It’s not supported ..but..

On December 3, 2008, in Rants, by

I am concerned folks.  More and more I see folks talking about and designing solutions that put a customer down the unsupported path.  Take my post on installing Hyper V on the parent partition in SBS 2008.

It’s not supported.

Let me be clearer:

You WILL have issues.

Let me be even more clearer:

Wizards like the Fix My network Wizard will do strange things and come up with trying to fix issues incorrectly because it can’t handle a real and a virtual nic.

Consider this:

Since it is not supported, we don’t know what else all the wierdness that may occur.  We know that all the networking wizards are utterly and totally useless once that second nic is there.  The real underlying “what else might blow” isn’t fully understood since no one is planning to have this be in production.

Let me also state:

This scenerio will not be tested for the impact of patches, for the impact of security issues, for the impact of anything.

If you come into the newsgroup and say “I have a SBS 2008 server running HyperV on the parent and it’s doing ‘this'” the first 4 trillion posts you will get is all of us telling you it’s an unsupported scenerio and that you won’t get help from Microsoft CSS and chances are we will probably not be able to help you with any networking wierdness because we’re not running the box like that.  We’ll tell you to not set up your server like that and tell you to undo it.  We’ll say things like, “well I’m not sure this will work since your server is set up in a manner it’s not supposed to be”.  In otherwords, any wierdness that occurs you won’t get the best of help that not only Microsoft support can muster, but those of us in the community as well.  We don’t know all the weird things that will occur.

I understand that most of those considering setting this up like this are concerned that you will lose faxing and usb backup with SBS in a virtualized platform but here’s some things to consider with this choice you are making:

1.  [granted this is also unsupported but I’d rather do this than HyperV in the parent] Check out the Fabulatech USB over network and Serial over network solutions to be able to keep your Faxing and USB in a virtual environment —  It works.  Not supported, but it works.  And it works a heck of a lot better than making SBS 2008 be a HyperV parent which clearly has known issues.

2.  From my own personal experience, no scientific investigation, I think that virtualized servers work better than ones on real metal.  They boot faster since they aren’t waiting for all the RAID stuff to boot, and the video driver card doesn’t appear to be taking some of the memory.  I can build a 5 gig virtual box and compare it to my 6 gig real box on the SAME hardware and the virtual one just acts peppier.

There are better ways to do this in my opinion.

Making SBS 2008 be the HyperV parent and hold the hypervisor role is not one of them.  Even if it’s only for a box that is only your own and not that of your clients.


4 Responses to It’s not supported ..but..

  1. Amy B says:

    There’s a very big reason why a consultant should not install the hyper-v role on SBS 2008. It’s not supported. Ignoring that is setting up your client for failure and a technology failure could result in business failure. It’s not ethical to recommend an unsupported scenario. Anyone doing this had better be certain that their client is fully aware of the implications.

  2. Chris Knight says:

    SBS 2008 on bare metal and be done with it.

    If you must virtualise SBS and want SBSised backup + faxing wait for Hyper-V 2.0/3.0 (or whatever release they decide to virtualise USB, etc).

    And if you want SBS 2008 to act as the VMM host then use Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

    Be aware that virtualising on VMware (either as a parent partition, host or guest) means that PSS may ask you to replicate the problem on bare metal. Only products that are listed on the Server Virtualisation Validation Program are supported. See for more details. So far only ESX is validated, which most SMBs are unlikely to fork out money for.

  3. Joe_Raby says:

    “if you want SBS 2008 to act as the VMM host then use Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1”

    Is that even supported?

    Besides the actual hardware virtualization (it’s emulated in VServer, but hardware VT support accelerates it a bit), what is different in performance and isolation? VServer should be much slower than Hyper-V BECAUSE it’s emulated hardware….

    What is the deal with having to isolate a parent partition? Unless load-balancing between VM’s is a major concern, what is the reasoning behind it? There’s not a lot of explanation about it. I know the networking stack gets royally messed in SBS 2008, but what about other OS’s? Would it be possible to implement Hyper-V with Windows Vista as an alternate to Virtual PC, barring the built-in system requirement restrictions?

  4. Steve says:

    Fabulatech’s Serial over network product will not run in a 64 bit enviorment. At least v5.5 does not.