Using VMware to put 20 users on a Windows home server instead of the normal <10 limit
October 27, 2010 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Is there any problem with using VMware to run a 2nd copy of windows home server on a WHS with 2 separate licenses for 20 users?

Trying to set up a budget server for 20 users for image backup.

Ordered a i3 windows home server with 4gigs ram to be a server. Also have two 1.5 TB Harddrives, plan to use one for the Virtual Machine and the other for the backup in this system. In the past I've used WHS for up to 7 users, but know that there is a built in limitation of 10 users. Is there going to be a problem making this work?

Seems like it should work in theory. Has anyone done this tho?
posted by cheesyburgercheese to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Seems like it should work in theory. Has anyone done this tho?

It will work in theory. In practice it will be slow as hell, especially with that small amount of RAM. I really doubt you will be happy with the performance.

I'd recommend server 2008. Get a technet subsription if this isn't for business use. It will get you access to almost all of MS operating systems for 200 bucks.

To create disk images - I really like Acronis True Image. Vista and 7 have image backup built in (enterprise and ulitmate only, I think). Or you can use other tools like Vmware converter to make bootable virtual machine image backups of the machines. There at least a dozen ways to skin that cat.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:04 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

That sounds like a terrible idea- apart from the hassles of WHS in a VM, how are you expecting to manage shared files with 2 WHS servers?

Windows 2003 SBS or 2008 would be a much better solution.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:47 PM on October 27, 2010

Am I missing something? Why not just use a bare metal hypervisor like Xenserver or VMware ESXi (both free) and virtualize 2 copies of WHS? This way you can get much greater performance and some redundancy by buying some more disks (ideally 2 more) and making a RAID5 or RAID10. Also more memory would be a good investment.

No offense intended, but your idea as it stands is a little bit nonsensical. This type of deployment will be unstable AND preform poorly. So... both. Two things that are bad. Together. You can do it, but it doesn't really make sense.
posted by tracert at 6:57 PM on October 27, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the input so far.

I've downloaded VMware ESXi and I'll give it a try. The original idea was based on what I've tried so far. I should have mentioned this server is not a primary server (they have a windows 2003), but is just for making images of their local computers which is a combo of windows 7 and XP. Speed is not a major concern, as the backups will be happening overnight - but stability is a concern.

Regardless, I am a person who makes backups for my backups. And then I backup those. And then cover it in post-it-notes, for good measure.
posted by cheesyburgercheese at 1:19 PM on October 28, 2010

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