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Turning off VMWare on Windows Server 2008

Posted on 2014-01-18
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I have been asked to take over management of a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard which has been elevated to a DC.  This is a new installation in a doctor's office and supposedly it has been configured and/or running VMWare.  I am unfortunatly completely unfamiliar with VMWare although I have been reading as much as I can find on it.  Here is the problem.  The medical EMR company is using Teamviewer to remote in and configure the server for it's software.  When they check the specs on the server they only see that it has 4GB of RAM when in reality it has 32GB of RAM.  They say the following:
"TeamViewer is on the virtual machine on the server, so the specs we are getting are only partial. Could you please download TeamViewer 9 onto the actual server."
I have looked as best I can and the only thing I see related to VMWare when I login either through VPN or LogMeIn is VMWare Tools.  Based on what they have asked for can anyone get me on the right track to do this.  One thing that I thought was strange is when the doctor connects a monitor directly to the server he does not see the desktop.  The only time we can see the desktop is when it is remotely accessed through some other way.
Thanks in advance for any help that can be given.
Phil
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Question by:PhilR714
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by:Zephyr ICT
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Hi, first ... You can't turn off VMware without turning off that Windows 2008 server, that server is running as a Virtual Machine (VM) on the VMware vSphere server... It's using the hardware of the host server and VMware is the software steering this VM so to speak ... I'm very oversimplifying of course.

Since this VM is only using 4GB and the host server is supposedly having 32GB, you can add some more VM's on this host if need be.

I suggest really reading up on what a hypervisor is, how it relates to VMware vSphere, ESX(i) and so on ...

In the mean time, you could install RVTools from http://www.robware.net/, on the VM for example, and connect it to the VMware server to read out the hardware and other information.
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by:celtringham_pfe
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The "server" hosting the VM server/workstation may in-fact have 32 GB installed and not necessarily the VM itself..

Kindly check if the OS is 64 bit, if not, the OS is limited to 4 GB ram max.

VMware has some excellent social communities and is very well documented. Before you do anything, know how this VM as well as your ESX environment is managed.

I cannot speak to TeamViewer other than it's like Logmein, Timbuktu, or PCAnywhere.

The doctor I assume is plugging monitor to the ESX server and not the VM, he may need to RDP using a laptop / mobile device for example to the desired VM at his location.

A system virtual machine provides a complete system platform which supports the execution of a complete operating system (OS) These usually emulate an existing architecture, and are built with the purpose of either providing a platform to run programs where the real hardware is not available for use (for example, executing software on otherwise obsolete platforms or EOL equipment), or of having multiple instances of virtual machines leading to more efficient use of computing resources, both in terms of energy consumption and cost effectiveness (known as hardware virtualization, the key to a cloud computing environment), or both.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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Phil

One thing that I thought was strange is when the doctor connects a monitor directly to the server he does not see the desktop.  The only time we can see the desktop is when it is remotely accessed through some other way.
Thanks in advance for any help that can be given.

This is completely normal. The ESXi is the Host Server, which Hosts many Guests, of which this single VM, is one.

You need to login to the actual ESXi server, to manage the overall Guests (VMs).

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Part 1: HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

So you will need the username (usually "root") and password for the ESXi server, and then see Part 2 above.

So the host server has 32GB, the Windows 2008 R2 server has 4GB.

Installing Team Viewer, either connect via RDP (if enabled), and upgrade to Teamviewer 9.0, by installing direct on the VM.

or connect using vSphere Client, open a console, and install Teamviewer 9.0 on the VM.
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by:PhilR714
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Andrew,
We found that you are correct regarding the ESXi server.  When the doc plugged in a monitor to the physical server he sees the screen outlined in your tutorial.  There is an F2 option at the bottom of the screen.  Will that get us to the main desktop of the server itself allowing us to install Teamviewer and perhaps enable RDP?  You mentioned the following:
So the host server has 32GB, the Windows 2008 R2 server has 4GB.  Aren't these one in the same physically?

You also stated:
connect using vSphere Client, open a console, and install Teamviewer 9.0 on the VM.
We located the vSphere client installed on a workstation.  We opend it and logged in as the administrator (root) and see 2 VMs there.  One is BD-Server and the other is Win7Optiplex.  When I go to the console for BD-Server I am able to login with the domain credentials of the doctor which he has full administrative rights but again it appears that I only see the VM desktop because when I look at System in Control Panel it shows only 4GB ram when we know the server has 32GB ram.  How and where do I get to the actual server desktop to be able to install Teamviewer, the medical EMR software etc.  I feel like we are close but just not there yet.  Thank you again for your help.
Phil
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Phil

Will that get us to the main desktop of the server itself allowing us to install Teamviewer and perhaps enable RDP?  You mentioned the following:
So the host server has 32GB, the Windows 2008 R2 server has 4GB.  Aren't these one in the same physically?

No, it will not give you a desktop, you need to connect to the ESXi host server, as per my article above, .e.g. How to Connect....

You also stated:
connect using vSphere Client, open a console, and install Teamviewer 9.0 on the VM.
We located the vSphere client installed on a workstation.  We opend it and logged in as the administrator (root) and see 2 VMs there.  One is BD-Server and the other is Win7Optiplex.  When I go to the console for BD-Server I am able to login with the domain credentials of the doctor which he has full administrative rights but again it appears that I only see the VM desktop because when I look at System in Control Panel it shows only 4GB ram when we know the server has 32GB ram.  How and where do I get to the actual server desktop to be able to install Teamviewer, the medical EMR software etc.  I feel like we are close but just not there yet.  Thank you again for your help.
Phil

That's excellent, you can now manage your VMs.

You install the software in the Virtual Machine you are logged into e.g.  BD-Server.

Host Server has 32GB

Guest VM server has 4GB. (because that is what has been allocated).

All the VMs share the memory of the host.

You do not install software on the 32GB Server, it's role is just to host virtual machines of whcih

BD-Server is one Virtual Machine
Win7Optiplex is another Virtual Machine.

maybe it would help if you looked at this document....

Part 7: HOW TO: Create your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

which shows how a VM is created!

So if you want to install the software in BD-Server you are already in it!

Do you understand or still struggling with Virtualisation?

The host server (e.g. the big server with 32GB) hosts guests server (which are virtual). You cannot install software on it, or see VMs by plugging a display into it.....

So you currently have spare memory in the physical host server, which is not used.
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by:PhilR714
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Andrew,
First let me thank you for your patience in helping me.  I have been reading the docs you suggested and a few others list on EE that you wrote.  I think I am starting to understand Virtualization.

No, it will not give you a desktop, you need to connect to the ESXi host server, as per my article above, .e.g. How to Connect....
Is this what I am doing when I use the vSphere Client logging in as root?

You install the software in the Virtual Machine you are logged into e.g.  BD-Server.
Can I assuming that BD-Server (which is "running" Windows Server 2008) is the VM that others are going to connect to as guests based on this?  If so, the medical company requires 32GB of ram for it's software to function.  Can I change the 4GB allocation to 32GB?  Where and how is this done?  I saw where it shows resources and I also saw an edit option but it would not allow me to make a change if I wanted to.

The host server (e.g. the big server with 32GB) hosts guests server (which are virtual). You cannot install software on it, or see VMs by plugging a display into it.....

So you currently have spare memory in the physical host server, which is not used.

Basaed on this I must and can only install the medical and any other software on the BD-Server and allocate the remaining memory to it.  Correct?

The sad part is that this all could have been avoided.  This is a small practice.  They are currently running on a Windows Server 2003 DC with 5 clients attached to the domain.  The VM idea was that of his former IT who seems to not be responsive to finishing the job.  If all else fails, can the server be brought back to original factory state, elevated to a DC and continue on from there without VMs?
Thanks again,
Phil
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Phil, that's no problem, we've all had to start at the beginning once upon a VMware....!

Is this what I am doing when I use the vSphere Client logging in as root?

Correct it is, directly connected to the ESXi (Hypervisor) Host Server, with 32GB.

Can I assuming that BD-Server (which is "running" Windows Server 2008) is the VM that others are going to connect to as guests based on this?  If so, the medical company requires 32GB of ram for it's software to function.  Can I change the 4GB allocation to 32GB?  Where and how is this done?  I saw where it shows resources and I also saw an edit option but it would not allow me to make a change if I wanted to.

Correct, it's what we call a Guest on the Host, or a Virtual Machine, Virtual Machine Guest. What ever connects to a Guest (VM) on a Host, is called a Client.

It is easy to increase the RAM of the VM, however before I tell you how to do this, you need to check a few things?

If you have a host with 32GB RAM installed, you have a

virtual machine - BD-Server - 4GB
virtual machine - Win7Optiplex - xGB

Total Host Memory - 32GB

Hypervisor requires approx - 2GB (safe).

Maximum Memory you can allocate to the BD-Server, cannot be 32GB, unless you increase physical memory in the host server.

Are you sure the Vendors are correct, and you need 32GB of memory in the BD-Server, that's quite a lot?

To change the Memory....Shutdown VM (BD-Server)

Right Click the VM (BD-Server) (when off), Edit Settings, there is a memory option, increase to suit.

Please be careful and a word of warning DO NOT BE TEMPTED to INCREASE TO 32GB, and try to start the server, you'll be a world of "doo-doo!"

It will run slow, start swapping to disk, and performance will be terrible.

Basaed on this I must and can only install the medical and any other software on the BD-Server and allocate the remaining memory to it.  Correct?

Correct.

The sad part is that this all could have been avoided.  This is a small practice.  They are currently running on a Windows Server 2003 DC with 5 clients attached to the domain.  The VM idea was that of his former IT who seems to not be responsive to finishing the job.  If all else fails, can the server be brought back to original factory state, elevated to a DC and continue on from there without VMs?
Thanks again,
Phil

It can, but you would need to....Backup current Virtual Machines, destroy the current server, and then transfer VM to Physical Server.

actually it's called a Virtual to Physical conversion. (it's not easy....)

I would recommend staying with VMware vSphere, and increasing the memory in the host, IF there is a requirement for a hypervisor.....DR/Backup much easier...if it's being backed up!
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by:PhilR714
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Andrew,
The doctor is asking me the following:
1. If the server was originally purchased with windows server 2008 and then VMware was installed, can the VMware be uninstalled and will that bring it back to the original windows server state?
2. The new server is a replacement for the old which is setup as a DC. Prior to this there were no VMs at all. You mentioned earlier about backing up the current virtual machines. If we don't want to continue in the VM direction can't we simply take the new server running as the VMware host and just reformat and reinstall Windows Server 2008?
3. We verified with the vendor that they require 32GB ram for their software to run properly. I agree that us a lot but that's what they want. You told me in your last post that I cannot and should not, at this point, allocate all 32GBs to the BD-Server. When a guest connects, does it use some of the ram from the host?  In other words if the VM host needs 32GB and I have 5 guest VMs do I have to allocate memory to them also in the Hypervisor, or rare they simply using their own physical ram to function?

Thanks again,
Phil (soon to have a nervous breakdown)
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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1. No. If you uninstalled VMware vSphere, you will lose your VM, without Backup and Restore. I have no idea, why VMware vSphere was installed, servers do not usually come with it pre-installed, with Windows 2008 as a VM.

I suspect, your IT Administrator, had ideas virtulisation was a good thing and it is!

2. Yes. You can reformat the current server, and re-install Windows 2008, this will NOT bring back the current BD-server though.

3. You do not have enough memory in the Host Server, to allocate 32GB - BD-Server, xGB to DellOptiPlex VM, and 2GB for the Hypervisor. - Simple maths! you would exceed the amount in the physical server!

As a workaround, you could allocate

How much memory is allocated to DellOptiplex, is it required?

e.g. BD-Server = 32GB - 2GB (Hypervisor)  - XGB (Dell Optiplex)

BD-Server = 30GB-X GB (Dell Opitplex)

So it would be very close to 32GB!

and if after testing, it does not function as per vendor....

1. Purchase more memory for Host Server.

2. Format it!

(PS vendors are often wrong they do not know, how much memory is required, they just guess! Believe me, we've been agruing with vendors for 25 years!)

Just re-read.......how many VMs do you have in your inventory?
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by:PhilR714
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Andrew,
There are 2 VMs in inventory.  1 is the BD-Server and the other is Station1Win7 which I have been incorrectly calling the Optiplex.  The BD-Server is the VM that will have the medical software in it.  If I am understanding you, if I want 5 guest VMs to connect to BD-Server they would have to be created.  I am assuming that one is already created and called Station1Win7.  So far, does that sound correct?

Next, the physical server has 32GB ram as we have stated.  For each VM that is in inventory (BD-Server plus x guests) that 32GB gets allocated as neccessary for the system to function.  In my current configuration I have the BD-Server (4GB) + Station1Win7 (4GB) + Hyperviser (2GB).  32GB less the 10GB from inventory then leaves me 22GB to allocate to additional VMs.  Is that correct?

If all this is correct then if the medical software running on BD-Server requires 32GB and I need 5 VM guests running 4GB each plus 2GB for Hypervisor then I really need a total of at least 54GB.  Correct?

If you don't mind looking, I have attached some screen shots for you from the vSphere client.

Thanks,
Phil
inventory.JPG
bd-server-summary.JPG
station1Win7.JPG
summary.JPG
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Okay, so the most you can increase BD-Server safely is:-

26GB. (with a safe margin of 2GB).

The Guest VMs, do they have to be created, do you not have any workstations in the company to connect to the server?

If they have to be created on this server, you certainly would not have enough memory.

If all this is correct then if the medical software running on BD-Server requires 32GB and I need 5 VM guests running 4GB each plus 2GB for Hypervisor then I really need a total of at least 54GB.  Correct?

Yes, correct, round up to 64GB, so ad additional 32GB required. (to purchase and install).

Do you not have 5 Windows 7 PC's already? Do you need to create more Station1Win7?

how do they access Station1Win7? via Thin Client terminal?
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by:PhilR714
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The Guest VMs, do they have to be created, do you not have any workstations in the company to connect to the server?
Yes...he has workstations running XP and Win 7 that he uses to access his current DC running the older version of the medical software.  These would be used by the staff to accesss the new version of the med software.

Do you not have 5 Windows 7 PC's already? Do you need to create more Station1Win7?
I don't think he has 5 running Windows 7 but they could easily be purchased.  He may have 2 or 3 now.  I don't know if more like Station1Win7 would need to be created.  I am starting to get the idea that if XP is not compatible with the new version of the med software then that is why the Station1Win7 VM was created.

how do they access Station1Win7? via Thin Client terminal?
From what I can see, the same workstation that has the VMware vSphere client on looks like it has RDP that puts them on Station1Win7, which by the way when I login to it with RDP it is looking for a Windows 7 license key,  but I am not 100% sure they have got to that point.  The other answer is that they may not have set that up yet.

I am actually starting to wonder why in this environment they went in this direction.  The doctor got in touch with the med software company and they agreed that in it's current state the VMware setup will not work.  They suggested he abandons that, formats the drives and installs Windows 2008 Standard and elevate the physical server to a DC, just as in his original old Windows 2003 server setup.  Then use the client/server software they will install and configure.
My question to you is can you think of any reason why it would have been suggested to go the VMware route?  The only thing I can think of is that the workstations he has running Windows XP are not compatible with the newest version of the medical software and this is an alternative to purchasing new workstations.  Does that sound possible.  What are some other situations where VM would be used?
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by:PhilR714
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A big thank you to Andrew for his help and guidance!  I have learned a lot reading the articles he suggested and several others written by him. If I could award him more points I would.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Phil

Many Thanks for your kinds words.

Good Luck, and do not forget to come back to EE, if you are uncertain and happy any more questions, for the Experts to Answer.

Andy
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