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Windows 7: Remote Virtual Machine

05 Apr 2012   #11
geekman2

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Are you guys saying that I would run windows 7 on the host "server" inside of hyper-V? Because if so, that is not an option, because that would require reinstalling the OS and I cannot do that.


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05 Apr 2012   #12
geekman2

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Also, the two computers that I want to connect to the "Server" are running Ubuntu, so I can't just use windows remote desktop to connect them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2012   #13
Kebero

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Regarding Hyper-V, the answer varies. On Win2k8 and Win8, once you enable Hyper-V and reboot, the hypervisor loads befor the OS. Using Hyper-V Server 2k8 or any other bare-metal hypervisor, you would have to install the OS from scratch.

Ubuntu has a remote desktop client.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Apr 2012   #14
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi everybody
I think there are two issues here

1)Cost
2) complexity of service

1) VMware workstation IS a commercial product but if you need the functionality --- WELL WORTH THE MONEY.

you could try and see if you can find a site which can still download VMware server -- it's FREE but DISCONTINUED so beware if you use discontinued products.

2) Complexity -- My understanding that these remote VM's were only single user OS'es like W7 and probably ONLY the same set of 2 or 3 people would be accessing these remotely --- not like a "commercial VPN" or login service to a company server type of operation. So for this particular operation I still maintain this is the EASIEST way to get this up and running -- even better if you could operate VBOX like this but I don't think currently you can run it as a background service to start and stop VMs which is why I suggested using vmware.

Running Esxi on the host is a possible solution but as the OP says he can't change the Host system so the hardware as I understand it is a Powerful W7 Remote machine which is capable of running at least 2 or 3 concurrent Guest W7 systems.

2 or 3 people need to access their individual copy of the W7 virtual machine remotely

seems to me that my solution is by far the easies uf you don't mind shopping around and spending 160 USD or so on VMware workstation -- sometimes decently developed robust commercial products are worth using and VMware has plenty of decent pedigree in the virtualisation area.

since the OP can't change the HOST OS on the remote machine esxi is effectively out -- and remember some of these Hyper -V type solutions are incredibily fussy over what hardware they will run on -- you need to create some sort of "White Box" or get a server grade piece of kit for the host which will cost you a lot more money than a copy of VMware workstation

You also need a separate machine to act as a "Console" to operate the vm's etc.

I like Esxi but I think it's overkill for what I understand to be the fairly simple requirements here - that 2 or 3 users (the same one's) just want to be able every so often to access a remote W7 machine with their own applications on it.

Btw

Depending on who you are setting the service up for you could get them perhaps to contribute towards the VMware licence.

In any case you can download a Trial to see if the solution is "fit for purpose" before trying out other methods.

Don't forget that the free VMware server might still be "findable" -- this used to work quite well but being discontinued and quite old the virtual hardware set won't support the latest 3-d graphics etc


Don't also forget that from LINUX to access a Windows machine remotely you just use something like RDESKTOP. Works just like RDP


http://www.rdesktop.org/

Again Q.E.D !!

(To kebero -- I don't think the O.P wanted to HOST VMware on a Netbook or laptop for remote logins -- the REMOTE machine as he said is a decently powered W7 Workstation !!).



If you DO have access to another machine the Windows 8 HYPER-V combination might be fine but I'm not sure how many W7 virtual machines you would be allowed to run on the W8 consumer edition desktop as it's not designated as a Server. You might be limited to a single Virtual instance.

I haven't tried this myself -- something to do if the weather gets really bad over the Easter Holiday and I don't want to go outside. (This time of the year you can get 4 seasons in one day !!!).

If this works it gets round the cost of VMware workstation -- but of course you'd still have change the OS on the HOST machine.

Anybody who's got USEABLE multiple instances of Windows running on W8 Hyper-V please post.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #15
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
...... -- even better if you could operate VBOX like this but I don't think currently you can run it as a background service to start and stop VMs which is why I suggested using vmware.........
There are several 3rd party tools that will start most any program as a service - here is one. There is also a parallel thread on this topic.

One of my suggestions to the OP was to not open/forward ports on the router for the remote RDC/RDP sessions - use a VPN tool and avoid security flaws like the recent RDC/RDP patch fixed. Plus the VPN tool gives you a static IP address to connect to in case the internet facing IP for the office is dynamic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #16
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
...... -- even better if you could operate VBOX like this but I don't think currently you can run it as a background service to start and stop VMs which is why I suggested using vmware.........
There are several 3rd party tools that will start most any program as a service - here is one. There is also a parallel thread on this topic.

One of my suggestions to the OP was to not open/forward ports on the router for the remote RDC/RDP sessions - use a VPN tool and avoid security flaws like the recent RDC/RDP patch fixed. Plus the VPN tool gives you a static IP address to connect to in case the internet facing IP for the office is dynamic.
Hi there

1) all good advice and true -- but I think the first thing the OP wanted to do was to get the basic concept running first -- a mistake I often find with any sort of technical application is that when you are learning to do it the first time the examples given are usually FAR FAR too complex or too trivially simple.

Please don't take this as a rebuke -- all suggestions are great and most people are greatful if others have taken the time to attempt to answer their posts.

Just my observations in quite a few years of giving demos and classes to students of ALL levels of abilities.

I suspect that if you are just doing this sort of stuff for the first time - things like VPN and IPSEC will be totally off your radar.

Once he can show that the P.O.C (Proof of concept) works you can of course add all the extra security / other features you like -- but if the OP can't get the basic configuration to work then every thing else is pointless.

A very good reason for this is that on an error you can isolate what's not working. If you mess around with VPN's at this stage and nothing works -- then you've got the devil's own job to untangle what's not working.

I recently spent a few days in Manchester England (visiting "The Threatre of Dreams" -- Man Utd Football Club for a game) and tried to help a colleague get a VPN to work.

It was only after many hours did we find the problem -- it was with the BT cable box he was using -- some of the BT new cable boxes weren't VPN friendly at all -- eventually an Engineer replaced the box once he understood what we wanted -- I suppose he couldn't understand our English accents -- anyway problem fixed.

A Newbie probably wouldn't have had a clue in a million years to sort this out - after all you don't normally expect the problem to be in the external web service which you can't do anything about.


2) Just enabling a program to run or start as a service doesn't mean that it will do what you want like start and stop VM's,

For example you *Could* start VMware player (not workstation) as a logon start up application -- but how do you start and enable VM's from VMware player itself -- what the OP wants is that when the HOST machine boots the VM's are started WITHOUT the ANY user being logged on to the HOST at all (or at least only the default logon account in the case of a Windows non server OS - W7 etc).

The started application or service must have the ability to do that itself after the application has started. The latest version of VMware workstation can start selected VM's automatically.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #17
Kebero

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi everybody
Anybody who's got USEABLE multiple instances of Windows running on W8 Hyper-V please post.
I've successfully run two instances of Windows 7 Enterprise in Hyper-V on Windows 8 CP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2012   #18
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kebero View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi everybody
Anybody who's got USEABLE multiple instances of Windows running on W8 Hyper-V please post.


I've successfully run two instances of Windows 7 Enterprise in Hyper-V on Windows 8 CP.

Hi there

Thanks for the info.

Is there anyway to "stand alone" convert an existing Virtual Machine from VMware format to hyper-v.

I know I can download the W8 Hyper-V server (TechNet !!) and use its converter but that seems a long winded method just to convert 2 VM's. .

I don't mind creating the W7 VM from scratch - but if you've got a decently built VM with your test apps installed it would be much easier to convert it.

Cheers
jimbo
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