Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows Azure
Windows Server
Windows Phone
Windows 7

Windows 7 : Virtualization (part 1)

- Free product key for windows 10
- Free Product Key for Microsoft office 365
- Malwarebytes Premium 3.7.1 Serial Keys (LifeTime) 2019
3/4/2012 6:16:30 PM

Advantages of Virtualization and VHDs

Using virtualization and VHDs has a number of advantages over standard operating system installations:

  • Better resource utilization— One of the big issues in many companies, large and small, is buying too many computers to perform multiple tasks. Virtualization essentially eliminates this problem because you can buy a single computer and use it to handle multiple requests. Need a separate server for your financials? No problem. How about a separate server for your customer database? Not a problem. Virtualization allows you to create these servers on-the-fly, without having to buy and configure new hardware each time a new request comes up.

  • Speed of deployment— Creating a new virtual server is a simple task, taking only a few minutes. You can go from “I need a new machine to do this task” to “it’s done” in under 10 minutes, including the time to create the virtual server, configure it, load a fully configured template, configure that with specific information such as name and IP, and test it to make sure that it’s ready for use. Compare that with having to buy a new PC, configuring the new PC, and getting it up and running. In the time it would take you to unpack your new machine from its boxes, you can have your new virtual server up and running.

  • Lower operating costs— Frankly, virtual systems are cheaper to run. They require less power and don’t take as much effort to cool. Which means that in addition to not having to buy a new machine each time, you don’t have to pay as much to run it, either.

  • Upgrades and migration— Suppose that you have a particular virtual server that is consuming an expanding amount of resources—more RAM, more hard disk space, more everything—and you need to upgrade it. If it were a physical server, you’d have the problem of getting the new machine up, then moving everything cleanly, then shutting down the old server and making sure that the transition went smoothly. With a virtual machine, that problem essentially goes away. Yes, you’ll need the new hardware, but by transferring a copy of the virtual server across to the new machine, you can migrate the entire operating environment in just a matter of minutes. You can use the same technique for upgrades. Just shift your VM from one machine to another and then take the old machine offline while you perform your maintenance.

  • Deploying standard systems— One issue we’ve always considered a real nuisance is deploying a “standard” system image when we bring up a new computer. First you have to load the operating system. Then you have to catch up all the system patches. Next you have to run the entire checklist of “is this software loaded,” and configure it for your company, and make sure that is all up-to-date and patched. It can take hours. With VHDs, this becomes incredibly easy. After you’ve created a template system, all you have to do is copy the VHD for the template to some form of storage, such as a DVD, a thumb drive, or a network drive. The next time you need to load a system, you can bypass the bulk of your problem by loading the VHD directly to the disk and launching it.

  • Backups— Another aspect of virtualization that we’ve found to be tremendously useful is in backing up systems after they’re configured. Because the entire operating system image is a single file, it’s quite simple to store a version of that entire file elsewhere, for easy recovery. This is useful in a number of ways. First, it lets you keep a complete snapshot of a system—for example, your desktop. Second, it’s also useful when you have to set up and tear down systems on a regular basis—such as when you need a test environment or if you need environments for a training class.

Disadvantages of Virtualization and VHDs

There are, however, some disadvantages to virtualization:

  • Some apps require a dedicated PC— Some applications still require dedicated physical resources. Take, for example, a rendering machine for a small graphics shop. Rendering is a process where processing time is highly dependent on the amount of available RAM and CPU. So although you can create multiple virtual rendering servers, they’re still working from the same pool of available resources, meaning that there’s no net benefit—and in fact, virtualization would be a bad idea because each virtual server consumes some of those resources as well, leaving fewer resources for the actual work at hand.

  • Licensing fees— Watch out for licensing fees. IT professionals call this “license creep.” If you let the number of virtual servers get out of hand, you may find that you’re paying a lot more money than you should in licensing fees. So pay attention to how your software licenses are structured.

  • Better for server processes than desktops— Be aware that virtualization is really most useful when dealing with server processes; it can be less useful for dedicated desktops.

Virtualization and VHDs in Action

Following are a few real-world examples of people we know who use virtualization, to illustrate why it might be useful—and where it stops being such a great idea.

As you will see, virtualization is not for everyone, or for every situation. In many home situations, virtualization doesn’t provide much benefit, even while it adds to the complexity of your system. If, however, you are a power user who needs the equivalent of several systems to do all your work, you might find that virtualization has some significant benefits. Office users also might benefit from virtualization, both in terms of enhanced system security and for the ease with which the system environment can be deployed.

Example 1: Garage-Based Manufacturer

The first example is a manufacturer we know who builds small, specialized equipment for performance cars (we’re going to refer to them simply as widgets) out of a facility in his garage. He deals with an extensive client base around the world, taking orders by mail order, by fax, and over the Internet, and he keeps himself and his two employees busy. His order entry/accounting system, though, runs on a total of three computers: One houses his order-entry database; a second one houses his accounting and shipment-processing software; and the third is his working desktop, where he reads the incoming email orders, runs spreadsheet calculations, and so on.

Our friend the widget manufacturer wants to modernize a bit and get rid of the multiple switches, monitors, and keyboards that he has to keep track of every time he changes systems to perform another step in his order-delivery process. He is an excellent candidate for virtualization because he could virtualize both his accounting database and his order-entry database, putting each in a separate virtual computer living on his high-performance desktop system. Given the upgraded inventory database he’s looking at investing in, virtualization might be a good idea.

Example 2: Freelance Graphic Artist and Publisher

The second example is a freelance graphic artist, photographer, and small-press publisher. She works from her home, working around her two daughters. During her downtime, she lets the girls use the office computer for games and schoolwork.

Because she wears multiple hats, and they’re all “small business” hats, our friend the publisher needs more than one system. She needs a high-performance graphic arts/publishing system, an “office” desktop— and she’d like to have a separate system for the kids to do their work on that protects her work environment from being infected by viruses or running into problems from games.

For her purposes, virtualization is almost ideal. She can configure a common “basic” desktop and then set up separate virtual systems for her graphic arts work, for her office needs, and for the kids. This keeps any security risks to a minimum and provides an easy method of backing up her artwork and production environment—she can simply back up the appropriate virtual system. It also provides a nearly impenetrable way to isolate the effects of her kids’ web surfing from her office and work environments.

Example 3: Multiple Home Users Under the Same Roof

One older family friend has several people using his computer. Each uses it for different things. He uses the computer for web surfing, email, and doing taxes. Someone else uses it for light office work, and the guest account uses it for web access.

In this case, there really isn’t any point in using virtualization. Separate user accounts provide all the access control needed, and there isn’t a significant gain to be had from providing separate system environments.

Using Windows 7 Virtualization

Windows 7 includes a number of new virtualization features that have not previously been available in the desktop version of Windows—and in fact have only recently been available in the Server editions aimed at large corporate data centers. The two primary features in this are Virtual Hard Disks, used in creating virtual systems, and the new Windows XP virtualization feature, called Windows XP Mode.

Virtual Hard Disks

A VHD is a single file that contains the complete contents and structure that represents a hard disk drive. VHDs are frequently used to store multiple copies of operating systems, their associated programs, and even local copies of data in a single file that can be used by various virtualization programs. A VHD lets you move back and forth between operating systems, depending on the environment in which you want to run.

Virtual hard disks are different from logical hard disks, which you may have run into in the past. A logical hard disk is a single physical hard disk that has been divided into two or more “logical” drives, each of which is assigned its own drive letter. You might do this when you have a single big drive and want to keep the contents of the logical drives separate, such as when you’re sharing the contents to a group of users over a network or if you want to keep one logical drive (the C: drive) for the operating system and applications, and another (the D: drive, in this example) for your working files. Properly speaking, you always have a logical drive on your hard disk—usually, the physical drive is configured with just one logical drive (the C: drive) so you don’t see it split in two.

A virtual hard disk, in contrast, resides on the same logical drive as any other file. It is, however, a big file that contains an image of the contents of an entire hard disk, including the operating system. Because it is a single file, you can do a number of things easily with the virtual hard disk that would be much more difficult to do with, for instance, a logical hard disk.

Virtual hard disks are an easy way to deploy virtual versions of a system. After you have created a single instance of a VHD, you can copy that file, easily duplicating your virtual computer system. Because the information is still stored in a single file, you can also easily back up the entire system image by copying the entire file to a safe location.

The VHD Image file format is currently supported by a number of virtualization software packages, including the following:

  • Microsoft Windows Hyper-V (on Windows Server 2008)

  • Sun Microsystems VirtualBox

  • VMWare ESX Server

  • Citrix XenServer Hypervisor

  • Microsoft Windows 7

Other -----------------
- Microsoft Project 2010 : Putting a Price Tag on Your Project & Incorporating Resource Costs
- Customizing Project 2010 : Creating and Editing Views
- Microsoft Outlook 2010 : Processing Messages Automatically - Controlling Rules & Sharing Rules with Others
- Microsoft Outlook 2010 : Processing Messages Automatically - Creating and Using Rules
- Managing Printing : Migrating Print Servers
- Managing Printing : Deploying Printers Using Group Policy
- Microsoft Visio 2010 : Annotating Visio diagrams with issues
- Microsoft Visio 2010 : Extensions to our ribbon
- Managing Printing : Managing Client-Side Printer Experience Using Group Policy
- Managing Printing : Client-Side Management of Printers
Top 10
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows Azure
Windows Server