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VMware questions

Posted on 2009-05-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
VMware questions      

I am learning about virtualization, but have a lot of questions.  

I downloaded the free vm player, and downloaded a few virtual machines.  What product would I need to get to run VMware in a sever environment where I can run multiple instance of Windows server.


Ideally how do you utilize virtualization to run servers&
It sounds like you need an underlying OS to run VMware on, and then run virtual machines on top of that?  Is the underlying OS usually windows server, windows vista or xp, or linux.  

Hardware..
How do things like IP addresses and hard drives work?  Does each virtual machine get its own IP?  Do you have to add any special network cards or anything?  

Do the virtual machines each get an allocated chunk or hard drive?  Is that all setup in the VMware program?



How do you create a new virtual machine?  If I am going to have multiple virtual machines of windows server can I copy them as long as I buy the required licenses, or do you have to install each one.  Can you legally download windows OS VMware images?  

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Question by:Tom_Hickerson
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vmwarun - Arun earned 1000 total points
ID: 24385792
Wow, that is a load of questions. :)

VMware uses 2 methods for hosting VMs, one is the hosted environment where the software (VMware Workstation, VMware Server, VMware Player) require the presence of an operating system on the base hardware.

Another method is bare metal environment where the VMware application (ESX/ESXi) is directly installed on the bare metal hardware and allows you to install Virtual Machines on top of this application.

Now coming to Virtual machine composition, a VM is nothing but a set of files comprising VMX, VMDK and NVRAM file.
This makes them mobile and hardware independent.

Normal Ethernet or Gigabit NICs are used for hosting VMs.
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by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 1000 total points
ID: 24386122
The other expert has given you a lot of good information.

I've run virtual machines in three different environments.  One is a PC running vmware workstation (I've also used the old server version of vmware).  In this scenario the underlying OS can be XP or other versions of Windows.  On some versions you can have a Linux OS be the underlying OS.  But basically you are right there is an underlying OS and you create empty VM's which "boot" in a window and look like a computer coming up and you would insert your bootable OS CD into the host computer's optical drive and do a regular install.  The second scenario is like the first, but I am using a Mac as the underlying computer and running VMware Fusion.  The third is using ESX which installs an underlying Liunx environment and you run and manage it from a client on your computer.

A VM is an entire computer environment including OS and apps running in a couple of files on your hard drive. And yes, you do have to have the appropriate licenses for whatever OS you are running in the VM.
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24386157
The VM's share the underlying hardware that your computer has.  You can run networking as a bridged type where the VM uses the computer NIC and has it's own IP address on your network segment.  Or it can run as NAT'd or as host only.  Host only is nice because the VM does not know about or talk to your network. So you can set up a whole other network all on your computer (assuming you have the resources and licenses) and do testing that you could not do in the real world.  So on my Mac the other day I set up three Windows 2000 servers and three 2003 servers and an XP workstation and did a test moving from a Windows 2000 AD environment to an AD 2003 environment. Would not easily have been able to do this in the real world.
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by:Tom_Hickerson
ID: 24387114
So when you install the VM on the host machine do you have to worry about drivers, raid and that kind of stuff, or is it all taken care of when you setup the host machine?  

Once I setup the first windows sever virtual machine can I copy it and enter the another product key, or do I have to go through the install procedure twice?  
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by:Tom_Hickerson
ID: 24387133
So when you install the VM on the host machine do you have to worry about drivers, raid and that kind of stuff, or is it all taken care of when you setup the host machine?  

Once I setup the first windows sever virtual machine can I copy it and enter the another product key, or do I have to go through the install procedure twice?  
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Expert Comment

by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24387473
You can use cloning to clone multiple VMs from a single installed instance.

You have to use SysPrep in order to customize the Cloned VMs.

More info on SysPrep - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc783215(WS.10).aspx
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