Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Virtualization - What Now?

18 Aug 2010   #1

WinXP, Win7, PCLinuxOS
 
 
Virtualization - What Now?

I need some advice.

I want to implement virtualization on Windows 7, but am unsure which system is the best to use.

The PCs that will be used are modern, motherboards have VT, plenty of disk space, and a minimum of 4 Gb of memory, so hardware should not be a constraint.

In the months since Windows 7 was formally released, have we learned any tricks to using a virtual system with it? For example, is any one product better with WiFi and a laptop? Is any one product better with peripherals such as cameras, scanners, and printers?

I have looked at Windows' Virtual PC, VirtualBox, VMLite, and VMware Player. They all seem to do the job, so how to choose among them? Is there a standout feature, or a real shortcoming, that makes for a clear winner or looser?

Can anyone provide a link to a comparative review of these products?

On the threads here, I think I've seen more recommendations regarding VirtualBox, but I'm not clear as to why that software is superior to the other options.

Thanks for your help and advice.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Aug 2010   #2

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

- do you have hardware virtualization enabled in your bios?
- I personally like VMWare player, b/c of it's usb support. It supported my logitech webcam, where Virtualbox did not (tho I like that as well)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Personally, there are no real standouts. Each has it's own set of things it does slightly differently than the others. Your needs really will dictate which is best.

For example, if you are strictly going to virtual Microsoft based operating systems, then virtual PC is just fine by me. However, I use, want and require Linux boxes as well which really lead me to other solutions like Virtual Box or VMWare Player.

My preference between VMWare Player and Virtual Box is vmware player. Mostly because I use VMWare ESX and ESXi at work extensively...therefore ease of use and consistency is key. VMware player 3.x does a great job with graphics and can do the aero interface...which I don't think Virtual box can do yet. VMware Player works just fine for me whether wired or wireless network. Also, VMware Player has a quick easy way to import XP Mode and also allows for Unity mode...thus giving me the ability to run apps seamlessly on my host.

With all that said, VirtualBox is a nice application as well. It allows snapshots and you can snap forward or back...and snapshots are not possible with VMware Player 3.0. In addition, VirtualBox has a unique method for using shared folders between the host and the guest which is nice for accessing files. However, I don't particularly like the way it bridges network interfaces...especially wireless ones.

So, I'd say to try each one and find the one that suits you best. Or keep multiple of them installed and use each one for it's strong suit. I used to do that for awhile when it was vmware server 2.0 and virtual box. But since VMware player 3.x came out, I no longer had a compelling need for VirtualBox...so I quit using it.


In all honesty, I think the best free product out there is VMware ESXi. However, this is a bare metal hypervisor...which means you don't have an OS installed on the machine....rather ESXi is the OS. It's somewhat picky with storage controllers and NIC's (as it's geared towards "real servers"), but you can find whitebox setups that work just fine. This product does a much better job with hardware utilization, reporting, scheduling, etc. You can really get the most bang for the buck out of the box since it's not also having to run Windows as a host OS with all of the guests.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 Aug 2010   #4

WinXP, Win7, PCLinuxOS
 
 
Good information

Thank you for the feedback. You brought out factors that I did not notice in my limited testing. I definitely will research ESXi. It turns the question of how best to use Windows 7 as the host on its head, but it might be very efficient to have Windows 7 as merely another guest OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dogcatcher View Post
Thank you for the feedback. You brought out factors that I did not notice in my limited testing. I definitely will research ESXi. It turns the question of how best to use Windows 7 as the host on its head, but it might be very efficient to have Windows 7 as merely another guest OS.
Correct...however if you were going to use your Windows 7 machine as a gaming host...etc.....then you would not want to virtualize it...as performance for 3d gaming would be abysmal.

Let me know if you run into any specific questions. I've used all of the products quite a bit and work with some of them on a daily basis...so always glad to help out where I can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #6

Win 7 Ultimate x64 desktop, Win 8.1.1 x64 laptop, Win 7 Home x64 netbook, Win 8.1.1 x64 tablet
 
 

One thing that VirtualPC has over the others is XP mode for versions of Win 7 that support it (Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise). XP mode includes a fully licensed version of XP, the others require you supply your own copy of XP.

If you plan to use OSes other than XP, then I prefer VirtualBox and VMWare Player.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #7

WinXP, Win7, PCLinuxOS
 
 
Picky, indeed

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
It's somewhat picky with storage controllers and NIC's (as it's geared towards "real servers"), but you can find whitebox setups that work just fine.
I love the concept, but ESXi has refused to install on any of the five boxes I've tried so far. In one instance, it insisted on a USB keyboard rather than the in-use PS/2 keyboard. That's pretty damn fussy.

Maybe I'll be able to cobble together enough acceptable parts to get it running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
One thing that VirtualPC has over the others is XP mode for versions of Win 7 that support it (Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise). XP mode includes a fully licensed version of XP, the others require you supply your own copy of XP.
Actually, I believe that having Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate gives you the ability to download and use XP Mode free of charge. I don't think you have to use Virtual PC to use XP Mode. Since VMWare Player 3.x and others can convert it, I think you can use XP Mode with these other products. I certainly do.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dogcatcher View Post
I love the concept, but ESXi has refused to install on any of the five boxes I've tried so far. In one instance, it insisted on a USB keyboard rather than the in-use PS/2 keyboard. That's pretty damn fussy.

Maybe I'll be able to cobble together enough acceptable parts to get it running.
Yes, here is a website that lists boards and such which are compatible;
ESX / ESXi 4.0 Whitebox HCL

Almost any "real" server will work without issue, but desktops are another thing altogether. I'm running on Asus P5QL Pro boards and Intel DG35EC boards on my whiteboxes at work, with Intel GT PCI 10/100/1000 Nic's and all is well.

I also put together a build list for work with a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R mobo, the Intel 10/100/1000 PCI express X1 NIC and an Adaptec S2405 raid controller. I know those things work together.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #9

WinXP, Win7, PCLinuxOS
 
 
Hardware details

On the Asus and Intel boards, are you using Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad? If you have a mix, do you see any substantial performance difference running ESXi on four rather than two cores?

What amount of RAM are you putting in these virtual server boxes?

Tks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #10

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
One thing that VirtualPC has over the others is XP mode for versions of Win 7 that support it (Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise). XP mode includes a fully licensed version of XP, the others require you supply your own copy of XP.
Actually, I believe that having Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate gives you the ability to download and use XP Mode free of charge. I don't think you have to use Virtual PC to use XP Mode. Since VMWare Player 3.x and others can convert it, I think you can use XP Mode with these other products. I certainly do.
That is correct - the EULA for Windows XP Mode explicitly states that the requirements are that you run it only on Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate - there is no specific requirement for using Virtual PC (and you can activate that copy of XP Mode in VMLite, VirtualBox, VMWare player, etc.).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Virtualization - What Now?




Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: Virtualization - What Now?
Thread Forum
New to Virtualization-need a little help. Virtualization
How is Parallels virtualization different from normal virtualization? Virtualization
Virtualization confused :-) Virtualization
New to Virtualization Virtualization
virtualization Virtualization
virtualization Virtualization
Can't run virtualization Virtualization

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:07 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33