Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Virtually Windows SBS 2008

Ever since Hyper-V débuted, and Virtual Machine has been supporting x64 architecture, people have been thinking about running SBS 2008 in a Virtual machine.  In fact, many of our beta testers have been running Virtual copies of SBS 2008 for some time now.  The question always was "is it supported". While official support is still pending based on any copies of SQL included in the machine, a tentative plan has been posted over at the SBS Official Blog.

Looks like there will be three scenarios:

1) Virtualizing the SBS Standard Server


2) Virtualizing both the Standard and Premium SBS servers


3) Keeping SBS Standard Physical and using Premium as a Virtualization Parent


Let me know which one you're most excited about!  To learn more, read the Official SBS Blog post on Virtualization.


Daniel Koster said...

I haven't tried it yet so maybe I shouldn't speak on the topic, but I'm not excited about Hyper-V. When I was at an MS Event, the fact that the hardware drivers are independent to each guest instead of the host was bragged about as a feature, and I can see how it adds a layer of security. But it also ties the guest to the hardware and causes the same blue screens when dealing with hardware changes (like a bare metal restore to a different machine).

That's why I antipate using VMWare products more often since they have the conversion tools to move guest machines to different hardware and even different virtual environments.

When I start deploying SBS08, I will likely use VMWare ESXi for the host with SBS and the 2nd Server as guests. The 2nd server will be used for RemoteApps and terminal services. I'll likely keep SQL on the SBS machine for the few cases that use it.

Sean Daniel said...

VMWare and Hyper-V definately have their pro's and con's. I know that you can take any physical machine today and "suck" it into a Virtual machine using Hyper-V, and you can move them around with ease. I've seen it in action!

Also, you might want to be aware of the latest VMWare Bug.

I'm a strong believer of knowing all the available technologies before making a decision. I suggest you try Hyper-V and then make your decision, since you are familiar with VMWare. May the best Virtual Platform win!

Wallyb132 said...

If i understand this correctly, the SBS 2008 std cant be used as the host server? if so, is that a physical limitation, a licensing restriction, or just an unsupported configuration?

I'm hoping its an unsupported setup, i can work that, i dont call product support, until i come across an issue i cant resolve using google, i dont plan to.

Sean Daniel said...

Unsupported setup... I believe it's due to the networking structure of Hyper-V that prevents this from being supported.

stryqx said...

I'd like it to be scenario 1, but the lack of USB support in Hyper-V means that it's going to be scenario 2 with the addition of something like FabulaTech's USB Over Network.

I'll do scenario 1 with ESXi or Hyper-V 2.0 (if it includes USB support).

Macker said...

Chris Knight (9/22/2008 5:58 AM) -

Try RESTORING from that FabulaTech USB Over Network backup. It ain't pretty.

If you use the built in scheduled backup in SBS 2008 to a USB drive using USB over Network, you're going to have a heck of a job mounting that same USB drive back into your VM when you go to restore. You'll boot off the DVD (ISO) then you'll "browse" for your backup image to....where?

I tried it. You can't get access to the drive over the network, even (especially) shared off another machine, because that machine doesn't "own" the backup.

And you can't install the Fabulatech software until you're into Windows, so basically you're bollocksed.