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Need some guidance on Virtualization


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I'll be getting my first real server which I want to do multiple things on. I use Windows on all my pc's, but I was thinking of using a hypervisor so i could take advantage of containers/docker etc.

  • Is there any advantage of running a type 1 hypervisor (like Proxmox or Hyper-V core) and then WSE 2012 R2 as a guest OS. DrivePool will run under WSE 2012 and manage all storage. I read a number of other threads on this and it seems drives can be passed thru with no performance hit and even Scanner can work, correct?
  • I was thinking of running the various services I'd need (like media server, download, web server) as Docker containers under Linux. They'd be stored on separate disk of course, and then access the media via \\shares from DrivePool. 
  • Is there any advantage to doing this vs - installing WSE 3012 as main OS then using its Hyper-V to host Linux VMs - is the performance same in both cases? 
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  • There is a slight performance hit when passing through disks. There always will be. But for the most case, this is negliable. 

    Also, Hyper-V does not pass on the SMART data to VMs. That means tools like StableBit Scanner won't pick it up on the VM. 

  • You absolutely can do that. However, I run everything on my Essentials system. It may not be the "best idea", but it works best, IMO. 
  • Yes and no.  

    While the HyperV role is included in the OS, it's for a very specific use case, and is not meant for "general use". 

 

To be honest, depending on what you're doing, and how "locked down" you want to be, it may be simplest to just run WSE on "bare metal" (no hypervisor), and run the other stuff on WSE directly.  You can create service accounts to lock down access, if needed.  

But this is the best bet, IMO (as it is simpler than virtualization). 

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  • There is a slight performance hit when passing through disks. There always will be. But for the most case, this is negliable. 

    Also, Hyper-V does not pass on the SMART data to VMs. That means tools like StableBit Scanner won't pick it up on the VM. 

  • You absolutely can do that. However, I run everything on my Essentials system. It may not be the "best idea", but it works best, IMO. 
  • Yes and no.  

    While the HyperV role is included in the OS, it's for a very specific use case, and is not meant for "general use". 

 

To be honest, depending on what you're doing, and how "locked down" you want to be, it may be simplest to just run WSE on "bare metal" (no hypervisor), and run the other stuff on WSE directly.  You can create service accounts to lock down access, if needed.  

But this is the best bet, IMO (as it is simpler than virtualization). 

 

 

I don't know why you are answering questions on a Sun, but thanks !!!

 

Hyper-V is very tricky - if I install Server 2012 on bare metal and enable the Hyper-V role, then it seems like it virtualizes itself !! 

 

http://serverfault.com/questions/326844/is-hyper-v-a-real-hypervisor

"Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor, no matter whether installed as a windows server component or as "Hyper-V server".

In the former case, it looks as if it's a type 2 product because you install windows first, but when you install the hyper-V role, it essentially virtualises the windows server installation that's already present."

 

Is this case covered? There's no real host OS in this case, just  the hypervisor. And you can't install a 2nd copy of Scanner on it anyway, like some threads here suggest.

It seems ESXi can do this - http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/131-how-to-get-smart-data-passed-on-from-esxi-51-host/, so maybe Proxmox can do it as well?

 

I want to run VM's for other purposes too, and would want to use the built in capabilities on Windows server if possible. It'd be a real shame to get server hardware and not make use of it. Not sure what this means - "While the HyperV role is included in the OS, it's for a very specific use case, and is not meant for "general use"."  Are you talking about HyperV in Essentials not being intended for general use? 

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I wish I had a spare machine to try this simple experiment out, maybe someone else can help?

 

get evaluation iso of Server 2012 Essentials R2, install on pc

check SMART using any tool like CrystalDiskInfo

what is output of 'wmic baseboard get manufacturer,product' ?

enable Hyper-V role

does SMART still work? what is output of 'wmic baseboard get manufacturer,product' ?

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I enabled Hyper-V on my WIndows 10 Pro pc. From everything that I've read, Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor and will always insert itself beneath a Windows host. And Win 10 actually has the latest improvements in Hyper-V from Server 2016. This link talks more about it - https://www.petri.com/windows-10-build-10565-adds-nested-hyper-v

 

So right now I have Hyper-V enabled running 2 different vm's and I have full SMART access. The wmi command still has the same output but that may be because of some special magic going on. So right now I'm fairly confident that this approach will allow me to use my initial idea, won't know for sure unless someone can try the above.

 

Sorry, this is a very specific use case no else probably cares about :)

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I don't know why you are answering questions on a Sun, but thanks !!!

 

Hyper-V is very tricky - if I install Server 2012 on bare metal and enable the Hyper-V role, then it seems like it virtualizes itself !! 

 

http://serverfault.com/questions/326844/is-hyper-v-a-real-hypervisor

"Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor, no matter whether installed as a windows server component or as "Hyper-V server".

In the former case, it looks as if it's a type 2 product because you install windows first, but when you install the hyper-V role, it essentially virtualises the windows server installation that's already present."

 

Is this case covered? There's no real host OS in this case, just  the hypervisor. And you can't install a 2nd copy of Scanner on it anyway, like some threads here suggest.

It seems ESXi can do this - http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/131-how-to-get-smart-data-passed-on-from-esxi-51-host/, so maybe Proxmox can do it as well?

 

I want to run VM's for other purposes too, and would want to use the built in capabilities on Windows server if possible. It'd be a real shame to get server hardware and not make use of it. Not sure what this means - "While the HyperV role is included in the OS, it's for a very specific use case, and is not meant for "general use"."  Are you talking about HyperV in Essentials not being intended for general use? 

 

You can install Scanner on the host OS (what's used to manage the VMs and has access to the hardware). StableBit Scanner will see the SMART data properly here, and can scan the drives.  

 

But if you want it in the VMs, you can do that as well (sans SMART data), but you'd need a second or more licenses (and each license after the first is only $15). 

 

 

 

As for the Essentials OS wit HyperV, yes.  At least that's what the general consensus is. The licensing isn't' exactly clear, and it's meant only for deploying in OEM hardware.  (and is designed to make hyper-V replication easy, so you can move the OS if you need). 

 

 

 

I wish I had a spare machine to try this simple experiment out, maybe someone else can help?

 

get evaluation iso of Server 2012 Essentials R2, install on pc

check SMART using any tool like CrystalDiskInfo

what is output of 'wmic baseboard get manufacturer,product' ?

enable Hyper-V role

does SMART still work? what is output of 'wmic baseboard get manufacturer,product' ?

 

SMART will work on the host OS.  There is no issue with that, as the host gets access to the hardware. 

 

CrystalDiskInfo works.  But you could use BitFlock or the DirectIoTest utility (both of which are ours). 

 

As for the WMIC command, I'm not sure where you're pulling that from. 

 

However, this lists the motherboard manufacturer and model.  This doesn't change when you enable HyperV though. 

 

 

I enabled Hyper-V on my WIndows 10 Pro pc. From everything that I've read, Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor and will always insert itself beneath a Windows host. And Win 10 actually has the latest improvements in Hyper-V from Server 2016. This link talks more about it - https://www.petri.com/windows-10-build-10565-adds-nested-hyper-v

 

So right now I have Hyper-V enabled running 2 different vm's and I have full SMART access. The wmi command still has the same output but that may be because of some special magic going on. So right now I'm fairly confident that this approach will allow me to use my initial idea, won't know for sure unless someone can try the above.

 

Sorry, this is a very specific use case no else probably cares about :)

 

 

And yes, HyperV is a type 1 hypervisor.  It's loaded in the kernel, and at boot time, which is why it requires a reboot to start using.  It does some special handling with the host OS, but aside from that, it looks "normal". 

 

As for the SMART data, again, there should be NO issues with this on the host.  It's in the VMs that you will have the issues.  The passthrough driver doesn't support SMART data, unless they changed something on the latest versions of HyperV to allow it.

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1. Install Hyper-V core, then WSE 2012 on it

2. Install WSE 2012, then enable Hyper-V

 

In both cases you end up with a type 1 hypervisor and any extra vm's run with no performance penalty.

 

With #1 - you lose native access to disk because Hyper-V is the host, WSE is a guest OS. And you have to manage Hyper-V from a 2nd pc

With #2, WSE is host with full native access to drivers.

 

In both cases the licensing is the same, so if you own a Server 2012 license I see no reason to go with #1 if you want to use DrivePool.

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More or less.  HyperV Server is a core installation of Windows Server. It lacks the UI and is mostly command line.  It's a bit more of a PITA to manage, ESPECIALLY if you're not familiar with command lines, or remote management. 

However, it has full driver support and full access to the drives. 

 

And depending on what version you're using, StableBit Scanner actually runs on it fine. (Server 2012+ primarily). 

 

 

Also, if you're running this at home, and not for a business, then running WSE as the host may be "okay".  

That said, if you do, I HIGHLY recommend having two NICs in the server. One for the host and one dedicated to the VMs (this is the recommend configuration anyways).  The reason is this: If you enable Remote access and the VPN option, and you have only a single NIC on the system and are sharing it with HyperV, it can cause the VMs to hang on shutdown, taking 30 minutes or more (hours, in some cases)  to finish shutting down. 

 

 

In both cases the licensing is the same, so if you own a Server 2012 license I see no reason to go with #1 if you want to use DrivePool.

 

If you mean Standard/Datacenter, it's a bit different. Both come with VM rights, and downgrade rights to Essentials.  

 

 

However, the HyperV role on Essentials is only meant to be used by OEMs for the specific configuration outlined.  I believe that you're not licensed to run any other VMs on it.  That's the difference here.  And if you're running a business off of the system, then you'd want to make ABSOLUTELY certain that you're doing everything properly.  And contacting a Microsoft Partner or reseller would be a good idea. 

 

 

 

 

That said, to be blunt here, if you want to run Essentials and HyperV, run two boxes.  Essentials is a domain controller, and controlling HyperV on a domain is ... trivial. Seriously. Enable a GPO for remote management, install the HyperV manager, and log in. That's it. No messing around with anything. 

 

 

That, or use ESX, and the RDM passthrough, which does get SMART data.

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So if I install Essentials, then enable Hyper-V role, I'm not allowed to run any guest Linux vm's on it? Or Windows vm's for which I have a license?

 

That's my understanding, yes. 

 

That said, it doesn't STOP you from doing so, you're just not supposed to (not licensed to do so). 

 

Again, I'm not 100% sure about this. That's what I've read, and gathered from posted sites (including TechNet articles). 

 

 

In fact, that was the configuration that I was using for a long while. Though I moved to a separate system, and am much happier (my server does a lot anyways, and was getting overloaded) 

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