Contributor
Contributor

Newbie question about VM

Ok so it looks like vmware is going to become a huge part of my life/job and I need to get a better acquainted, I need to create an vm environment.  Have some questions on the best way to move forward.

What I have now is a slow as xp machine that has potential  (quad core with 8gigs) that needs to be formatted and rebuilt but I would need to save the OS because there are some programs that I still need to use every once in a awhile.

Question 1.  Can I use  vmware convertor to save my machine as vm and then import into server/vsphere?

Question 2. Once I format the machine should I load Vsphere and then import my vm and create any new ones I would like, or do I install windows 7 and then run Vmware Server?

Question 3. If I use Vsphere can I still use this same machine to view and work with vm's and dual monitors or do I need a seperate pc?

I think that vsphere is more of a server and I would need seperate machines/thin clients to view my vm's but I am not sure.  I really need use of my dual monitors so I am thinking I need to just format, install windows 7, install vmware server, but I wanted to ask the forum first.

As you can see I am very confused as to which way to go, Bottom line I am at a point where I cant afford to buy a new machine but I am willing to reformat mine so I can create a vm environment so I can learn vmware. Sorry for any confusion but vmware is so new to me that I don't always know the correct questions to ask.

Thanks for any and all help you can give me.!!!

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15 Replies
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Question 1.  Can I use  vmware convertor to save my machine as vm and then import into server/vsphere?
Absolutly!  You can make a P2V conversion of Windows XP without any problem with VMware Converter.
Question 2. Once I format the machine should I load Vsphere and then import my vm and create any new ones I would like, or do I install windows 7 and then run Vmware Server?
It's recommendable to install vSphere ESXi in order to get the best performance and take advantage of the features of this hypervisor.
Question 3. If I use Vsphere can I still use this same machine to view and work with vm's and dual monitors or do I need a seperate pc?
You gonna need a PC to manage your ESXi host.  Any PC or notebook with Windows XP or higher is compatible with vSphere Client.
Regards / Saludos - Patricio Cerda - vExpert 2011 / 2012 / 2013
Contributor
Contributor

Ok great!  Thanks for the reply, I do have a laptop that I can install the client on and manage. 

So will I be able to use that machine as one of the vm's?  or will it be strickly running the vms and I will need to get a different machine to access the vms?   Thats were I get confused as was leaning towards the vmware server route so I can still use this machine as workstation with dual monitors.

Thanks for your quick reply!

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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

You gonna need a PC to manage your ESXi host.  Any PC or notebook with Windows XP or higher is compatible with vSphere Client.
VMware Server is installed on Windows or Linux, so you can use the same server to manage the VMs.  But ESXi is installed directly on the hardware, and you have just a very limited console to configure the host.
You can use your laptop with vSphere Client to manage ESXi and access to the VMs through Console.
Regards / Saludos - Patricio Cerda - vExpert 2011 / 2012 / 2013
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Leadership
Leadership

With the hardware you have (I assume it's a client hardware) I would not even touch the OS. ESXi is built for server class hardware and may not run on a client without modifications. Since you said you want to learn, I would just get a copy of VMware Workstation and install it on your XP Client. With VMware Workstation you can even virtualize multiple ESXi hosts and setup a complete test environment on your PC. The only requirement is that the Client needs to have a 64-bit CPU and Intel-VT is enabled in the BIOS.

André

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Contributor
Contributor

ok, so I would have to have a seperate pc to use the vm if I went the esxi route.  Is there much difference in Server vs Esxi?  I am doing this so I can work with vmware and learn about snapshots,backups,resources, etc....

If I got a cheap desktop would I be able to access the vm I created with convertor  in esxi and use dual monitor?  What do you use to access the vm?  I know you can use rdp but was wondering if there is a faster better program..

Thanks so much for you help!

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You can use anything that you would use normally to access a remote machine. RDP, VNC, PCAnywhere, Dameware. You can use the vSphere clinet but that is single monitor.

ESXi is more efficient than Server. Server has to run on an OS, so you cut out all that OS overhead memory and processor time if you go the ESXi route. If you are using a single machine that will run stuff that doesn't always need to be up and is only to play around and test stuff, then I would get server or vmware workstation. If you are running an email server, domain controller, or something that you want always up, or just want to learn the product, then I would use ESXi.

Set-Annotation -CustomAttribute "The Impossible" -Value "Done and that makes us mighty"
Contributor
Contributor

oh wow!  So with workstation I can create a vsphere vm and load vms on that and have a entire virtual virtual enviroment?  Thats crazy but sounds like it could be what I need.   I get really confused with all the different versions, so workstation is better than server i guess,  that confuses me.

Thanks !  I will look at this option.

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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

There is a big difference between VMware Server and ESXi, they are solutions targeted to different needs.  In fact, if i'm not wrong, VMware Server is a deprecated product.
VMware Server needs an OS like Windows or Linux to run, which reduce the available resources to run additional VMs.
I usually use RDP to access to my Windows VMs.  For Servers, this is the faster way to access it.  It's much faster than VM console of vSphere Client.
Regards / Saludos - Patricio Cerda - vExpert 2011 / 2012 / 2013
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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

VMware workstation is really similar to VMware Server because it needs an OS to run (Windows or Linux).  This is a really good product (in fact I use it in my laptop), but ESXi is much more efficient to manage the available resources.
Regards / Saludos - Patricio Cerda - vExpert 2011 / 2012 / 2013
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Immortal
Immortal

Have a look at some of the get started webcasts especially the first one to get a better idea of how ESXi is used. http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-14673

If you want to learn then as Andre suggests just install VMware Workstation and install ESXi as a guest virtual machine inside that. It is supported and works extremely well. You will have hardware issues trying to install ESXi on a desktop computer.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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Leadership
Leadership

There's a lot you can do with the virtualized vSphere Environment, however there are limits too. You can e.g. not run nested 64-bit operating systems. However, you can run multiple instances of ESXi, create a HA/DRS cluster, ... And the best of all, all of this can be done on one PC.

There's actually nothing you can loose with trying. So go ahead and download the 30-day trial of VMware Workstation and a 60-day trial of vSphere 4.1. Once this setup does not meet your needs you can always grow and add additional hardware later.

There are a couple of walk through's and videos on the Internet about running ESXi on VMware Workstation. Google is your friend Smiley Wink

Btw. regarding your question about VMware Server. This product has already reached End of general support.

André

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VMware Workstation running an openfiler vm and 2 ESXi VMs that are in turn running a vCenter vm, and a test XP box will make a 5400 rpm laptop hard drive very unhappy. I know from experience. Still worth doing as a.p. points out.

Set-Annotation -CustomAttribute "The Impossible" -Value "Done and that makes us mighty"
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Expert
Expert

Greg wrote:

VMware Workstation running an openfiler vm and 2 ESXi VMs that are in turn running a vCenter vm, and a test XP box will make a 5400 rpm laptop hard drive very unhappy. I know from experience. Still worth doing as a.p. points out.

Might have to run vCenter in the workstation as well and not in ESXi if you want vCenter 4.1. 4.1 vCenter is 64 bit and you will have issues trying to run a 64 bit VM that is on a ESXi host which is also a VM.

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Contributor
Contributor

Wow!  thanks for all the help, I am beginning to connect the dots.  Installing workstation on my rebuilt windows 7 machine now.  Once again thanks for all the help and explanations.

T

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Contributor
Contributor

I teach the VMware VCP course and we do all of the labs in VMware Workstation...it's great for learning and while is a good business tool it is great for education!

Brian Kirsch Instructor, MATC VMUG Global Board of Directors M.Ed, VCP3, VCP4-DV, VCP5-DCV, EMCISA MCP, BADDC, CCA, VAI, VCC & vExpert 2013
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