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Need Desktop Virutalization solution for SBS 2008 testing

Here are the specs of my PC:
Dell Optiplex 755
Intel E8500 Processor (3.16GHz, 6M, VT, 1333MHz FSB)
8GB of RAM
Host OS: Currently Running Vista Business x64

Needs:
I would like to run virtual machines on my PC for testing server configurations and troubleshooting issues. Vista, Xp, Server 2003, SBS 2003, and Server 2008. In addition (and what is giving me problems), I would like to run SBS 2008 which is an x64 OS. I only need these loaded for testing purposes - this is not for a production environment. Also, I need the ability to use internal VM networks so that SBS does not see other DNS and DHCP servers on my internal network.

What I've tried:
Everything I can think of. VirtualBox (x64 edition), Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2 (x64) w/ KB948415 applied, VMware Server 2. I've tried Google searches for each, but cannot seem to find the relevant information needed to fix this problem.

Each time when I boot a VM with SBS 2008 CD1.ISO - I get the error "Attempting to load a 64-bit application, however this CPU is not compatible with 64-bit mode."

The Microsoft FAQ about Virtual Server 2005 R2 lists SBS 2008 as a compatible guest when the KB948415 update is installed.

When using VirtualBox, I had Windows server 2008 x64 selected as the gust OS type.

I *think* I had the options set correctly in VMware - but of the three, it seemed the most complex.

So, what would you recommend or have you uses to acheive what I am trying to do?

Thanks in advance,
Eric
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acroment
Asked:
acroment
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1 Solution
 
wazoo9000Commented:
VMware Server 2 as well as Workstation can run 64 bit guest OS provided you meet the minimum hardware spec.  Check this KB article:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1901
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
VMWare makes a free virtualization product that enables you to run x64 OSs. On the MS side, Virtual PC 2007 SP1 does not. It is 32bit only.

To virtualize SBS, your load cycle should be 4.5-6GB of RAM to keep the process up. Otherwise your install time will be huge. You can use a virtual floppy for the Answer File.

Otherwise, a Quad Core with 8GB of RAM running Hyper-V Server 2008 would do what you need it to do.

Philip
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acromentAuthor Commented:
Wazoo9000 - I've checked my specs against the requirements.
Here are the specs for my CPU:
http://ark.intel.com/cpu.aspx?groupId=33911

I also ran the VMware 64-bit Compatibility checker - it passes.

According to the link, VT needs to be enbaled in my bios - it is.

Any other recommended settings?

MPECSinc - Thanks for the RAM suggestion, I think with 8 GB of ram in my host OS - I can give up 4.5GB to run SBS as needed while leaving me a few GB for my host OS applications. Are you suggesting that I need to run Server 2008 with Hyper-V to solve this problem?
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
Yes you need Hiper-V enabled.
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wazoo9000Commented:
I assume that you did choose a x64 windows type as the OS when you were building the vm.  Apart fom that, try another 64 bit OS to see if it is something with SBS, though it should be supported.  I dont have a copy of SBS so I cannot verify this myself.  You might also try downloading a pre-built SBS VM from the marketplace if there is one and then applying your license key.  
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acromentAuthor Commented:
Pre-Build Vms? intersting... I'll check these things out and report back.
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wazoo9000Commented:
yep, they are pretty cool: http://www.vmware.com/appliances/
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
You need to run a Virtualization product that supports an x64 guest OS. Hyper-V and VMWare come to mind.

So, yes, Hyper-V Server 2008 would give you the foundation you need to get things going. You can manage the HVS2K8 box from a Windows Vista SP1 workstation with the Hyper-V Manager installed, and the Core box via Remote Server Administration Tools.

Philip
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Mark DamenERP System ManagerCommented:
Citrix XenServer.  Grab yourself a copy of the Express (free version).  You would need another PC to install the management console, but if this is possible then its a great way of achieveing these goals.

Supports 64bit and 32bit alongisde each other, VERY simple to use and configure.
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acromentAuthor Commented:
MPECSInc & MarkUSDamen: I am looking for a solution to running this on a single desktop... I am aware that I could run a server with hyper-v, Xen, or ESXi - But I don't want to invest in more hardware just for testing. Thanks for the suggestions though.
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acromentAuthor Commented:
Wazoo9000: I looked over the applicaitons list - I don't see any x64 editions of windows server.

I receive the same error above when I try to boot Win 2K8 x64 edition.

I receive the following error when I try to boot Win 2K3 x64:
"Attempting to load a x64 operating system, however this CPU is not compatible with x64 mode. Please install a 32 Bit x86 operating system. Setup cannot continue. Press Any key to exit."

.. I don't see an "any key" on my keybpoard... just kidding.

For each of these tests, I had the appropriate OS set in the VM Properties... Win 2K8 x64, and Win 2K3 x64.

Here are the settings of my VM in Vmware Server:
Processors: 1
Memory: 3gb
HDD: 50GB
Network: Host only
CD: <my iso file>
SCSI Controller 0: LSI Logic SAS
Virtual Hardware Version: 7
Disable Acceleration: not checked
Support VMI Paravirtualization: Grey'd out.
Virtualized CPU: Allow the Host to Dermine Automaticlly
Configuration Parameters: Whatever was setup by default... Perhaps there is a setting I could add here? I don't see any for the CPU or anything that references x64.

Any other suggestions? Anyone have a setup like this already running?

I recently reloaded my system from Vista 32-bit to Vista x64 so that I could take advantage of the additional RAM for running VMs. Vista 32 only supports 3.5gb of RAM.

Thanks!
-Eric
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acromentAuthor Commented:
Problem Solved: I needed to turn OFF Trusted Execution within my Bios.

http://www.ericclemens.com/2009/02/24/need-help-with-desktop-virtualization/
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