Virtual servers can be hosted on any dedicated server which meets the requirements!
NOTE: Virtual servers can not be hosted on cloud servers.
- The server must have sufficient resources.
- The server must be running Hyper-V.
- The server must have Portable IP Addresses.
The first step in the process is to ensure your Dedicated Server meets the minimum system requirements for running Virtual Machines. They are as follows:
- Windows Server 2003 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter, both 32 & 64 bit. Virtualization is unsupported under Web Edition.
- 256 MB of RAM. Most of our Dedicated Servers come with at least 2 GB of RAM, so this should not be an issue.
- 2 GB of available hard disk space. This does not include the space needed for Virtual Hard Drive files, which can flucutate depending on the type of Virtual Hard Drive being used.
The virtual servers share processing time with the host machine and each other. You will want to consider how much processing time each virtual machine will require at peak load and ensure the host can support this. We recommend at least 1.4 GHz be available to each virtual server.
One of the major requirements of running Virtual Machines on a Dedicated Server are at least 8 Portable IP addresses. These are different than the normal secondary IP address which come with a Dedicated Server, and are used specifically for Virtual Machine use. With our Dedicated Servers, you would have the option of converting your existing Static Secondary IP addresses to Portable IP addresses, or adding an addtional 8 Portable IP addresses. We recommend adding an additional 8 Portable IP addresses, as once the Static IP addresses are changed to Portable, they can no longer be used in a Static capacity, for program such as the HELM Control Panel, SmarterMail and SmaterStats. When the IP addresses are converted from Static to Portable, three of the IP addresses are instantly lost, as they are used for the Network, Broadcast, and Gateway IP addresses for the Virtual network, which leaves 5 available IP address which can be assigned as the primary IP address for hosted Virtual Machines.
When it comes to RAM, you can set the Virtual Server to use as little as 128 MB, or as much as 3.6 GB, depending on your preference. We recommend using at least 512 MB of RAM on a Virtual Server, as using less has been known to cause resource shortages within the Operating System. Also, having at least 1 GB of RAM free on the Dedicated Server independent of any Virtual Machines running will help to increase overall performance. Naturally, the more RAM your server comes equipped with, the more Virtual Machines you will have the capacity to run.
With regards to hard drive space, Virtual Server allows you to create Virtual hard drives in two separate ways:
An expanding Virtual disk will take up only as much space as it needs on the host machine with a limit of how much overall space can be used. For instance, if an expanding Virtual disk has a 10 GB limit, but only contains 5 GB worth of data, it will have a size of 5 GB on the Virtual host machine.
A Fixed Virtual disk will instantly take up as much space as it is provisioned for, no matter how much data is on the Virtual Machine itself. For instance, a 10 GB Fixed Virtual disk will automatically take up 10 GB of space on the Virtual host machine, even if only 3 GB of data is present within the Virtual machine.
Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise, and DataCenter Editions support Hyper-V virtualization. Each Edition allows for a different number of VMs to be built without additional licensing cost. Standard Edition allows for 1, Enterprise 4, and DataCenter allows for unlimited copies.
One of the major requirements of running Virtual Machines is at least 8 Portable IP addresses. These are different than the normal static IP address which come with a Dedicated Server and must be ordered specifically. Another note to consider is 3 IP addresses in each portable block will be resolved for routing purposes and can not be used by the virtual machines. These IP addresses are used for the Network, Broadcast, and Gateway IP addresses for the Virtual network. If a block of 8 is ordered, this will leave 5 available IP address which can be assigned as the primary IP address for hosted Virtual Machines.
Once all the requirements have been met, download and install Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition. It is a free download from Microsoft, however registration on the microsoft.com is required. No reboots of the server are required for the installation.
If you have any questions about Virtualization or setting up your Dedicated Server to run Virtual Servers, please don’t ever hesitate to contact us directly, via the Unity Customer Portal, or by phone at 1-800-317-8552, as we are available to assist in any way possible, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year!