, on the other hand, uses Windows PowerShell for at-the-server management, and that DOES blow compared simply to Server Manager, which is standard with any GUI install of Server 2008 and later.

Hyper-V's GUI-based management tools (whether you're referring to those in Windows Server 2008 and later, or 8, or Blue) compare quite favorably to those of vmWare Player or Workstation, and are better in some ways, and stomp Oracle VirtualBox quite flat (I HAVE been comparing all three - vmWare and Oracle VB on 8, and Hyper-V on Server 2012). My only quibble is simply the increased HARDWARE requirements to run Hyper-V on 8/Blue compared to Server 2008 and later -and I've stated categorically (in the Microsoft Server forum) that it's a quibble. 8/Blue requires support for EPT/SLAT - because RemoteFX is included with Hyper-V on 8/Blue - on Server 2008 and later, RemoteFX, while supported, is optional; therefore, EPT/SLAT support is also optional. Why is it a quibble, as opposed to a problem? Simple enough - upgrade to ANY four-digit LGA Intel i-series CPU (i3, i5, or i7 in LGA1366/1155/1156/2011) and you also neatly solve the ET/SLAT problem as well with 8/Blue. In THIS thread, I wasn't talking about Hyper-V for enterprise use, but as an alternative to Oracle VirtualBox or even vmWare Player or Workstation, and as Windows VirtualPC's successor, precisely BECAUSE it's a no-cost add-in for Windows 8.

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Hyper-V server isn't meant to be managed locally, just like you don't manage an ESX server locally, but I understand your point of reference now.

As to Hyper-V on Win8, the client only does the SLAT check on feature install but the requirement is there for power management and for use on machines with a video driver higher than the standard vga driver (which is why if you want to do RemoteFX on the server installation of Hyper-V, the requirement on Server does bump up to including a SLAT-capable CPU - if you don't, you don't need to meet that requirement). Given Win8 machines are *all* likely to have the need for a "real" video driver, and can be put to sleep, hibernation, etc., the CPU requirements are to meet those specific scenarios that a client machine is only likely to see.

It's a quibble (and one you can get around if you install Hyper-V on Win8, Sysprep it and image it, and then re-use it on other hardware - it works fine on the older non-SLAT hardware if you're careful after that), but there's a reason it's there. It wasn't made that way simply to get people to buy newer processors (although the conspiracy theorists amongst us will probably see it that way), it's there because without it there's risk for instability and crashing under almost any power management scenario, and also if the host machine does anything graphics-intensive whilst VMs are also running.

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