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Hyper V in a Virtual Test Environment?

Discussion in 'Virtual Computing' started by Luddym, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Hey guys,

    I've been hearing so much about Hyper V and Windows virtualisation, and started readin up on it a few weeks ago. But... I now want to have a play with it, but as I don't have a machine that is capable of taking Server 2008 with the BIOS able to take VT, I have no way of playing.

    I know that installing this sort of thing on VM (VM server, Workstation, ESX) would obviously not be the preferred method, and having already tried to install server 2008 Enteprise with hyper V on vm workstation (that is installed on an intel 2.4 quad core, 4gb ram and 1TB+ storage) it fails due to the BIOS within workstation not supporting VT.

    Does anyone know of a way of getting hyper v working in a virtual environment so that I can get to grips with it?

    Thanks in advance guys.
     
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  2. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    As I understand it Hyper-V takes advantage of a type 1 hypervisor enabling more 'direct' access to the hardware. As such it would not be possible to run in a Russian doll scenario of virtualisation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypervisor
    Hypervisors are currently classified in two types:

    * A Type 1 (or native or bare-metal) hypervisor is software that runs directly on a given hardware platform (as an operating system control program). A guest operating system thus runs at the second level above the hardware. The classic type 1 hypervisor was CP/CMS, developed at IBM in the 1960s, ancestor of IBM's current z/VM. More recent examples are open source Xen, Citrix XenServer, Oracle VM, VMware's ESX Server, L4 microkernels, Green Hills Software's INTEGRITY Padded Cell, VirtualLogix's VLX, TRANGO, IBM's POWER Hypervisor (PR/SM), Microsoft's Hyper-V, Parallels Server (currently in Beta) and Sun's Logical Domains Hypervisor (released in 2005). A variation of this is embedding the hypervisor in the firmware of the platform, as is done in the case of Hitachi's Virtage hypervisor. KVM, which turns a complete Linux kernel into a hypervisor, is also Type 1.

    * A Type 2 (or hosted) hypervisor is software that runs within an operating system environment. A "guest" operating system thus runs at the third level above the hardware. Examples include VMware Server (formerly known as GSX), VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, the open source QEMU, Microsoft's Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server products, Sun's (formerly InnoTek) VirtualBox, as well as SWsoft's Parallels Workstation and Parallels Desktop.
     
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  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    It seems like you'd have to cough out some £££'s and look at eBay for a second hand HP blade server:)
     
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  4. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    If I recall correct from the MCT summit in Berlin a few months ago, for Hyper-V you need a 64 bit system. Try virtual server on the 64 bit host.
     
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  5. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    Unless virtual server provides access to VT on the hardware (which i doubt) this is not going to work. Hyper V must have a hypervisor that can talk directly to the hardware, with Windows Server 2008 in the root partition. This diagram explains it better - Viridian_Architecture.svg
     
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  6. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    As already said Hyper-V interacts directly with the hardware, so unless you have a 64bit processor it won't work.

    It cannot be setup to work in a virtual environment since its whole purpose is to host a virtual environment.
     
  7. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Why not? ESX is a type one hypervisor and it runs fine inside of workstation (with tweaks)
    it doesn't matter if it sees virtual hardware or real hardware, it just has direct access to its own hardware
    unfortunately most virtual platforms don't present all the necessary components
    you can build a system for a few hundred that does the job fine though! (bare bones 100, chip <100, ram 100, disk often free
     
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  8. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    If the OP had a 64bit chip (with VT etc.) then they could run Hyper-V direct ie not requiring an extra layer of virtualisation.

    They do not and THERE IS NO WAY that that a 32bit virtualisation system could represent a 64 bit chip as part of the virtualisation process. I'm sorry but its not going to happen, your best bet is get a cheap 64bit server for testing.

    In theory the only way this would work would be if the 32bit CPU emulated a 64bit CPU instruction set, and you would incur a serious performance hit. VMware may be able to do it if your 32bit chip supported VT.

    http://justindevine.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/virtualizing-64-bit-guest-on-32-bit-hosts/
     
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  9. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    No one is disputing that, I am just curious why you thought a type 1 hypervisor could not be run inside a virtual machine
    I'm pretty sure the OP knows his hardware is an issue :) (VMware cant emulate 64 bit instructions either, I dont know anyone who can, vmware can run x64 guests if you have a x64 processor with VT even if your running an x32 host, but thats about it)
     
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  10. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Having run ESX in a virtual environment for testing, I know that it is possible for at least some type 1 hypervisors to be run in a virtual enviornment.

    I thought that the idea of a virtual environment was for the host to mimic what the guest needed, and thus allowing the OS to run as it would on physical hardware. I know with Hyper V there are obviously pitfalls such as requiring a BIOS supporting VT, but why can this not be emulated in the future?

    I understand the argument that emulating 64bit on a 32 bit chipset would bring a huge performance loss, even if it were possible, but I can't see anyone wanting to do it in a production environment, (never say never of course) but for testing it would be ideal.

    I do have a couple of nice HP Blades in use in an ESX production environment, and wonder if it is possible to run Hyper V as a VM on it.

    Oh, and my PC chip does pass the VM 64 compatability check...
     
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  11. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    Sorry I think the confusion was that as a type 1 hypervisor is designed to run bare-metal then apart from an interesting "academic" exercise there is no advantage to running one inside a type 2 hypervisor. I completely take the point that OP in this case wanted to do so to learn more about Hyper-V. That's fine but normally it would not be recommended to run a type 1 inside a type 2, due to adverse performance, indeed if you have a working type 2 then you should just run your guest OS in this and forget type 1 as most people look to maximise performance of the guest OS.

    Its one of these things in IT that may be possible but only for your own fun, like running a webserver on C64 :-)
     
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  12. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Indeed, but for testing we tend to do those rather academic things do we not? :)

    To clarify, I spoke to the UK virtualisation lead at MS earlier this week and the reason hyper-V does not work in a VM is because no virtualisation product passes VT extensions to the guests, so it wont install
    in fact the only reason ESX currently works is because its x32 and x64 and only x64 guests require VT, so I assume they won't work in a VM either, interesting

    Hope that clarifies :)

    you can however run 2008 with hyper-v on most modern laptops, might be worth considering?
     
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  13. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Excellent info! It answers my question full stop now.... until one does at least. :)

    I robbed a machine for a day or two and have been playing. I was impressed with Hyper-V, the ease of use, ease of install and seemingly familiarity.

    Then I installed Virtual Machine Manager Beta 2008 and discovered it can also manage a Virtual Infrastructure / ESX environment too. Obviously I wanted to test this, but my boss wouldn't let me test on our production Servers, it looks like I'm going to be building that virtual ESX after all.

    Think I'll just spend the pennies and get something nice to run Hyper V on in the long'ish term.
     
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  14. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    2008 bet was looking rather nice when i saw it again yesterday at the MS event

    why dont you come along to northampton on saturday and we can talk about it ;)


    *is currently installing 2008 Enterprise on his macook*
     
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  15. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    I for one am looking forward to talkng about that
     
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