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Mark B
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Virtualize Multiple XP Pro Stations on Single Server Ideas

Hi, we receive files 24/7 streaming to us on a custom Window application. Each product that streams to us requires a separate Windows XP Pro station and each product has a separate login on the same app. We currently have three WinXP stations because we have three main products we receive files for.. The client has recently enabled our location to receive two additional products for a total of five. Ideally, we would like to have five XPPro stations setup 24/7, but we only have three physical stations and we are reluctant to keep scaling hardware, so we have resorted to scheduling file downloads for the low volume products by logging out and logging in to the two new products to receive files and then logging back into the original product logins.

My question is, would be possible/cost effective to have a single hardware server hosting 5-7 WinXP stations? The specs per station are fairly low:

high GHz P4 or a mid-range XP Pro desktop from say 3-4 years ago with 3-4GB Ram + 40-80GB C drives, with 100T NIC cards.

Is building a VMWare Server logical to consider. To me, it seems like a new multicore server could virtualize a handful of out-dated XP Pro stations. Has anyone out there build a server like this to host several windows XP stations that will be running 24/7? Just mostly curious if this is a sound approach- would be great to reduce hardware and place entire project in a rack.
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Mark B

8/22/2022 - Mon
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Robin CM

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Irwin W.

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kevinhsieh

Don't forget that you need a retail or volume license of Windows XP for each XP OS you virtualize.
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Mark B

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This is exactly the starting point information I needed, I think what we will do, is start off with one of the free/inexpensive single server solutions w/ 5 vm XP stations and just mothball the three existing XP stations as a backup in case of server failure.
Tony J

Thanks for the points and good luck.

Bear in mind that you should be able to P2V (Physical to Virtual) convert the existing workstations as they currently are.

I can definately recommend the HP Proliant ML110G6 range - these are inexpensive and can utilise RAID so at lease your disks are relatively safe (you might want to check the specific controllers on the VMware HCL as some of the lower-end SATA controllers, although perfectly capable of RAID don't always get recognised).

Good luck with the transformation.
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Mark B

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Good to know about the ML110G6s, will check out. We are an HP shop already (have a bunch of DL180 G5s...)