Will Virtual SBS 2008 affect other PCs attached to router ?
Posted on 2012-04-04
I am working toward my MS SBS 2008 certification by going thru the MS textbook for this.
This EE question is NOT about a production environment for SBS 2008, please note that. The word "production" as used below refers to 2 PCs that do not (ideally and that is the entire point of this question) depend on SBS 2008 in any way.
Most of this question is background. There are 2 question at the end and those questions I request answers to.
A **MAJOR** problem has come up. I went out and bought an $1100 new high end consumer Windows 7 PC and spent $200 at MS Technet to get the SBS 2008 install DVD. That expense and my considerable time commitment was all I **EXPECTED** to need to get my certification. I quickly found out otherwise at this forum. A number of EE MS Server experts have told me that I **MUST** turn on DNS and DHCP server in the SBS 2008 PC.
Why is that a problem? Because connected to the router are two other PCs that are PRODUCTION PCs: My Office PC and my roommates business PC. In addition the new PC is NOW dual boot, Windows 7 and SBS 2008 (latter just installed with DHCP server still on the router). I occasionally need the Windows 7 BY ITSELF to test out things for Windows 7 jobs. (I fix PCs for a living) So occasionally the Windows 7 (without virtual SBS running) is ALSO a production PC.
And I am concerned that while learning SBS 2008 I may make a mistake in a setting and suddenly the 2 production PCs will not have internet. ALSO I would prefer to turn on the new PC ONLY when I am doing exercises in my SBS 2008 MS text book and NOT ALL THE TIME. If SBS 2008 is the DNS and DHCP server for the production PCs then I **MUST** leave it on all the time. Currently I leave my Linksys router on all the time and that is sufficient. BTW Comcast is the ISP and I assume supplies the DNS server currently (with the new PC not booted up).
Now at another EE question a SBS 2008 expert said the solution was to install SBS 2008 virtually using Oracle VirtualBox (a free product). i.e I boot to Windows 7 and SBS 2008 runs in a "virtual window" to be exact and Windows 7 is the client. The other expert has ACTUALLY DONE THIS with VirtualBox and assures me it works so THAT PART is not what this EE question is about.
It is about whether having SBS 2008 being the DHCP and DNS server will STILL affect the other PRODUCTION PCs connected to the router.
Here are the other EE experts exact words about this.
"For a test lab, virtualbox works well as an alternative free virtualization platform. The OS gets a sandboxes hardware environment. It gets attached to a (virtual) network switch. It will behave as it would in a production environment...... I virtualized SBS 2008 and 2011 during the private betas found and submitted real bugs"
Obviously the key sentence in that quote from the point of view of THIS question is
"It gets attached to a (virtual) network switch"
My only experience in virtual is installing Windows XP on a MAC using Parallels Desktop and installing Windows XP on a Windows Vista PC using MS's free virtual product. ie. the idea was to get a PC to run a different OS. The idea was NOT to get the MAC OS X to interact with the virtual Windows XP or to have the Windows Vista OS interact with the Windows XP. IT was SOLELY to use one or the other OS. Hence terms like " (virtual) network switch" are unfamiliar to me.
In order to assure myself that the other 2 PCs will not be affected DESPITE there being only ONE router (i.e the new PC is STILL connected to the same one router where if I did NOT do a virtual install, then, for example, DHCP server would have to be disabled in the router admin utility). please answer the following 2 questions.
(1) Please explain why IN THEORY turning on DHCP server and DNS server in the virtual SBS 2008 will not affect the other PCs connected to the router. Your explanation (which obviously relates to the concept of a virtual switch) does not need to be long or detailed. But long enough to explain how thee virtual approach ISOLATES the SBS 2008 from the other PCs connected to the router EVEN THOUGH the router and Comcast ISP are still supplying internet to the Windows 7 and SBS 2008 even though the latter runs virtually.
(2) Noting the new PC is dual boot NOW (and with the virtual approach I would never again boot to the current SBS 2008 OS), if I boot to Windows 7 and do NOT start the SBS 2008 in the virtual window, then will Windows 7 use the router for everything
will Windows 7 have NO internet access until I start SBS 2008 in the virtual window.
I DO understand that once I start SBS 2008 in the virtual window that THEN Window 7's internet access DOES depend on SBS 2008 working properly BUT that does not matter if the answer to (2) is yes as I have a RELIABLE alternative.
And the word RELIABLE is what this entire question is about. I want to learn SBS 2008 and get my MS certification BUT I do not want to make the internet access for the two production PCs UNRELIABLE while learning SBS 2008 due to a mistake I make in setting up SBS 2008..