I have spent countless hours over the last week trying to get an image of a small business server 2003 installing working in a virtula environment. I have tried VirtualBox on my laptop. Too crashy. Then I tried vmware workstation on the laptop. Close, but too slow (cpu and disk).
I needed more horsepower and disk throughput, so my PC turned into a dedicated server. First I thought I’d give Vmware ESXi a go, since I’ve seen it do miracles at work.
Wrong. It pretty much only supports 3 network cards, and if it can’t find a network card the installer crashes was a totally nonsensical error.
On to hyper-v server 2008 r2. Considering the bloat, this must support the network card… Well, not out of the box, but I got it working.
Finally, I am on the path to success. I have networking, and get the VMs working, all is going great, until I try to setup internet access for the VM… it doesn’t work. After some research, it sounds like Hyper-V prefers the VMs to use a separate NIC. So I go digging, and find a compatible card. Hyper-V Server finds it and installs it.
I go to bind this NIC with an external network and… lose connectivity. On both NICs. A reboot later, and the new NIC is missing.
Now if I could open network settings, I coudl easily fix this. If I could get into device manager, I could fix it too.
But wait, Hyper-V server 2008 doesn’t have device manager, and you cannot access netowrk settings apart from ipconfig. Crap.
One other person (that I can find) has had this problem, and the MS support people copied and pasted some useless info that would work… if I wasn’t running server core.
Server core is a great idea, but the implementation sucks. Only a very few things can be properly remotely managed, and remote management is a nightmare if you are not in a domain. The command line facilities are overly complex (lookup “winrm”… what a godawful mess), and have no standards. You think linux is bad? Linux is a breeze compared to this.
My only solution is going to be to install server 2008 standard, and deal with the overhead. I’m not happy about it but I have no choice. (I’d REALLY rather use ESXi, but I’m not buying some archaic network card because vmware is too lazy to bundle more than 4 NIC drivers)
I should have been spending this time working on testing the migration from SBS 2003 to EBS 2008. Instead, I have been wrestling with virtualization solutions.