Vmware

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Hi All. We currently have a Windows 2003 network with about 6 windows servers and we also have about 6 Oracle servers. I have been approved by management to go ahead with VMWARE. However, i dont have any spare servers to test VMWARE on. I have no clue how to install or use it but I dontwant to get an external company in to do this. I want to do on my own.
Maybe for now i can test and put our DC2 on VMWARE just to see if I can do this installation. Is there any FREE software that I can download that will run on normal laptop with Windows XP so that I can replicate the VMware environment. I want to install the VMware on a laptop and move DC2 to this to see if I can handle this installation. Also, what software can I sue to run on my current servers that will throw out a report to inform if my current servers meets the vmware requirements. Basically, can I create a test environment of vmware with no servers but on normal Windows XP pcs.
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Commented:
hi!

You can use the free Server Version of VMWare:

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/

Commented:
yes elvin66 is absolutly rigth.

Author

Commented:
Thanks but will it run on windows XP pcs. Does this mean I can do a full FREE installation and practice on windows pcs without servers and when I am happy with the proecudre then I can buy the software and do it on my servers.
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Commented:
yes that'ts right. Thats also what vmware is hoping. Test it on your PC, and buy if the real server-hardware...

Author

Commented:
Thanks, any idea wher I can get steps on how to install on pc and get it to work as DC2? Also, when I am ready to buy and install on the server, is there a audit software to run on the server to know if the server can handle the 6 windows servers or if I need to upgrade etc.

Commented:
Keep in mind that vmware server 2.x won't run on a regular xp os. It has to be run on a server OS, what does work is installing vmware server on windows 7.

Commented:
audit software: not was far as i know... - testing...

To get work as DC: If you install a DC on the Virtual Machine (just like on real Machine) you can perform the same steps as on a real Hardware...

by the way: Have you ever taken a look at HyperV:
http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/default.aspx (FREE!! )

They have a lot of information and the provide an Assesment Tool:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=67240b76-3148-4e49-943d-4d9ea7f77730&displaylang=en

Author

Commented:
What about installing windows server 2003 (Vmversion) on pc and then installing vmware server?

Commented:
That is a possibility, you will be able to install vmware on that pc then and you can just go from there then. For testing purposes you could also just install vmware workstation on an xp machine. It's a bit less stable then the vmware server, but it will do the trick for testing purposes.

And the install of your server os in a vmware environment is indeed the same as on a real machine.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
On the contrary, vmware server DOES NOT come with any kind of support. While it does work, it is only supported by the VMWare community.

VMWare workstation is the paid version that is supported by VMWare.

To run either of these pieces of software, I recommend that you have at least 4GB of available RAM for the guest OS.

If you have a spare machine kicking around would be to install VMWare ESXi. This is VMWare's
free bare metal host OS.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
Try this book for mastering vsphere, it helped quite a bit for my vpshere VCP exam

http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-VMware-vSphere-Computer-Tech/dp/0470481382

Commented:
Well if you want to run a simple test I would do the following if you want to take an existing server (DC2) and move into a VM environment.


1) Download VmWare Server (Free)
2) Download vConverter Starter (Free)
3) Convert you current DC2 server into a VM.
4) Test that its working by running the VM WITHOUT network connections so you wont cause any issues with your current RUNNING server.

5) if it all works fine shutdown the physical DC2 and plug your virtual DC2 into the network and check if its working.

You will need at least 4GB of ram on the physical host as you will want to allocate 2GB to the DC2 VM.

Note that if you have any SQL / Oracle servers running on it you will need more RAM.

Also if your DC2 is a windows server standard installation you will have to reactive it as you have changed the hardware.

Author

Commented:
must i download vmware server, converter, run the programs etc all on the DC2, will that not damage the DC2 in anyway

Commented:
Well you install the vmware server on your laptop / destination HOST (the computer that will be hosting the VM)

than you install and run the converter on DC2
the converter runs in real time and doesn't effect anything its just like creating an image with nortron ghost / acronis for backup and restore.

than you run the VM (the image) in your host (the laptop)

Author

Commented:
aahhh, i see, makes sense, let me try this. Also, once i switch the physical server DC2 off and connect the laptop as DC2, how do I reconnect to make it the DC2?

Author

Commented:
I have a HP Laptop with 4gig ram and it has a 2.4Ghz processor. No one is using it, can I install the Vmware Server on this and make it a DC2?

Commented:
Yes should be just fine.

AGAIN YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE ORIGINAL DC2 IS OFF AND NOT CONNECTED TO THE NETWORK BEFORE YOU TURN THE VM ON.

once you turned the VM on it will ask you to reactive windows, once this is done it will be the exact same as the physical DC2

this means if you had any configuration on it, they will remain. it will be an exact copy of your physical server at the time you made the VM image.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
be carefull when playing around with domain controllers, do not put the VM in the live environment.  This will cause replication issues when you put in the vm the kerberos ticket will be updated and noted.  When you plug the physical DC2 back on the network it will have an old ticket and cause issues

There is an issue when P2V'ing a DC (Windows 2000 and Windows 2003). It affects the AD's Update Sequence number and can halt DFS replication.
For more information, see the following Microsoft articles:

Windows 2000: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/885875/

Windows 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875495/

Author

Commented:
Ok, so what do you guys suggest. I have the HP laptop and 4 gig ram ready but now you got me worried about making it a DC2
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
  1. do not use a laptop for a production environment
  2. do not use a laptop for a production environment
  3. it this is for testing purposes why not just use the laptop to add a replica DC.?
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I agree with Nappy...I can see the laptop going into hibernate mode and killing access to the users, that wouldn't be fun. Since most laptops have 5400 RPM drive IO would be a killer as well

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys. What I want to do is create a test environement whereby I can load Vmware server on the laptop. Maybe its safer to make the server a File Server. We currently have a File server windows 2003 server but I am sure if I make the laptop a Vmware File Server OS and then test it by making it the file server and shutting down the physical file server that it wont affect anything if it doesnt work. What you guys think? If you think it will be fine please can you provide me some steps to get this task done? My current File Server is being imaged by Symantec Image Bare Metal Restore so I can make the laptop a VM Server and restore the image into the Vm Server.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
The only solution that is worthwhile for testing on your laptop is this http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/server202/dCpiZCVqdGJkZWRq
To my knowledge, thereis no supported bare metal solution from VMWare for laptops.  you can "try" to check the HCL but I would not bet against the HCL...
Commented:
You can just follow the steps I gave you before:

1) Download VmWare Server (Free)
2) Download vConverter Starter (Free)
3) Convert you current  "SERVER" into a VM.
4) Test that its working by running the VM WITHOUT network connections so you wont cause any issues with your current RUNNING server.

5) if it all works fine shutdown the physical "SERVER" and plug your virtual "SERVER" into the network and check if its working.

I wouldn't go with converting a file server as it has a lot of I/O traffic.

The process is the same with whatever you convert, your goal is to feel comfortable with the process just take ANY computer (SERVER/XP/VISTA) and convert it. see how it goes and feels.

Author

Commented:
Hi Guys. I just found that the laptop does not have 4 gig ram but rather 3gig ram and 2.4GHZ. Can I still use it to do the VMware Server setup above that we discussed.

Commented:
You can but just for testing as discussed with 3GB of ram it will work quite slow
From you discussion it appears that you just want to see if you can create VM image from your production enviroment and can covert it to full VM enviroment if asked my your management. I will say use any laptop or server. Use vConverter to make vm image and test it in your test enviroment using a seprate switch not connected to your production network, and connect couple of your comptuer to same switch to test if you can login with your domain accout or not.

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