I have only just started playing with VMware products and I have tried a few products so far but cannot figure something out and need some help please.
I have a Server that is currently running Windows Server 2012 GUI and I have a CCTV security system that only supports up to Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 but I need Windows Server 2012 GUI so the plan was to setup a Virtual Machine with Windows Server 2008 R2 on it and passthrough the PCIe CCTV Card to the Virtual Machine.
Now because I have Windows Server 2012 GUI already running on the Server I installed vSphere Server on it then installed the Client to access it which all works great now once logged into the Server for the first time it asked for a Datacentre to be built which I done then it asked for a Host and this is where I'm stuck, it's asking for a ESXi Host which I don't have, the plan was to install vSphere Server and just use it to make a Virtual Machine without a Datacentre or Host and I was hoping I could use Windows Server 2012 GUI as the Host.
I proceeded to install ESXi from Boot on the Server on a different Hard Drive and from what I can see is ESXi is all the Server can display on its Monitor so no Guest can actually be seen once ESXi is installed? I don't know if that correct or not but here is the result I need, obviously I am going to need ESXi as the Host but I want to be able to use the SERVER ESXi is on for other operations, so once ESXi is installed can I install Windows Server GUI as a guest and use it on the ESXi's Servers screen also or is ESXi strictly remote access only.
I hope you can understand what I need to do and sorry if its a bit confusing, will continue reading the Forum and KB for more info, thanks for the help.
If I followed your message correctly, you are dual booting Windows 2012 and ESXi – basically. Although you have learned how to install ESXi, and vCenter, I don’t think these VMware products will accomplish what you want.
If you want to run a Windows 7 / Windows 2008 on top of Windows 2012, you will need VMware Workstation. This product will install on Windows and allow you to create virtual machines using Windows resources; CPU, memory, disk. Unfortunately, I am not sure whether or not it will passthru your CCTV card. But that can be tested and worked out after you get a VM created.
vSphere vCenter / ESXi are for SMB – Enterprise deployments, where ESXi is a bare-metal hypervisor installed directly on a server, then managed by vCenter server which is installed on Windows 2008 and up.
Hope this helps.
VCP, OCP, MCSE
MedCentral Health System
As chris suggested you will need VMware Workstation or VMware Player - as these are hosted virtualization platforms running on top of operating system - ESXi is a bare metal hypervisor and is installed directly on the hardware - I believe what you are calling vSphere Server is VMware vCenter Server - which is management tool to help you manges an environment of multiple ESXi hosts -
Thanks for the replies and your answers have helped, I just tried Workstation in Server 2012 and it works well but no PCI Passthrough, also tried Hyper-V in Server and none also, kind of stuck then, might go back to 2008 R2 for the time being, thanks again.
Should have read your original post closer - yes specialized cards for the most part do not pass through to the VM-