fluffybunny
Contributor
Contributor

A quick pointer for a newbie

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I currently have an application which must run under NT4, and controls telephone calls to a small call centre.

Given NT4 is no longer supported on most PC mainboards / graphic cards I am planning to use VMware software to host a virtual NT4 machine to allow me to continue running the application under NT4.

Which package will be most suitable? If the VMWare Server (free version) will siffice that would be ideal, but failing that what is the most cost effective solution?

The NT4 machine has two apps running on it and it uses DDE to communicate between the two apps, and one of the apps uses DCOM to communicate with 50 or so client machines on the network.

Any views?

Thanks

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

depending upon the load of the NT4 Server Virtual Server will sufice, you could try it on Linux to see if it preforms to a satisfactory level, if not then $1000 on a ESX Standard license.

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410

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TomHowarth
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Leadership

depending upon the load of the NT4 Server Virtual Server will sufice, you could try it on Linux to see if it preforms to a satisfactory level, if not then $1000 on a ESX Standard license.

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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VirtualNoitall
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hello,

Are there any specialized PCI cards or other hardware involved? If there were it would likely be a show stopper as the guest virtual machines would not have access to it\them.

VMware Server should do the trick and you can even buy support for it if it is that critical to your company. As stated above ESX would be the next logical option but would cost about $1000 for Starter Edition, then yearly maintenance, and would have a bit of a learning curve.

Not sure if it matters to you but does the app vendor support you being in a VM? That often doesn't stop us but it may be important to you.

Hope that helps and good luck!

fluffybunny
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for this information. The NT4 application isnt too onerous so I'm hoping it wont be a problem. There are no special PCI cards or other bespoke hardware either. The NT4 virtual machine will simply need to be able to communicate across the network and use DCOM. It is configured as a standalone server so it isnt even a domain controlller or a backup controller.

Could I also just use a Win2k machine (not a server) and use the VMware client package ($180) and then run a NT4 VM on this?

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msmenne17
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Could I also just use a Win2k machine (not a server)

and use the VMware client package ($180) and then run

a NT4 VM on this?

You \*could*, but I wouldn't recommend it. Even VMware Server (free) is a better option than that in my mind.

I would recommend either running VMware Server on Linux or shelling out the bucks for ESX Starter.

It irritates me to no end to host VMs on a Windows box because of their security patching. The host (and all VMs) has to be rebooted for almost all security updates released. Linux has quite a few security patches as well, but at least most of them do not require rebooting.

I would personally prefer ESX, but that could also be a bias and might be overkill for 1 VM. If you have plans to go further with virtualization, then I would seriously consider using ESX. Much more flexible than VMware Server.

VirtualNoitall
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I agree, VMware Server is the better option. VMware Server can auto start and stop the virtual machine with the host and can run without needing a user logged in.

However, I would recommend the host OS be the one you are the most familiar with. OS patching for windows is a bit of a concern but can be managed. Not knowing how to support the host OS would be a bigger concern.

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TomHowarth
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Leadership

I agree with VirtualNoitall here, if you have no knowedge wtit linux you will be having to cope with two learning curves, that of learning linux and learning Virtual Server.

Virtual Server is probally the best option for you but if you are as has been mentioned, going to move further with virtualisation then investigate ESX.

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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vmNewb35
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Have you explored the cost for newer call center software? Something that will run on an OS that is at least somewhat current?

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

this may be in the offfing, but a solution needs to be in place to get them through the transition period

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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vmNewb35
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

totally agree...we still run nt4 as well and it makes life miserable. If you are going to have to shell out some money for ESX it would be a good time to look at leaving the old technology. But it is difficult...we have been migrating to AD and SLES for 3 years now. Hard to pull the plug on everything at once.

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fluffybunny
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you all very much for the information it has been very helpful.

Oh, you wont know how many times I've tried to move away from NT for this application. Our software uses an API to controll the PABX you see, and everything was originally written for NT.

As time went on the API went through a number of software upgrades, until it supported Windows 2k. Whoopee we thought. Trouble is if you upgrade the API to the Win2k version you also need to upgrade the software in the PABX. If you want to upgrade the sofware in the PABX to the latest level (the one that runs with the latest API) then you need to upgrade the processor card in the PABX. If you want to upgrade the processor card in tha PABX you need to upgrade........

Well, you get the picture. The bottom line is if we move away from NT we replace the whole system, and we then get opened up to competition from our rivals, so its as much a commercial / marketting decision as it is a technical one.

Still, this software might well help us in the short to medium term anyway.

Thanks again for your help.

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Jazzer
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Everyone here has given good advice. You could mention the fact that NT is not supported any longer unless you pay out much $$$$. That's a selling (or buying) point for us.

Just my two pennies.

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

People here have given advice, please award points as necessary.

it is not much to ask for free advice.

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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