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Virtualisation

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April 16, 2012 10:57:33 AM

I'm about to upgrade my machine, and I'd like to virtualise my old machine, 'just in case' (password retrieval etc.) and as I have lots of storage its a why not thing but preferably for free. Any thoughts? I'm using vmware player and oracle virtual box. I intend to uninstall a lot of bits and pieces I don't need first.


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April 16, 2012 12:28:12 PM

I think you need VMWare Workstation to harvest a P2V (physical -> virtual) system. I don't see why you couldn't download/install the 30-day trial of Workstation to do the P2V this one time, and then use VirtualBox or VMW Player thereafter.
FWIW, I have VirtualBox and VMW Workstation 8 installed on the same host without any problems.
P2V is a pretty cool trick, but there are a few situations where it doesn't work.
Again, doesn't hurt to get the free trial... doesn't cost anything, and you can uninstall if unhappy.
April 16, 2012 12:48:27 PM

thanks for that, had a hunt around and found vmware vcenter converter standalone (no license), it can convert to wmware player 4.5, it didn't want to dynamically resize the disks. Givigng it a go now, 4 hrs remaining. will let you know how I get on.
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April 16, 2012 12:53:31 PM

I forgot that vCenter converter went to VMW Player (I don't use Player much). You should be fine... but do give the feedback, if you don't mind.
April 16, 2012 3:38:54 PM

Well it worked :)  quite shocked really, takes a little while to boot up, but thats because its on a server I'd expect.
April 16, 2012 5:14:45 PM

Slow could be from lack of resources - most common is RAM/Storage/NIC. Depending on how your host is configured. All of my VMs are on a dedicated drive that are not C: nor where VMWare/VirtualBox is installed.
RAM... as much as possible. :) 
NIC - if just the 1 system, 1Gb is enough, but 100Mb would suffer. But this only applies if the VMDK files are stored on the network, not locally. (don't think this applies to you?)
Glad it worked out for you though! Have fun!
April 16, 2012 5:56:43 PM

The machine is stored on a WHS box over GBe, it can deliver 60MB/s consistently. The VM has 3Gb allocated to it, and the host has 6GB. Its perfectly fast enough for what I want. Really impressed with it have other uses in mind now for old laptops before I reformat and sell them on, next machine will have 8GB, possibly going up to 16GB.
April 17, 2012 2:34:59 AM

Things that will speed up vm.
1. Using an actual partition on secondary hdd for the vm
2. Selecting SCSI instead of IDE for VM (lowers cpu usage within vm)
3. Run in Headless Mode
4. Using RAID 0 to store Images on.
April 17, 2012 7:55:35 AM

^+1
Depends on how much you're going to use the VM. Based on your OP and this thread, it sounds like a "now and then" kind of usage. If so, upgrade to 8-16GB of RAM, it's cheap enough these days, and be done with it.
But if you're going to start using them a lot, store them locally on a secondary drive (as I and mu33rto have said) that is dedicated to VMs. I actually have a dedicated SSD for 2 of my VMs that I use every day (but that's a bit extremist. :)  ), and the other less used on a 3TB spindle.
April 17, 2012 8:52:07 AM

Thanks for the input, really pleased its working, fast enough for me, I'm spoiled by having the physical on an SSD. Also i don't think my processor is running VT-D or anything like that, its a Q9550, and my next won't be it'll be a 3570K.

I've got a pair of 500GB RE4's that I'm going to raid up as I have a daily backup system in place.

I would mark up best answer but yet again I've started a discussion and not a flipping question!
!