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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #1

    Default virtualization options for MCITP

    Hey,

    Just started learning for 70-640 exam, but I am currently fuming over virtualization options for the windows server 2008 instances i will need.

    I have to do everything from my laptop, it runs a windows 7 home premium and I currently use windows virtual PC v6.0.192.0.

    I do not think I am able to do everything I need with this cause windows 7 home premium does not allow virtual pc to use all the features.

    So as far as I know I have to upgrade my OS to windows 7 professional to make those features available (which i will need for the testing as far as I know)

    Now I do not feel like spending 80+ dollars on an upgrade I am not sure I will need.

    So my question is: does VMware player, or any other virtualization software that is free, work properly for the testing I will need to do on my windows 7 home premium. Or do I have to get it upgraded to windows 7 professional either way?

    Thanks for the info

    Alex
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  3. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #2
    VirtualBox is the best free option. Keep in mind that the exams have all been updated with topics specific to 2008 R2, so you should be running 2008 R2 VMs, rather than the original 2008.
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  4. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #3
    Yeah, I read about the fact that they have put in R2 exam questions. Thanks for the reply, I thought nobody was going to answer .

    Now i just went to the virtualbox site and it does mention that it's x86. I am running a 64 bit system. Will this make any difference performance wise?
    Last edited by Flexie; 10-20-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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  5. Senior Member za3bour's Avatar
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    #4
    I'm using a 64bit laptop (i3 with 4GB of memory) It is Home Premium as well and I'm running VMWare and I got all the options I need including an R2 server.
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    #5
    Found myself asking the same questions you are asking now. I just started running ESXi on a spare computer, running it as a server. If you have a spare computer (preferrably with VT support in the CPU) you have tons of options
    • vmware esxi (free)
    • citrix xenserver (free)
    • debian "squeeze" with a xen kernel (open source and free)

    Yes, you want it all on your latop, but those three FREE options are worth mentioning if you have spare hardware.

    What kind of limitation does your edition of windows have, other than the ability to join a domain? You could still run numerous client/server scenarios on VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation without upgrading windows.

    I'm not aware of any other free option available on windows.

    If you are brave, linux has several free virtualization options, such as Xen, Qemu, and KVM.

    Good luck and let us know what you wind up doing!

    P.S. - I don't see any reason why you'd need to upgrade windows, you should be fine with what you have.
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  7. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Flexie View Post
    Yeah, I read about the fact that they have put in R2 exam questions. Thanks for the reply, I thought nobody was going to answer .

    Now i just went to the virtualbox site and it does mention that it's x86. I am running a 64 bit system. Will this make any difference performance wise?
    The Windows installer includes both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (amd64) versions and will install the appropriate one.
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  8. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #7
    I find it hard to believe no one has mentioned Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. No, not Server 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V role! This is a free, bare-metal hypervisor.

    Microsoft Hyper-V Server: Home Page
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    I find it hard to believe no one has mentioned Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. No, not Server 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V role! This is a free, bare-metal hypervisor.

    Microsoft Hyper-V Server: Home Page
    While Hyper-V Server is definitely an option, it may not be the best for just quickly getting something in place for testing. The tests aren't going to grill you in depth on configuring a Hyper-V on Server Core installation, so while the knowledge certainly can't help, it may be more of a hassle at first for a beginner. Server 2008 w/ Hyper-V (evaluation version) will provide plenty of eval time to test on.

    I have a "production" 2008 R2 box w/ Hyper-V at home (it runs legit services, but for me personally, not for work), and am very happy with it. VirtualBox is the best free option if you don't have a spare server. My "server" is a desktop I bought for like $400 from TigerDirect and loaded 2008 R2 on there (since ESXi WOULDN'T load; make sure it's on the HCL before loading). VMware is an awesome product to have experience with, so if you have hardware that it'll load on, go for that.
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  10. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by agreenbhm View Post
    While Hyper-V Server is definitely an option, it may not be the best for just quickly getting something in place for testing. The tests aren't going to grill you in depth on configuring a Hyper-V on Server Core installation, so while the knowledge certainly can't help, it may be more of a hassle at first for a beginner. Server 2008 w/ Hyper-V (evaluation version) will provide plenty of eval time to test on.

    I have a "production" 2008 R2 box w/ Hyper-V at home (it runs legit services, but for me personally, not for work), and am very happy with it. VirtualBox is the best free option if you don't have a spare server. My "server" is a desktop I bought for like $400 from TigerDirect and loaded 2008 R2 on there (since ESXi WOULDN'T load; make sure it's on the HCL before loading). VMware is an awesome product to have experience with, so if you have hardware that it'll load on, go for that.
    I agree in principle. But with a couple of caveats:
    1. Hyper-V Server is not Server Core. You are presented with only a command prompt, but there are no services or roles that you can install. It is pure hypervisor and is a free download.
    2. It would be no different to manage than if the student were to install ESXi. Which I would not suggest on a laptop anyway!

    My point in mentionming it was that others had brought up ESXi and free Linux/XEN based hypervisors, so why not mention the Windows option?
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    #10
    I knew about hyper-v within Server 2008 R2, but I didn't know about hyper-v server. This is exciting stuff! I might have to try it since ESXi only recognized one out of 4 of my network cards.

    Edit: after some investigation I've found that the management utility for hyper-v server can be obtained on a 6 month trial basis. I've not found another permanently free option for managing a hyper-v server. The cheapest paid options is a $40 small business licensing agreement that would be more than adequate for a home lab.
    Last edited by ehnde; 10-21-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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  12. Senior Member MrAgent's Avatar
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    #11
    ESX will recognize more hardware than ESXi for some reason, but you are limited to using SCSI and SAN drives for storage. So I could never install ESX at home because I am using SATA drives, I did however get ESXi to work just fine, but it didnt do what I needed it to do.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MrAgent View Post
    ESX will recognize more hardware than ESXi for some reason, but you are limited to using SCSI and SAN drives for storage. So I could never install ESX at home because I am using SATA drives, I did however get ESXi to work just fine, but it didnt do what I needed it to do.
    ESXi recognized my SATA drives. You may need to put them in IDE mode. I couldn't get ESXi to work with my drives till I switched from AHCI to IDE (mode, not cable).
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  14. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKaucher View Post
    My point in mentionming it was that others had brought up ESXi and free Linux/XEN based hypervisors, so why not mention the Windows option?
    You won't find VMWare questions on any of your MS exams, but there are Hyper-V questions. Unless you plan on pursuing a VMWare or XEN cert after your MS exams, build your lab machines on Hyper-V and practice two topics at once.
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  15. Junior Member rhauser44's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore View Post
    You won't find VMWare questions on any of your MS exams, but there are Hyper-V questions. Unless you plan on pursuing a VMWare or XEN cert after your MS exams, build your lab machines on Hyper-V and practice two topics at once.
    I'm seconding Claymoore's recommendation for different reason. I'm trying to run VMware Server 2.02 on a 2008 R2 host and having some issues with the 2008R2 guests. The problems are so fundamental to the basic operations of the OS it makes me crazy. I could dink around another few days or a week with trying to figure out why the problems are occuring. But that would interfere with real purpose and goals of the platform.

    I'm going to reload with Hyper-V 2008 R2 and see where that gets me.
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  16. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore View Post
    You won't find VMWare questions on any of your MS exams, but there are Hyper-V questions. Unless you plan on pursuing a VMWare or XEN cert after your MS exams, build your lab machines on Hyper-V and practice two topics at once.
    I am not familiar with Hyper-V at all, I never really worked with anything else than VMware Workstation during my training period.

    I looked into Virtual Box yesterday for a short time and ran into an error about the 64 bit vs 32, was swamped with work so did not have enough time to really look into it. Made sure that I had all the x64 versions installed though.

    I should have more time this weekend to look into it.

    I would love a little bit of more info on how Hyper-V would be better for me to use vs another like VirtualBox, and would it be a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. or a Server 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V role. If I read correctly some Hyper-V stuff will come up in the exam?

    I have done some network management stuff, but most of my experience comes from the training (which is a while ago, and covered the basics of all the domain controller roles, basic network setup etc). I currently am a Software QA'er, I have a very good troubleshooting sense and I would love to work as a server administrator/network manager (I've done Cisco discovery module 1&2 in the training course and passed with 90%+ on both, but I know the discovery isn't the hardest of the lot ).

    The fact that I am getting way under payed and need to work 50+ hours a week is preventing me from taking some classes in it, or buying some training movies. So if you have any good sites, or articles about this stuff, let me know. I saw the thread that Claymore wrote on the recourses, and that has helped me a lot. I bought the "MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-646): Server Administrator Core Requirements (PRO-Certification)" bundle. and must admit that I am happy about how it is written and the examples/exercises they put in. Also the software package that comes with it is pretty sweet .

    They do mention I will need to run several instances of windows server 2003/2008 for some exercises. I do not doubt that my laptop can handle several virtual machines at a time, but I was wondering if it would be better if I put 2 physical machines (with virtual running) for network purposes.

    My laptop is a HP Pavilion dv7t, and got it last December. In a nutshell it has a 4gig ram, i7 q720@ 1.60 Ghz (has a nice overdrive that kicks in when it needs to, but sucks battery like no other if it does). And have already tried 3 instances of virtual PC with windows server 2008 running at the same time.

    I thank you all for all the information and different opinions you have offered, it has been very helpful so far and I do ask to continue

    Thanks

    Alex
    Last edited by Flexie; 10-22-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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  17. Senior Member Jander1023's Avatar
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    #16
    I have a question: Can you dual boot a computer with both 32bit and 64bit OS? The reason I ask is this - I would like to install 64bit Win7, then run my VMs within that so I can use the new Server 2008 R2 for studying.
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  18. Senior Member Jander1023's Avatar
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    #17
    Ok - I have a Hyper-V question - Does Hyper-V run in a GUI interface, similar to VMWare or Windows Virtual PC? Or is it similar to Server Core?
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  19. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jander1023 View Post
    I have a question: Can you dual boot a computer with both 32bit and 64bit OS? The reason I ask is this - I would like to install 64bit Win7, then run my VMs within that so I can use the new Server 2008 R2 for studying.
    I have 32 bit Vista dual booting with 64 bit Windows 7. Why would that be a problem?
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  20. Senior Member Jander1023's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by earweed View Post
    I have 32 bit Vista dual booting with 64 bit Windows 7. Why would that be a problem?
    Just hadn't done it before, so I wasn't positive. Thanks.
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  21. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jander1023 View Post
    Ok - I have a Hyper-V question - Does Hyper-V run in a GUI interface, similar to VMWare or Windows Virtual PC? Or is it similar to Server Core?
    I installed Hper-V on my server after installing R2. If you do it this way it installs just like any server role with GUIs. You then have Hyper-v manager which is all GUI. At least that's how I have it set up.
    I manage and play with my VMs through RDP from this computer.
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    #21
    ESXi takes over your complete hard drive, but most people seem to like it better than hyper-v. No other options is provided. I'm not sure if Hyper-V server is the same way.

    Don't confuse Hyper-V server with Windows 2008 R2 with hyper-v. Hyper-V server probably requires a remote management console, but would be more efficient than Win 2008 R2 with Hyper-V.
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  23. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ehnde View Post
    ESXi takes over your complete hard drive, but most people seem to like it better than hyper-v. No other options is provided. I'm not sure if Hyper-V server is the same way.

    Don't confuse Hyper-V server with Windows 2008 R2 with hyper-v. Hyper-V server probably requires a remote management console, but would be more efficient than Win 2008 R2 with Hyper-V.
    Yes, Hyper-V Server installs directly on the hardware. There is no GUI management on the console, you have to manage it remotely (it is based on Server 2008 Core).
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  24. Senior Member Jander1023's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by earweed View Post
    I installed Hper-V on my server after installing R2. If you do it this way it installs just like any server role with GUIs. You then have Hyper-v manager which is all GUI. At least that's how I have it set up.
    I manage and play with my VMs through RDP from this computer.
    Cool thx! I think I'll dual-boot my PC with Server 2008 R2 then run the Hyper-V that way.

    I have another question that you may be able to answer. When I was downloading the ISO file for R2, the instructions said you have to activate within 10 days. However, since we are running it as a evaluation, can you activate without a key?
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    #24
    You should be able to. If not you can get past the activation by using slmgr.vbs -rearm and extend your period.
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  26. Senior Member Jander1023's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by MentholMoose View Post
    Yes, Hyper-V Server installs directly on the hardware. There is no GUI management on the console, you have to manage it remotely (it is based on Server 2008 Core).
    I think this is where I am confused. So, Hyper-V server is like Core but you can run multiple sessions on the same hardware, sharing resources? I am used to VMWare at work, where we can log into the VM Server and it looks like a regular server.
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