|05 May 2013||#14|
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When final exams wind down later this week, I will continue with my project. Judging by the number of reads for this thread, I think it may be proper for me to frame the topic a little. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea and try to run with things before they are vetted. An important detail to keep in mind is that this project spans two topics: running a portable OS (using a VM) and networking. Therefore, part of the subject matter is outside of the virtualization topic.
The original intent of this thread was to gain some clarification of how to proceed. Continuation of the thread is motivated by the large audience it has generated. If none of the Moderators or advanced members of the forum ask for a halt, I hope to post my progress as I build the network. Members with advanced experience are welcome to provide input. I am sure that I will have questions. From many hours of research it appears that it is not common to build an entire network inside a VM. Ths provides an opportunity for me to learn and share both successes and failures with the community. Hopefully we can all learn something.
What is the project about?
This is a personal project with several goals in mind. The big picture is to create a functional network inside of VirtualBox and move it to an external drive.
Why did I choose to attempt this?
I have neither the money or physical space to build a network using physical hardware. I think of the project as my poor boy test lab. The best case scenario is that I will learn enough to gain an entry level networking job. Last, but not least, I love a challenge.
Am I experienced with virtualization?
NO. I have only trivial experience. I ran Ubuntu inside VMWare Player for one semester to avoid the necessity of dual booting. I used the VM for practice of classroom topics in an intro to Linux class.
Why did I choose VirtualBox over VMWare?
I need a free program because of the budget. VirtualBox promises to offer anything I need free of charge. VMWare is not free. VMWare Player (free) does not provide all the features I anticipate needing. Additional features have a cost involved.
Do I have any experience with server/client networks?
The best answer is no. My exposure has been limited to using a client computer for point-of-sale (POS) and time clock purposes. The workstation experience in the network has been far more trivial than almost everything I do on my personal computer.
Then what will the network look like?
I will build the network one piece at a time. The initial wok involves basic configuration of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. I will add two clients: Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows 8 Professional x64.
What system resources am I going to use?
My i3-2330M (@ 2.2 GHz) has hyperthreading and and virtualization enabled. This allows me to dedicate one processor (2 physical + 2 virtual) for each of the following: Win 7 HP x64 host, Win Server X64, Win 7 Pro x64 guest, and Win 8 Pro x64 guest. With 8GB RAM, 2GB will be allocated to each of the four OSes initially. Research has indicated that the server is best configured with 2GB memory, but can be reduced to 512 MB for actual operation. This will free some memory for the host or allow me to add more clients. The clients' memory allocation may be reduced later (after installation and configuration). That remains to be seen. Storage allocation will be initially set at 35GB for the server and 30GB for the clients. I have plenty of free space on both the host and the external drive where the network will be stored after initial configurations have been tested.
What other challenges do I anticipate?
I have no experience with Windows 8. I will have to learn this OS also.
The bottom line is that I hope this will be challenging and instructive for all who read or contribute.
Thanks in advance to everyone.
|My System Specs|
|05 May 2013||#16|
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Have a look at e.g. the boot times comparing Windows 8 and Mint from the external USB3 attached SSD. Disregard the VMware setup time. Boot is from when the OS logo appears.
Booting Windows 8 and Mint - YouTube
|My System Specs|
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