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The most commonly used OS as VM - Is it a good idea?

    Question

  • The most commonly used OS as VM. Is it a good idea for locally accessed workstation? What are the user experiences?

    Hello,
    please is there someone who has already dealt with a similar question / problem?

    For my work I always need at least two Windows OSs and one Linux. A few years ago a switched from using three computers to only one where I have virtualized systems. My primary OS was always most recent Windows and used VMware Workstation to run other systems.

    I am planning new installations because there is a Windows 8 / Server 2012 and I am thinking about installation of the OS that I am using most as a virtual machine. My idea is to install Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V as the launcher of the VM with OS that I will use in 99% of the time. I will probably install on the VM also Windows Server 2012 because I prefer Windows Servers and my company will buy a license for me.

    Advantages are clear:

    • The most frequently used OS can be easily moved from one hardware to another.
    • Restarts of the most frequently used OS will not kill other virtual machines.
    • Quick booting of the most frequently used OS  (I have hardware RAID card that delay booting sometimes to several minutes).

    Disadvantages / problems:

    • I am not sure if I will have same user experience on the VM that will be accessed using Remote Desktop. Of course I will use new RemoteFX and I will locally access the computer so the Remote Desktop connection will be slowed by slow network but will it be the same like OS installed without virtualization?
    • I know from my experience that server that is accessed using Remote Desktop from another client that is on the physical 1 Gb network do not have desktop with same speed like when the same server is accessed locally by using keyboard and monitor that is connected directly to them.
    • In my case the network between client (Server 2012 with Hyper-V) and VM will be virtualized but is the virtualized network adapter limited for example to defined 1 Gb or is the speed unlimited?
    • I do not play games but I play videos (movies) so I am asking will it be possible in the VM without degradation of the quality?
    • Also will it be possible to use all my three monitors for that one VM?

    Minor problems

    • I am not sure if I will be able to “do stuff” with hardware (for example burning optical disks) in the VM.

    So what do you think? Is it good idea to have virtualized OS that I use 99 % of the time? Or should I rather choose the classic approach and install this OS to the hardware and run virtualized systems from them?

    P.S. My hardware never was a problem for any installation. I do not have server kind of the computer but I have overclocked i7 and 16GB RAM and this is enough.

    Thank you very much.
    Have a nice day.

    Relef Revil


    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:52 PM

Answers

  • I have multiple machines and I only use a VM when I need to isolate an applicaton, have a need for a specific OS, or require somthing unique.

    (licensing cost is not a consideration, so I ignore that).

    I have a development workstation.  This is the muddiest by far.  I run VMs on it, only when required.  I RDP to it (or GoToMyPC) when I need something that it is built to do.  It is my rock.

    I have a laptop.  I run Server 2012 on that, with Hyper-V.  Constantly doing work, need Linux VMs, etc.  I have the flexibility to do anything. 

    And that is what I use most days.

    These machines must support all devices I require, and in the case of the hardware access, the OS installed to the bare metal must do what I need.  For example, if I needed Linux to do some very specific DVD burning process I would not use a VM, I would use Boot to VHD and have Linux as a selectable boot option.  Booting in and out of the required environment.  (folks seem to have forgotten about this already, but it is extremenly useful).

    This is the other way to set up.  You have the flexibility to boot the OS as a VM or on the bare metal.  A bit of BCDEdit magic and you are on your way.


    Brian Ehlert
    http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.
    Disclaimer: Attempting change is of your own free will.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:58 PM
  • Hi,

    > Please does anybody know if the VM on Hyper-V that is accessed using RDP (with RemoteFX) from the same machine (network is
    > virtual) have desktop with the same speed? Will it act as a non-virtual?

    What’s your definition of “speed”?

    A virtual machine runs on a virtual machine host and emulates a complete hardware system, from processor to network card. There is some performance lose in the emulation, test result shows that virtualized domain controller performance was 88 to 98 percent of the physical domain controller performance. This also applies to standalone servers or clients.

    So a Virtual Machine performance has 3%-13% discount than a physical server in same condition.

    For more information please refer to following MS articles:

    Running Domain Controllers in Hyper-V
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/virtual_active_directory_domain_controller_virtualization_hyperv(v=WS.10).aspx


    Lawrence

    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, November 19, 2012 9:00 AM

All replies

  • I have multiple machines and I only use a VM when I need to isolate an applicaton, have a need for a specific OS, or require somthing unique.

    (licensing cost is not a consideration, so I ignore that).

    I have a development workstation.  This is the muddiest by far.  I run VMs on it, only when required.  I RDP to it (or GoToMyPC) when I need something that it is built to do.  It is my rock.

    I have a laptop.  I run Server 2012 on that, with Hyper-V.  Constantly doing work, need Linux VMs, etc.  I have the flexibility to do anything. 

    And that is what I use most days.

    These machines must support all devices I require, and in the case of the hardware access, the OS installed to the bare metal must do what I need.  For example, if I needed Linux to do some very specific DVD burning process I would not use a VM, I would use Boot to VHD and have Linux as a selectable boot option.  Booting in and out of the required environment.  (folks seem to have forgotten about this already, but it is extremenly useful).

    This is the other way to set up.  You have the flexibility to boot the OS as a VM or on the bare metal.  A bit of BCDEdit magic and you are on your way.


    Brian Ehlert
    http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.
    Disclaimer: Attempting change is of your own free will.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:58 PM
  • Hi,
    thank you Brian for your info. Your solution is great and I know many people with similar environment. But for me the best suitable solution is to have only one piece of hardware and all things have in virtual environment.

    The most important for me is the “user experience”. I need to have very fast OS that I use most. But I think that it will be great to have them virtualized.

    Most important question:
    Please does anybody know if the VM on Hyper-V that is accessed using RDP (with RemoteFX) from the same machine (network is virtual) have desktop with the same speed? Will it act as a non-virtual?

    Thank you very much.
    Have a nice day.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:54 AM
  • Hi,

    > Please does anybody know if the VM on Hyper-V that is accessed using RDP (with RemoteFX) from the same machine (network is
    > virtual) have desktop with the same speed? Will it act as a non-virtual?

    What’s your definition of “speed”?

    A virtual machine runs on a virtual machine host and emulates a complete hardware system, from processor to network card. There is some performance lose in the emulation, test result shows that virtualized domain controller performance was 88 to 98 percent of the physical domain controller performance. This also applies to standalone servers or clients.

    So a Virtual Machine performance has 3%-13% discount than a physical server in same condition.

    For more information please refer to following MS articles:

    Running Domain Controllers in Hyper-V
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/virtual_active_directory_domain_controller_virtualization_hyperv(v=WS.10).aspx


    Lawrence

    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, November 19, 2012 9:00 AM
  • "A virtual machine runs on a virtual machine host and emulates a complete hardware system" - this is a definition of a type-2 hypervisor, like Virtual PC or Virtual Server.  A type-1 hypervisor, like Hyper-V or ESXi or Xen Server runs on the bare metal and does very little, if any, hardware emulation.  Yes, there is still a small overhead, depending on what you are doing, but newer device drivers eliminate even that overhead when they communicate directly to physical hardware - think DVMQ and SR-IOV.

    I'm curious where you are getting the 3%-13% 'virtualization tax' that you are quoting?  I could imagine the higher number coming in some things like a high-end SQL server that is now running virtually instead of on bare metal, but even there, how current are the numbers?  A 12% hit on a domain controller seems way high, unless it was not configured properly.  The outlying numbers seem rather high; maybe driven by special circumstances and not typical configurations.  That's why I'm interested in reading the articles you are quoting for those statistics.


    tim

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 2:47 PM