New to Virtualization

Draugauth

New Member
Sep 4, 2012
6
0
0
My server is as follows
Intel Xeon E3-1230V2
Asus P8BWS
2 120GB SSD (intended to run them in Raid 0 but ESXi isn't letting me)
EVGA 560 2GB
Intel Pro/1000 MT Dual Port
Highpoint Rocketraid 3560

I would like to use ESXi for the device pass through so that I can use the webgui in WHS2011 VM to monitor the raid controller.
I would also like to be able to pass through 1-2 USB devices and the EVGA 560 to Win7 Pro for gaming.

But ESXi doesn't see the raid controller with default install.

Am I going to have to use another Virtualization option? What about Linux and using virtualization in it?

I tried Hyper-V Server (not Windows server with the Hyper-V Role but the stand alone CLI Hyper-V server), but I could not get remote management to work nor could I find any decent documentation on it for creating and running VM's.

Any help is much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

cactus

Moderator
Jan 25, 2011
829
77
28
CA
I haven't looked into it for a while, but VGA pass-through was/is not working reliably in ESXi. Also, your Highpoint card is not supported by ESXi 5+.

I have seen a few Xen setups with working VGA pass-through and Windows 7. You may want to look into those.
 

Mike

Member
May 29, 2012
482
16
18
EU
It "is". There is also Xen source and KVM if you feel like going on a Linux adventure. It's not hard at all with stuff like virt-manager.
 

cactus

Moderator
Jan 25, 2011
829
77
28
CA
IIRC the working VGA setup were using a Xen kernel not Xenserver. Xenserver is the Citrix supported Xen.
 

RimBlock

Member
Sep 18, 2011
788
8
18
Singapore
I would tend to ask what you are hoping to gain by running a desktop OS on a Virtulization host with a Server VM also running.

The impression is that you want a fully functioning desktop games machine plus a server all running on one machine and if that is the case you are likely to hit issues with game speeds etc especially as you will need to be using remote desktop (or something like it) to connect to the desktop VM.

ESXi and most virtulization server software is usually designed for running server operating systems on. You can, of course, run desktops but most would do this for testing purposes (software builds, simulating server loads etc). You cannot use it for logging in to the desktop VM on the virtulization host and use it like a normal desktop whilst having the WHS VM 'running in the background'.

It may be more appropriate to use some workstation virtulization software like VMWare workstation or Virtual box which runs virtual machines on your desktop machine so you get the full functionality of your desktop plus you can run VMs in an application.

RB
 

cactus

Moderator
Jan 25, 2011
829
77
28
CA
I would tend to ask what you are hoping to gain by running a desktop OS on a Virtulization host with a Server VM also running.

The impression is that you want a fully functioning desktop games machine plus a server all running on one machine and if that is the case you are likely to hit issues with game speeds etc especially as you will need to be using remote desktop (or something like it) to connect to the desktop VM.

ESXi and most virtulization server software is usually designed for running server operating systems on. You can, of course, run desktops but most would do this for testing purposes (software builds, simulating server loads etc). You cannot use it for logging in to the desktop VM on the virtulization host and use it like a normal desktop whilst having the WHS VM 'running in the background'.

It may be more appropriate to use some workstation virtulization software like VMWare workstation or Virtual box which runs virtual machines on your desktop machine so you get the full functionality of your desktop plus you can run VMs in an application.

RB
I have tried to do what I think he wants before. Hypervisor with 2+ VMs. Desktop VM with a video card passed-through so you can hook a monitor right to it, pass-through keyboard/mouse and have a normal functioning desktop. 1+ VMs that run "headless" in the background. Most games do not need as much power as current high end desktops give you and "storage server" setups are idle 90% of the time in my experience.


Draugauth, these setups are not the intended usage of any hypervisor so most of the problems that come up will not have been dealt with before. What in WHS'11 did you want to use that you can not get in Win7?
 

Andreas

Member
Aug 21, 2012
127
1
18
I would also like to be able to pass through 1-2 USB devices and the EVGA 560 to Win7 Pro for gaming.
Dang ok. Is Xen free for home use like ESXi and Hyper-V?
Dragauth,
it doesn't help you for your project with a free hypervisor, but for VM based "gaming" (i.e. kind of Unreal Tournament 3) or HD video playback, one technology option is called RemoteFX in Windows Server. As long as you have a decent video card in your server, the hypervisor tunnels the graphic content over RDS, including sound. Wireless network to the client machine is not recommended, take GBit ethernet. :)

My "portable server", a Lenovo W520, has 192 NVidia cuda cores. Each of 4-5 VM's with desktop OS's can concurrently deliver HD video over the ethernet link (tested out of curiosity).

For your setup, I'd support RB's recommendation. - Desktop OS should be run in a desktop hypervisor.

Andy
 

Mike

Member
May 29, 2012
482
16
18
EU
I was readying my comment about RemoteFX too, although i've never (had the need to) tried it. For what you're looking for ESXi is probably the worst platform. It's stable as a rock as long as you stay "within the lines" but clearly not on par with support for passthrough of video compared to open source alternatives. People have been using Xen with succes for stuff like this and you could even settle with a Linux dom0 for gaming (with Wine or native games like Valve is anticipating).
I think that we will see more like this in the future, especially for virtualising heavy workloads that are relieved to gpu's. I will happily try it out for you in a few weeks with a KVM setup as this has got me wondering too.
 

cactus

Moderator
Jan 25, 2011
829
77
28
CA
I have tried RemoteFX about a year ago on Server '08R2. You are limited to IIRC ~150MB of VRam per VM. This could have changed with updates and I hope it has changed in Server '12.
 

Andreas

Member
Aug 21, 2012
127
1
18
I have tried RemoteFX about a year ago on Server '08R2. You are limited to IIRC ~150MB of VRam per VM. This could have changed with updates and I hope it has changed in Server '12.
Here are some changes to RDS/RemoteFX. I don't know the hard limit of VRAM (if there is any due to the SoftGPU alternative capability) , but in WS12 a vGPU support of 3 times 2560x1600 displays is possible (potentially more, I haven't checked more).
Andy