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Recently purchased a small HP Prolaint N40L MicroServer. Before I go to the trouble of a full build. I am wanting to run a Virtual Environment. Is it better to put the ESXi on a bare metal and then put the windows server in the /a virtual enviroment, or use the windows OS (Windows 7 64 bit) to host the Virtual resources?
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Yes, we've got many of these in the lab.

http://andysworld.org.uk/2011/08/25/a-cluster-of-hp-proliant-microservers-running-vmware-vsphere-50-esxi-50/

They are suitable for very small workloads.

ESXi only installs on Bare Metal. If this is environment is for Test and Development, and research, I would recommend installing ESXi 5.0 on a USB flash drive.

I would install ESXi onto a USB flash drive or SD card.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 4.1 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1020655

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784


A Type 1 Hypervisor, which is what ESXi is, will perform better than a Type 2 Hypervisor under Windows 7.

VMware Workstation is a Type 2 Hypervisor, other Type 2 Hypervisors include, VMware Server 2, VMware Player 3.0, Virtualbox 4.0, and Parallels.

Type 2 Hypervisors are SLOW.  In most reviews and experience, they perform at roughly 30-40% hardware capability.  That means an OS in a VM run off VMWare Workstation will likely perform at best like it has an 800 MHz CPU if you have 2 GHz physical CPU. You install Type 2 hypervisors onto of an existing host operating system.

If you use a Type 1 Hypervisor, you get MUCH better performance. ESX, ESXi, are all Type 1 hypervisors - they (based on experience and reviews) typically get 80-90% hardware capability - so that same VM run off the same 2 GHz CPU should operate more like it has a 1.6 GHz CPU instead of 800 Mhz. Type 1 hypervisors are installed on the bare metal of the server.

Type 1 Hypervisors also include Hyper-V.

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Commented:
Wow, I am very impressed. I will accept this as the definitive solution. My thanks

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