Basic steps and recommendations for installing a virtual server
Posted on 2009-03-30
OK - I am ready to play around with installing a Virtual Server and testing installing configuring, crashing, fixing, etc etc.
I am assuming this question will continue from here and spawn into what I hope will be some further instructions on how exactly to go about this. But I am going to start simple.
So please expect this to continue further - but all of it underneath the scope of my original question.
I have licenses for both Server 2003 and Server 2008 available.
I only have 2 servers, both in production - so i am not about to screw around with them. And that is precisely what I plan to do - install some Virtual machines and play around. I would like to go so far as creating a virtual network and practice configuration, AD, install Exchange (I have licenses avail there too) - and basically run the whole field of things one could do - and not have to worry about making any wrong moves.
I am mostly self-taught, and had a lot of help in configuring my current network - and I want to try it all on my own and see what happens from scratch.
I am contemplating implementing virtualization in my network, plus, I am about to start taking Microsoft Courses, and I have read ALOT of help menus, tutorials, study guides, and alot of EE posts - but I need to really dig in and get my hands dirty.
So, I am looking for recommendations on how to do this.
Do I need to do this on a "server" machine? Or can it be done on a desktop?
Do i need to have a server OS on the Host?
Or can I do it on a nice beefy XP machne (Intel Core 2 6600 2.4)?
Or even 1 or 2 more older desktops available in my shop (minimum Pentium 4 3.0GHZ machines probably with 1-2 GB RAM)?
I swear I read about people putting virtual servers on XP hosts, is that true?
That beefy machine I mentioned above is a production machine that I work on - am i risking anything by using this machine to play around with? If i crash a virtual server - what risk am i putting the rest of my machine at? Or should I stick to a decommissioned machine?
Which of the virtualization softwares would you recommend I start with? I intend to try several of them to see which I might want to use in production - all the more reason for this testing - but being new to virtualization - is there one you would recommend a newbie start with?
What are your "top 5" pitfalls - biggest blunders to watch out for, that kind of thing - for virtual server installation. I intend on playing with BOTH 2003 and 2008, and Exchange 2003 and 2007 (32-bit test mode).
I would like to stop there for now. I am sure you will all have questions, and as stated - I intend on coming back to the well for more and to keep this open as I get going and get through at least installing one of the Virtualization softwares and at least one server OS.
I am NOT trying to be lazy and ask things that are answered elsewhere. I have read more than my fair share of posts here on EE - so many I cant remember - so if something is already documented elsewhere that can help me here - please just point me in the right direction...