SBS2011 as VM or Standalone

I have SBS2011 installation on two three different platforms:

(1) Standalone hardware/Server box
(2) As a VM in ESXi 5.5 Server
(3) As a VM in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

I would like to get expert's opinion as to what you would prefer and the reason(s) why.

Here is my take:
(1) As a Standalone server: Simple management. Can run Windows Server Backup to external 2TB USB Hard Drive. Restoring the entire backup from the backup device was NOT as simple as I thought.
(2) As a VM in VMware: Can't run Windows Server Backup directly. You may using USB pass thru, but the speed was incredibly slow, so it is not practical. However when one of the VMs kept starting and resulting in "Blue Screen of Death", I shutdown the VM and restored the VM from the backup device. It was extremely simple and easy.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. A physical server will always cause you issues with restore-ing to bare metal. Your Backup you make to an external USB disk, is useless if the hardware fails, and you need to restore it to different hardware.

What would you do them, if you cannot purchase the exact same hardware that your SBS 2011 server is running on?

Virtual Hardware, either Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere (ESXi) will always allow you to restore your server to either platforms, or the Cloud.

VMware USB Passthrough is NOT DESIGNED to connect an external USB drive, and use it for Backup-ing up the VM by USB. This is the biggest misconception by VMware Admins on the planet, because

1. my server has a USB port
2. ESXi supports USB passthrough

I can plugin any device and use it in my VM. I'm afraid this is wrong, VMware's orignal specification was to allow the connection of USB Security Keys or Dongles.....

all other devices are not supported, this has been the biggest cock-up by VMware, since USB passthrough introduction in 4.0.

You can read more about this here

I have requested that VMware update the VMware KB Article, with a statement stating this.

So I would recommend you purchase a Good Backup Product or backing up VMs on either Hyper-V or vSphere (ESXi) and provided you give those VMs the correct resources you should not have any issues, with Hosting, Backup, and Disaster Recovery.

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sgleeAuthor Commented:
So it sounds like that you would prefer to install Sbs2011 as a VM (whether it is ESXi or Hyper-V) over standalone box?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
In 2015 - yes it has more benefits.....

do you not see that?

e.g. what are you going to do with your good physical backup if you cannot restore it?

because you cannot purchase the physical hardware, when the hardware fails ?
sgleeAuthor Commented:
I am in agreement with you.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Very good, so maybe virtualisation is the best option!
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