What kind of virtualization do I need?

Discussion in 'Virtual PC' started by Deniz, May 14, 2011.

  1. Deniz

    Deniz Guest


    I am managing a small network with couple of odd computers that I want
    to clone. They are "odd" because they use certain USB hardware and
    specific software that are hard to move/setup on a new hardware. So
    once those computers are dead I am pretty much dead as well.

    One idea is to get an image of the machine everyday so that once the
    computer hardware is dead I can start running the image on a VM. I am
    new to VM technologies, I did little research online about VMware and
    Hyper-V but I cannot be sure what exactly I need. I would like to list
    my requirements here, and I really appreciate if one of the VM pros
    here can spare couple minutes to answer.

    The machine I want to clone is a Windows XP computer, member of a
    Windows Domain. It has some USB devices attached such as barcode
    scanner, electronic scale, and label printer. It runs bunch of
    background services including SQL server. It is used everyday, and at
    nights it is idle.

    Is there any solution out there that will;
    - get a complete image of the target machine (preferably can be
    scheduled to do that every night),
    - run the image on another hardware with exact same configuration,
    recognizing all the USB devices that are attached to it,

    My findings so far point me to VMware as others don't support external
    hardware attachment (which is crucial for this particular
    application), but I might be misinformed.

    Thank you very much in advance,

    Deniz, May 14, 2011
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  2. Deniz

    MikeD Guest

    Well, THIS newsgroup is specifically for MS Virtual PC, so answers you get
    might be a little biased in more ways than one. Microsoft Virtual PC would
    be out of the question because it doesn't have full support for USB devices
    attached to the host. OTOH, Windows Virtual PC (the "new" version for
    Windows 7) from my understanding does have at least better USB support.

    To my knowledge, they're all free (caveat in that Hyper-V, I believe, is
    Windows Server 2008 only). So, my suggestion is that you just try them and
    determine for yourself which suits your needs best.

    Since you mention at least one of these computers is running SQL Server,
    perhaps you also need to look at MS Virtual Server 2005 R2.

    Of course, perhaps virtualization isn't even the answer to your problem.
    Perhaps you just need to update your software/hardware so you don't have to
    worry if these "odd" computers die on you.
    MikeD, May 17, 2011
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