Not sure which Type 1 virtualization software to buy.

john8217
john8217 used Ask the Experts™
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I would like to learn about virtualization. I'm thinking about purchasing a Type 1 virtualization software, for home use. Any good recommendations?
Also, can anyone point me to some good learning resources (books, websites, etc.)?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
For Windows 10, Hyper-V is very good and free.

I have Windows 10 and use VMware Workstation 15 on a very fast SSD drive.  

My Machines start at Windows 7 (zero need for Windows 8 at this point) and go back to Windows 95 (which Hyper-V cannot do) and a couple of Linux machines (Ubuntu).  

I like Unity Mode in VMware so that the machine is minimized but the host menus can get directly to the guest machine apps.
I like the flexibility of the network editor and the ability to make a copy of a machine and isolate it (sandbox) for testing emails or apps that may do damage.
Performance is fine. Not as good as  Hyper-V host and only guest machines, but still fine.
I can network my machines (taking into account SMBv2 with limits to Windows 7 and no connection to old machines any more (USB key for moving data).

So a very workable environment for me.
MaheshArchitect
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
You want to simply use virtualization at home to suffice your lab machines need
OR
you want to become virtualization professional ?
If latter is case, you need to deploy ESXi free version or Hyper-v full server trial version (good for 180 days) or even you can use hyper-v only (command line only) free version and then do all stuff from networking, disk management, cluster management, VM management and so on.
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Hyper-V is free, and easy to get started if you have Windows 10.

But I would also agree that the server version and ESXi is what you see is in the business environments and data centers.  Both are free as well, with licensing limitations.  Windows server is like 90 days, and ESXi Free is well free.  But you may want to look at the management side of virtual infrastructures with vCenter and System Center as well.

Author

Commented:
I was planning on getting a very high-end PC (no server) and installing virtualization software on it. This next question might be too vague but I'll ask it anyway: can having it installed on a desktop (and not a server) still be an adequate way to learn about virtualization?
     Also, can ESXi be installed on desktops or is it specifically made just for servers?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
ESX is designed for servers and best there instead of a Workstation
Architect
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
ESXi is best designed for servers but can be installed on any Intel latest CPU who supports virtualization technology, nested pages and directed IO

U can find CPU specs on ark.intel.com website, basically get any 8 core latest CPU with inbuilt graphics (non K edition)
Example:
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/processors/core/i7-processors/i7-plus-8700-optane-16gb.html

basically you need nested virtualization support, it means, you can install VMware workstation, on top of that you could install esxi and within esxi you could install virtual machines, this is nothing but nested virtualization
Else you can install esxi on bare metal and from another machine, install VSphere client and from there manage esxi host but then that esxi machine will remain with command line interface only

In case of hyper-V, it will be directly installed top of OS so no need of nested virtualization infact you can do that as well if wanted to

Also get good quality and fast SSD drive like Samsung 860 pro or equivalent to host virtual machines, basically SSD disks have much higher IOPS ratio and much faster as compared to conventional SATA disks
If you have multiple SSD disks, it will increase performance for typical lab machine
One SSD can be used for OS (say 120 GB) and other two SSDs can be used to store VMs (say 500 GB x 2 ), get 64 GB Memory which is maximum for desktop class CPUs
get ASUS ATX mother boards with latest model
get decent quality PSU like Seasonic / Corsair confirming to at least bronze standard (can go for gold standard)

Check from price stand point
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
I Like VirtualBox a lot.  One of the few company(products) that Oracle bought and continued to develop.
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Commented:
VMware vSphere (ESXi) has a pretty strict HCL. You also need to manage it from another machine. Be sure that your desktop hardware is supported. Pay attention to network controller and storage controller.

Hyper-V Server is free, and needs to be managed from other machine.

Hyper-V on Windows 10 or Windows Server gets installed underneath the Windows OS, and can be used from the local console. All versions of Hyper-V use the Windows drivers, so compatibility is pretty much a non-issue.

Windows Server has 180 evaluation periods.

VirtualBox and VMware Workstation/Player are type 2 hypervisors.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Oops I typed VirtualBox, i meant Oracle VM Server (x86)...

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys for all your input.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I think you could have and should have selected more than one single answer

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