As part of our business – an IT consulting firm called “The Full Circle” www.thefullcirle.com – and as a Microsoft Gold Partner that likes to ahead of the game by being an early adopter, we are always playing with new software and that means building and rebuilding boxes. Clearly virtualisation can make huge savings, especially in time but not always is virtualisation suitable (such as testing the latest 64-bit drivers and support packs).
However recently I came across an HP Proliant ML110 G5 server (dual core Xeon 2.33GHz, 1GB RAM expandable to 8GB, 250GB SATA, Gigabit Ethernet) for only £220 + VAT which is about £100 cheaper than HP’s value DX2300 desktop range and better spec’d (well bar the 8MB Matrox GPU! ;-).
I sent a mail to my colleages titled “An HP server for less than a desktop? Virtualise when you can have a physical?”
HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Xeon 3065 2.33/1333 Dual-Core, 1x1GB, Non Hot Plug SATA
250 GB, DVD±RW (+R double layer), Gigabit Ethernet – £220 inc VAT
I’m in the process of building a new ML110 G5 with Windows 2008 Server Enterprise Core (x64) which is now RTM with a view to this being a Hyper-V platform for a number of other guest VM’s including my main desktop which may or may not prove a little optimistic re: things like driver support, etc. we will see…
Note – you need to enable the CPU VM support before installing, it is disabled by default.
will aim to get a physical Vista platform built to test suitability for normal desktop use and may even try restoring an existing XP image just for the hell of it but won’t be spending too much time troubleshooting if it doesn’t play nicely for obvious reasons.
In the meantime some interesting & essential reading below if you are thinking of Windows Server 2008 virtualisation…
I’d say the RC1 ref’s re: Hyper-V support are now out of date as I’ve successfully installed it on the RTM platform I built this morning, although already running into issues with ‘core’ that may have me reinstalling with a nice GUI such as:
Enabling Hyper-V in a Server Core deployment
The following steps will replace steps 4-7 above for a Server Core installation.
1.Type “Start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V” to enable Hyper-V role.
2. Restart when prompted.
Note: To Manage Hyper-V, you can remotely connect to the server from an existing Hyper-V Manager MMC on a different system.
I think without training (I’ve re-included the recent WS2008 links) it may be too much to learn/dig around with not enough time (other priorities!) trying to pursue the core build, I can feel a shutdown /c “rebuild with GUI” /f /r coming on… 😉
…since writing that mail in mid-February I’ve been on the UK Hyper-V RDP training with Microsoft and have learnt lots about server-core and just how difficult it currently is to remote manage… will be posting some findings and tips n tricks soon… (althojgh next job building a T61p laptop to be a Hyper-V host for some Centro / Essential Business Server work we are doing… 🙂