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Can you use a virtual machine as your main desktop pc?

Discussion in 'Virtual Computing' started by paulwatson5, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. paulwatson5

    paulwatson5 Byte Poster

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    Hi guys.

    I'm having to cut down on resources and space at home and im wondering if instead of using my desktop pc can i use a virtual machine on my HP Microserver whioch runs Windows Server 2008 R2??

    I run Windows 7 on my main pc but i literally only use it for the odd bit browsing and emails etc. I mainly use my netbook as its portable etc.

    The licence key i use for Windows 7 is 64 bit so will this work with the HP Microserver?

    I have 8GB ram in the server, 4GB i want to keep for Server 2008R2 and the other 4GB for my desktop virtual machine.

    Might even stick a VM of IPCOP on there too to have a firewall setup on it too.

    Would this work???
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ (220-701 & 220-702)
    WIP: CompTIA Network +
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Why bother with a VM for browsing and emails ?

    You have a netbook and a microserver, either can be used for that. Just backup your data and move it.

    You need a 64 bit host to host a 64 bit OS, as long as the HP microserver has 64 bit processor should be ok.

    Its not necessary to have lots of VM's in a home environment, its done for ease of maintenance, uptime and dynamic provisioning in commercial environments.

    I'd just use the firewall on your SOHO router or use a software firewall for server 2008.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes you can but why do you want to? What is it you plan on running on it that you can't run on your netbook?
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  4. paulwatson5

    paulwatson5 Byte Poster

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    There is nothing specific that i want it to run that the netbook cant. The netbook runs Windows 7 and runs it well but when im doing self study etc i like to be at a desktop machine as i have a wide screen monitor meaning i can watch a professor messer video on the left hand side and have word open to make notes etc.

    It just means i can get rid of my desktop pc and just have my microserver running a VM (it runs 24/7 anyway).

    I have just installed a Windows XP Pro VM on there with 1GB ram to see how it runs rather than the Windows 7 licence which is already in use at the minute. Might even just keep it at XP TBH as i dont need anything more than that. It just means now when i want to get away and study i dont have my 2 year old son wanting me to put cartoons on my netbook when i am trying to study....
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ (220-701 & 220-702)
    WIP: CompTIA Network +
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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  6. paulwatson5

    paulwatson5 Byte Poster

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    To be honest i wanted to mess around with VMWare anyway as its something i want to learn about and like the idea of a virtual desktop and maybe a few virtual servers in the future. I would prefer the Server OS just to be the server and have VM's for other things.

    It seems to be running quite well, although i will run it for a few weeks first before getting rid of my desktop pc as i may find performance an issue going from a tri-core packard bell to a VM running on 1GB ram. But for what i need it for, maybe not.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ (220-701 & 220-702)
    WIP: CompTIA Network +
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Well then yes, if you just want to play with VMWare player or VirtualBox feel free, but its in no way required.

    A VM will typically be a bit slower, but for general use its not such a big deal on a well speced machine.

    Generally its only an issue if you have :-

    1. Low memory allocated to VM or not enough left for host OS.
    2. Crap disk subsystem.
    3. Rubbish virtual drivers preventing you from fully using your host system. eg you may not be able to use CUDA/OpenCL on a host graphics card in the VM.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Then quite honestly you're not going to get any benefit from virtualising your current desktop if you want to play with VMware, don't get me wrong VMware is great but what you won't be doing is using a keyboard and monitor connected to the Microserver to use your VM (not unless you're using VMware Player, which if I am honest is a waste of time and effort if you're already running 2008 R2 because you may as well just run HyperV on it instead).

    The use case in this scenario doesn't call for virtualisation as it won't reduce the screen\keyboard\machine requirement needed to connect to the VM (your requirement for virtualisation in the first place) I am using VMware ESXi Free in this scenario based on your comment above and excluding Player from the equation due to obvious reasons. As you mention wanting to let your son use the netbook whilst you're studying you can't use the netbook to connect to the VM (either via RDP or the vSphere client) I see little point in virtualising your current desktop as you gain nothing from it.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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