Author Topic: Using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005  (Read 3510 times)

netfreak

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Using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005
« on: December 09, 2012, 01:02:00 am »
Using MS Virtual Server 2005
June 13th, 2007
http://netfreak.ca

This article will describe the power of Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 product and how to take advantage of some of its features. Virtual Server 2005 is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions, but at this time only supports 32 bit support within environments. As it does not use a central shared kernel or binaries, Virtual Server will work with almost any OS as opposed to SWsoft’s Virtuozzo (for Linux) which only allows a selection from the pre-made package templates. To begin, you should have the following:

* x86 compatible server platform (Xeon recommended)
* High amount of RAM (512mb for core OS, plus all environments combined)
* Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 or Enterprise for 4gb+ nodes
* IPs (one for the node, and enough for the environments)
* Virtual Server 2005 (link: microsoft.com/virtualserver)


To begin, install Windows Server 2003 onto your hardware. You will also need to install the IIS software. Assign one of the IPs to this server. Enable the Windows firewall and set to allow the core services you need to run on the node (typically RDP). Run the Virtual Server setup. You should be able to just use the default options during the install as it will add the necessary rules to Windows firewall for the environments. Once the installation is done, you can access the administration web interface by visiting the URL bookmark in the Virtual Server program files group (uses Windows authentication, login with Administrator password).

Now that you’re in the configuration area, you should do a couple tweaks to help organization. If you click “Server Properties” you will see a few different options for setup. First, enable the VMRC server. Next, click “Search Paths” and select the locations you want to store the config and VHD disk images. You’re now ready to create the first virtual environment.

To create an environment, click “Create” under the “Virtual Machines” section of the navigation sidebar. You’ll need to specify the name for the environment and the hard limit for RAM. Keep the option to create a new virtual disk (unless you have a pre-configured VHD. Use the “dynamically expanding” option when prompted to), and then select your network card from the Virtual network adapter list. For a standard setup, you will see two network interfaces: one for your actual hardware NIC, and one called “Internal network” for communicating internally between environments. Now click Create, and you will see your new environment listed on the Master Status page.

Installing an OS is fairly easy. Simply drop the ISO of the install CD in the “Virtual Machine Additions” directory in “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server” and you can mount it to the environment in the configuration area. With the CD mounted, move your mouse over the environment name on the Master Status page and select “Turn On.” You can access the environment’s console by clicking on the thumbnail image of the environment monitor. The installation procedure within the environment would be the same as on actual hardware. If you’re installing Windows, you’ll want to also install the VM additions to allow for proper mouse tracking when using the VMRC access. This is done by going into the configuration page for the environment and clicking “Virtual Machine Additions” after your Windows install is complete (with the environment running).

What else can you do with Virtual Server? Microsoft has some detailed information for creating a redundant cluster of environments here. You can also test out a few different products using pre-configured VHD files provided by Microsoft on a trial basis (microsoft.com/virtualserver).

Lastly, there are some third party applications which can help your Virtual Server experience be pleasant. One important one is “VHD Resizer” by the guys at VM Toolkit. This will allow you to decrease or increase the size of your VHD images to a maximum of 4000gb. Note: to decrease the size of a VHD you must first use partitioning software within the environment to shrink the drive. If you’re running Windows Server 2003 in the environment, I recommend Acronis Partitioner 2003. For increasing the VHD, you must also enter the environment and run the partitioning software but after you use VHD Resizer on the image.