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Virtualization on older hardware, ESXi or Hyper-V?


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#1 nhjay

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:02

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?


#2 OP nhjay

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:19

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. :)

#3 chrisj1968

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:35

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

#4 remixedcat

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:38

Look for a .vib file for the nforce driver.

http://www.vm-help.c...ize_oem_tgz.php

You will also need this to convert the tgz into the .vib file
http://www.v-front.d...ging-tools.html

ESXi customizer so you can load the vib inside ESXi:
http://www.v-front.d...customizer.html

also see this:
http://www.vm-help.c...c.php?f=8&t=149


http://kb.vmware.com...ernalId=1015023

#5 +SharpGreen

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:45

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

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.

#6 Eric

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:46

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

#7 remixedcat

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:47

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.

#8 chrisj1968

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:29

ok great thanks a million

#9 OP nhjay

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 14:12

Look for a .vib file for the nforce driver.

http://www.vm-help.c...ize_oem_tgz.php

You will also need this to convert the tgz into the .vib file
http://www.v-front.d...ging-tools.html

ESXi customizer so you can load the vib inside ESXi:
http://www.v-front.d...customizer.html

also see this:
http://www.vm-help.c...c.php?f=8&t=149


http://kb.vmware.com...ernalId=1015023


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.

#10 remixedcat

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 14:18

Please let me know if those work.

#11 _dandy_

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 14:48

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...._specifications

#12 cluberti

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 21:45

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......).

#13 PGHammer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 18:50

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.


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.

#14 remixedcat

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 18:53

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.

#15 cluberti

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 16:15

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)

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).