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What Is Virtualization
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Virtual Server 2005 is available in two versions: Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. These two versions have the same features, the only difference being the number of processors supported:

  • Virtual Server 2005 Standard Edition can be installed on servers with up to four processors.

  • Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition can be installed on servers with up to 32 physical processors.

In Virtual Server, the management and creation of virtual machines are all performed using the Virtual Server Administration website. As Figure 8 shows, I have three virtual machines running: Linux Mandrake 8.0, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP Professional SP2. A thumbnail showing the screen of the running virtual machine is displayed, along with detailed information such as running time and CPU usage.

Figure 8
Figure 8. The Virtual Server Administration website

To configure each virtual machine, you click the Configure menu (located under the Virtual Machines section on the left of the page) and select the name of the virtual machine you want to configure. You will be able to configure all the details about the virtual machine via this menu.

To view the virtual machine that is running, simply click on the thumbnail and the Virtual Machine Remote Control will display the screen of the running virtual machine.

The Virtual Machine Remote Control uses an ActiveX control that requires Internet Explorer 5.5 or later. If the Remote Control view doesn't appear above, verify that you have enabled the "Download signed ActiveX controls" option in Internet Explorer.

Virtual Machine Additions

Like Virtual PC, Virtual Server 2005 comes with Virtual Machine Additions to improve the performance of virtual machines. To install it, click on the Virtual Machine Additions link.

Virtual Machine Remote Control

The Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) client is one of the components shipped with Virtual Server 2005. It is a stand-alone application that allows you to access your virtual machines on a remote computer (this feature being the main difference between Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual PC).

Instead of using the HTTP protocol to communicate with the VMRC server, the VMRC client uses the VMRC protocol, developed by Microsoft for communication between VMRC clients and the VMRC server.

To invoke the VMRC client, go to Start -> Programs -> Microsoft Virtual Server -> Virtual Machine Remote Control client. You need to specify the path to the virtual machine, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9
Figure 9. Connecting to a remote server using the VMRC client

You need to open up port 5900 on the host server's firewall in order for remote VMRC clients to connect to your virtual machines. If you'd like more detailed configuration information, check out the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

Once connected, you should be able to see your virtual machine in the VMRC client window.

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