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Windows 7: VMWARE Server - anybody here use it


15 Aug 2009   #1

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 
VMWARE Server - anybody here use it

Hi all
Now I have a nice 16GB QUAD machine at home I was thinking of using VMWARE SERVER to fire up several Virtual machines (XP / Windows 7) . One of these would be RDP enabled - logging on to this one would allow access to the rest of the internal network.

I'm thinking of using windows server 2008 R2 as the host. This would only run the virtualisation software as the virtual machines would be doing the actual "work".

Anybody tried setting up this type of system whether using Windows 7 or a server such as W2008 server.

The advantage of using vmware server is that you can then address the virtual machines remotely just as if they were different physical machines.

The difference between vmware server and vmware workstation is that with vmware worksation you need to logon to your HOST machine first to be able to access any virtual machines on it.

I've a fair bit of experience with virtualisation but setting up something like this is definitely new for me so I hope someone can give me guidance on what to do.

The host say Windows 2008 will be running several Virtual machines

one of these will have a static internal IP address which the router will then port forward the RDP request from a remote computer. I should be able then to logon to this virtual machine and have access to the rest of the internal network if I've set it up correctly.

I'm using no-ip (No-IP - Dynamic DNS, Static DNS for Your Dynamic IP) for resolving dynamic addresses from the ISP. This works fine.

Any help greatfully appreciated -- networking is a bit of a "grey area" to me.

Cheers
jimbo

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yes, I use VMWare Server 2.0 daily at my job. It's installed onto my work laptop.

You don't have to run a server based OS on the host. My work laptop has Vista Enterprise on it and my home machine has Windows 7 Ultimate RC1 at the present time and it's worked just fine in both places.

You can easily do all of the things that you mentioned. The only real drawback of virtual machines is general lack of 3d support for the most part. And while some vmproducts do offer some (Sun Virtual Box), it still won't run the Aero interface on a guest and wouldn't be suitable for playing any games. But other than those limitations, I use virtual machines a ton at home and at work. I don't simply know what I would do without them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2009   #3

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

HI there
Thanks for the reply.

I'm glad you mentioned you don't have to use a server to install vmware server.

I don't need 3d or video stuff on the VM's so thats fine for me.

I was playing around with W2008 server R2 (x-64) as the host but there just doesn't seem to be ANY WAY to get the INTEL chipset G31 installed with the ICH7 southbridge stuff. Keep getting message "Operating System not supported".

Now since the motherboard is a fairly common Gigabyte G31 based chipset version I must be doing something really stupid -- everything else installed fine including a few tweaks to get W2008 server to behave more like a workstation. Got Sound and even a TV card to work (but I just can't get the stupid video adapter to work in native resolution - 1680 X 1050).


I had no trouble with Windows 7 X-64 installing the drivers.

I sometimes wonder who actually tests stuff before releasing it to the general public -- my copy of W2008 server is a legal Technet downloaded copy not a "torrented" one.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yeah, give it a shot on a workstation. I've been using it this way for years. Technically it's not supported....but then again it's a free application and I don't call them for support anyway. It's been darn solid for me.

In my experience, trying to use a server based OS as a workstation usually doesn't work as well as people often hope.

And it's not W2008 with the problem above, but more a problem with the drivers released as they were not expecting nor understand exactly how to handle 2008. And it's very unlikely that Gigabyte would ever release an update for 2008 drivers for this mainboard as it's not intended as a server mainboard thus they don't feel the need to support it as such.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2009   #5

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
I like the idea of running it on a Workstation OS but I'm crazy enough to want to try using a server OS -- its an area I have almost zero experience in and have got a bit of time at the moment.

I managed to hunt down (finally) a driver but DO NOT USE THOSE DRIVER HUNT programs -- they will always insist you PAY A FEE to install the drivers -- real SNEAKWARE.

I found also to make the server a bit easier to operate I follwed some guidelines in this post. This gets rid of the "annoyance factors" when using a server at home say rather than in a corporation where you need all the security and prompts enabled.

Convert W2008 server to a workstation -- I skipped the multiboot bit but the rest is great stuff.


Convert your Windows Server 2008 R2 to a Workstation! - Multiboot Installation


My installation vmware server (free) like greased lightning where I've got 4 virtual machines all up and running.

I thought Windows 7 was fast but if you just want to run a basic OS and then use Virtual machines as your production environment then I'd give W2008 server a go. If I can install it anybody can.

Other than IE explorer and vmware server I have added direct X and DVD playing facilities + a TV card since virtual machines don't handle 3d Video at all yet.

Very satisfied with this -- Windows 7 X-64 and XP Pro SP3 as VM's run almost as fast as native under this setup.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Jimbo,

Thanks for the feedback on the thread. I'm so hooked on using virtual machines...they have really changed my life and how I use and learn new stuff on the PC.

The following are just some of the reasons that I use VM's so much;
  • Great way to test out a new OS and see how the installer and such works
  • Great way to test new patches to see how they react
  • Great way to learn new technologies. (Set up a domain, test group policies, etc)
  • Great method for writing and presenting training materials (I've written tons of training and docs at work using VM's. For example, how software RAID works and how to add,remove, fail and rebuild an array, how to expand or shrink Linux LVM volumes, etc
  • Great method for learning things like Microsoft clustering if you don't have access to shared storage devices to do the real thing.
  • Great method for having a quick and easy backup. Before you do anything, just back up the virtual hard drive file, have at it, and you can always put the original back if you really screw something up.
  • Extremely fast testing labs. These things boot in mere seconds...versus legit servers which usually take minutes to restart with their long POST's.
  • Make use of the hardware you have already invested in. So many machines just aren't running anywhere near capacity. This gives them extra workload to put those previous investments to good use.
  • Provides great way to segregate a testing environment if you don't have the necessary network devices and cables to keep your environment segregated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2009   #7

Win7
 
 

Hi,
i'm not sure this is the apt thread to post this. Being my first post, pls bear with me.
I am planning to get a new notepad very soon. And my work requires me to utilize multiple Os. Does Vmware work seamlessly on Win 7 Home Premium? Or is there some difference from Win 7 Prof/ultimate? The doubt is based on the knowledge that the new XP mode in Win 7 is only available in the Professional edition and above.
Any advise would be highly appreciated.
Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2009   #8
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Hi and Welcome to the forums.

I wouldnt like to use the word seamless as that word tends to go with Windows 7 XP Mode VPC. I don't think there are any restrictions on installing VMware Server 2.0, it's free so download it and give it a shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #9

Win7
 
 

Thanks aem.
Sorry, if my question overlaps, but my exact doubt is if I'll have any problems with the Home Premium when installing VmWare?? I'll mostly work on Vms alone and, probably, just use the Windows 7 for entertainment, surfing purposes. So Home Premium suffices for my needs and its less costlier than the Professional.
The processor I'm planning to get (P8700) does support the virtualization technologies, so ideally, I don't see a problem. Though I would really like to be sure before I put in my money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2009   #10
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Wmware Server 2.0 is free for download. Try it and see how it works.

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/
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 VMWARE Server - anybody here use it




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