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Windows 7: Remote Virtual Machine

29 Mar 2012   #1
geekman2

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Remote Virtual Machine

I have one very powerful PC that I would like to use as a VM server, and then I have a netbook and a HP pavilion dv2000 laptop that I would like access the VMs. My ideal setup would be to have my main machine running Windows 7 and have two virtual machines running Windows 7 that would be accessed and used by the netbook and notebook across the network, this would allow the two mobile PCs to make use of the main PC's sizable resources while still being three different machines that can be used by three different people. The reason I want to do this is that I have a lot of people who want to use the computer, but only one that runs Windows, has Office, and is very powerful. Any help on this topic would be appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Mar 2012   #2
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Problem: The VMs would not have office unless you could install it in each VM and that means a separate product key.

Also, each instance of Win 7 would need it's own product key since you can't run the same one in a virtual machine.

Other than that it sounds doable running Win 7 guests under Oracle VirtualBox. Just set the networks up as Bridged so they get their IP address from the same router, then setup port forwarding to a VNC server running in each VM. TightVNC is a good choice.

I don't think you will be very happy with the performance though. Even with Gigabit network adapters it will be slow.

It would be fun to try though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2012   #3
geekman2

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

How do i do all that? Product keys and installtion problems Im already aware of.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Mar 2012   #4
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

High level:

Download and install Oracle VirtualBox.
Create two Win 7 guests under Vbox.
Set their adapters to be bridged so they get their IP address from the router.
Install TightVNC Server in each Win 7 guest.
Setup the router to forward a different port to each Win 7 guest IP.
Run a TightVNC client on the netbook and laptop.

Run TightVNC from the netbook and laptop and connect to one of the ports you setup in the router which will forward that connection to the correct Win 7 guest.

Sounds like a lot but if you take it step by step it's pretty straight forward. If none of this makes sense to you then you need to do some reading for both Vbox and TightVNC to understand how they work, then come back here with any questions as you go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2012   #5
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You would have to install some virtualization software, for example VMWare Player, VMWare Workstation of Oracle Virtual Box. It's best to make an ISO file out of your Windows Installer and your Office installer. Then, create a new virtual machine, assign it RAM, hard drive space and processors, and then boot from the Windows ISO. Install your OS, provide a key, activiate it, patch it, put AV on it, install Office, enable remote desktop, and let the others remote desktop into it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2012   #6
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

SMACK - that's the sound of my palm hitting my forehead. I never even thought of Remote Desktop. Definitely the way to go and much simpler to setup.

Edit: There is a good tutorial here: How to Enable Windows 7 to Make and Accept a Remote Desktop Connection

Edit#2: I just tried this for the first time and it works but it's slow. I don't think it will give you the performance you are looking for. I'm typing this via Remote Desktop from my Win 7 Pro web server to my daily use Win 7 Pro desktop. It works, but it's laggy. The above tutorial is excellent for this.

Now to see if I can get here from my XP laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2012   #7
canberraplanner

Australian Capital Territory
 
 

So if I try to install Office and Win7 on a virtual PC hosted on my fully licensed host PC, with my existing keys, I will get an activation error?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2012   #8
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Definitely with Win 7, not sure about Office but I believe so.

An alternative would be to just enable Remote Desktop on the good computer and have the netbook and notebook RDT in as needed. The problem is when they connect, you lose control of your desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2012   #9
Fred Garvin

Windows
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by geekman2 View Post
I have one very powerful PC that I would like to use as a VM server, and then I have a netbook and a HP pavilion dv2000 laptop that I would like access the VMs. My ideal setup would be to have my main machine running Windows 7 and have two virtual machines running Windows 7 that would be accessed and used by the netbook and notebook across the network, this would allow the two mobile PCs to make use of the main PC's sizable resources while still being three different machines that can be used by three different people. The reason I want to do this is that I have a lot of people who want to use the computer, but only one that runs Windows, has Office, and is very powerful. Any help on this topic would be appreciated.
I don't understand the logic behind the configuration you're proposing. What are the resources the netbook and laptop need access to? Is it just file shares? It sounds like you're thinking that a virtual machine is going to speed up old client computers, which it won't. If anything, the laptop and netbook are going to run slower since they're communicating over a network rather than through a local bus.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2012   #10
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by geekman2 View Post
.......... Product keys and installation problems Im already aware of.
I suggest that you try setting all of this up for free (using the 30 day trial period for Windows 7 and MS Office) to see how things go before you invest in product keys.

@Forum members,
Please feel free to contradict that "trial period" advice if you have knowledge that the EULAs disallows this type of setup/testing.

@geekman2,
Hopefully, you have at least one quad core CPU in the host.
You can restrict/assign cores:
VM1 gets CPU 0
VM2 gets CPU 1
Leaving the host the full use of CPUs 2 and 3

Or try:
VM1 gets CPU 0 & 1
VM2 gets CPU 3 & 4
Leaving the host to share time slots across all 4 cores

And if you have twin quad cores - well :-)

It is up to you to decide if the performance of the VM setup is acceptable.

I would be interested in knowing how this works out for you. I've only had experience with XP hosting 3 XP VirtualBox VMs at the same time. Performance was much better than I expected - so I've used the same setup for many years. But my setup does not involve RDP/RDC connections to the VMs like you are considering.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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