I have been trying to figure out the best way to setup a new client with a Virtual Server, I have tried the free Vsphere Hyperviser and I like it but I need backup and disaster recovery ( i know it possible but looks hard), I also looked at the Vsphere paid version and I think it might be a little much for me, So my question is can I build a hardware server, load win7, install workstation 7 and create a vm 2011 sbs? Would this work good?
I am not to comfortable with linux and the esxi so I get confused with backing up and other things, I am really comfortable with win7 and vmware workstation, I know I could backup the vms easily to a nas or HD and if the hardware ever crashed, I could load workstation up on another pc and bring up the VM fast.
My ultimate goal is to get my client (My client has 8 users, and the only vm running in workstation would be the sbs 2011.) into a vm server so I can not have to lose sleep over backups and hardware crashes, If the client server crashes I want to be able to go onsite with a new pc, bring the vm over and boot it up.
Thanks for help or suggestions.
>>So my question is can I build a hardware server, load win7, install workstation 7 and create a vm 2011 sbs? Would this work good?
Well, it all depends (management 5th amendment ).
This will work, assuming your host computer OS is 64 bit and the hardware has VT support (required for 64 bit guest). I have run SBS 2011 on both ESXi and Linux with workstation 7. When finished, the production server will be on ESX along with 2 other Windows servers and a workstation running Voicemail. W7 should work but is not intended as a server, so you would probably want to remove some of the bloat (same is true of Linux workstation). One of the Windows Server editions would probably be a better choice but sort of questions the advantage of running one virtual machine on a server.
For performance considerations, you should have:
Reasonably fast multi core processor(s).
Plenty of RAM, see SBS2011 recommendations. I run test systems on ESXi with 10GB and Linux workstation with 12GB and it is OK.
Guest OS installed on a seperate hard drive (from the host OS), the faster the drive the better. I run striped RAID to boost performance (yes, backups are critical)
That said, unless you plan to run more virtual machines on that hardware, why would you want to go virtual for a production system? I would think that you would be better off just installing SBS on the hardware. SBS has a decent backup program and can schedule images and/or data backups to another System/NAS and restore from same, doesn't matter whether it is virtual or not. Backup to USB attached drive is not available on ESXi 4.x, not sure about Microsoft's hypervisor systems.
If you already have the hardware, there are trial versions of all that stuff, so you can test it out.
FWIIW, I have run SBS2011 guest installed on a USB 3.0 drive attached to Linux workstation and performance is pretty decent.
The reason I was thinking virtual even though it is only 1 server is due to disaster recovery and backup, I physically lose sleep over backups on my physical machines, I have yet to find an affordable block level backup that works. I tried acronis and had nothing but issues on restores, I am trying ShadowProtect now and so far I am liking it.. I was just amazed at how quick and fast you can get a vm backup on different hardware, that was the reason I was thinking virtual. I love how the hyperviser works but could not figure out how to backup, And if the server hardware crashed I could take the VM to a different machine and be up in minutes unlike a block level backup where I would have to reload all though I think I can bring up shadowprotect in virtual, just not sure
Thanks for the reply. Just trying to figure out best way to provide true fast disaster recovery for my small business clients
I went through a similar thought process when installing SBS2008.
I wanted to upgrade from SBS2005, but without buying a new server - my old install was not virtualized, and no option of in place upgrade (not supported).
Similar position to you though - lots of experience with VM Workstation, but no UNIX experience. I'm sorry to say that in the end I went for Windows Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2, installed like a dream and the UI is familiar so no problems configuring. Love the new dynamic memory feature too. I've no doubt it's an inferior product, but I'm running a single server, not some mega-corporation's data centre.
For the actual upgrade, I imported the old physical machine into VMWare Workstation, upgraded the bits of my old server that needed upgrading, then installed SBS2008 into a new VM. Worked a treat and at no point was I in a position of no return.
In reply to the previous comment about why install just a single server in a virtual environment: there are loads of reasons:
I'm sure there are more, but that's what works for me.