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295 posts

Ultimate Geek

#77723 21-Feb-2011 17:17
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Hi all

Just wanting some advise / guidance on what is the best/recommended software to use for Virtualising a machine I have here at home.

Ive got a box with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit (MSI P55A-G55 MB, Intel i7-870 CPU, 8Gb DDR3-1333 RAM and 1 Tb in Raid 1, plus 500Gb for OS etc).

The box is going to be running Mediaportal TV Server in a headless setup. To keep it simple my plan is to run the HostOS as Windows 7 Pro so that I dont have to do any PCI Passthrough  to get the Media Server working virtualised.  THe mediaserver has 3 x PCI cards (2xDVB-S and 1 x Analogue) so figured its just easier to have it as the Host.

The CPU and MB both support VT-d and Vt-x ... so a hypervisor type approach, in theory, is a possibility.

What I want to do is replace my current big, loud, power hungry Small Business Server with a 2011 Server in a virtualised GuestOS on the above machine.  From what Ive read VMWare "may" allow this to be installed... but Windows 7 is not one of their recommended/supported HostOS's, although it appears it may have been not long ago.

Does anyone have an experience/opinion on VMware vs Zen vs VBoxetc  for the above scenario? The load on the SBS is pretty minimal ... ie its just me using it :)  What would people suggest?


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1993 posts

Uber Geek

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  #442807 23-Feb-2011 16:15
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I'm running VMware Server 2 on Win 7 Enterprise (64bit) with 9 guest hosts (2 x XP, 2 x WS2003 x32, 4 x WS2008 R2 x64 & 2 x OpenSUSE) with an overall stable solution. I have had a couple of odd lockups in IE which has caused all the guests to pause for about 2 minutes, but otherwise it is reasonably successful as a work around solution.

Note: run this in quite an obscure configuration, passing a USB WiFi dongle through to an XP guest which is used to bridge the connection into the virtual network, keeping the virtual guests and host separated.

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