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Virtual Server configurations

Not sure how to set up you Microsoft Virtual Server virtual machines for the best use? Get Serdar Yegulalp's advice in this expert response.

I understand Microsoft Virtual Server is only supported under Windows Server, so the question is, do I build a 2003 box, install nothing on it besides Virtual Server 2005, then run my servers under it as VMs (virtual machines)? Or should I use the operating system as one of my application servers and run the VMs underneath it for the extra machines? If I can use the host server as an application server, is there a suggested way to run it?

Both approaches are valid depending on what you're trying to accomplish. It's entirely possible to set up a system running Virtual Server and also have it running something like SQL Server (albeit with a much smaller memory footprint than you might have if it was running in a system where little else was present), and then have the VMs talk to the SQL Server instance on the host.

It would also be possible to set up instances of SQL Server within each VM, but if you only needed one instance to be present, it would be best to have it installed somewhere else (i.e., it doesn't even need to be anywhere on that system at all -- it just needs to be somewhere on the network where the VMs can get to it).

On the whole, I'd recommend dedicating a whole physical server to running nothing but VMs whenever you can manage it, just so you can throw as much physical memory as possible at the problem.

This was last published in March 2007

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