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I was going to put a type 1 hypervisor (specifically Hyper-V Server 2008 R2) on my computer, but these must be managed remotely, which I am unable to do. I need something that can bootstrap itself; i.e., install and manage VMs from within the host itself. Running VMware Workstation on a Windows 7 host seems like a waste of resources if I am never going to touch the host, except to install/manage VMs.

Is my best option to run Windows Server 2008 with only Hyper-V role installed? Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated, even if it doesn't directly answer my questions.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could go for a basic Linux install of some flavour, X (and a window manager of somesort ), VMware Server, and Firefox (to run the VMware console). A setup similar to this would fit under 2 GB, and would cost next to nothing, or a similar setup sans Firefox with VirtualBox.

VMware Server is pretty much meant for this. VirtualBox does well enough, and has better snapshot tools, I think. Using a workstation OS for this seems overkill when you can build around your needs.

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I've used VMware ESXi for my hypervisor. To access the server you need to use vSphere Client to connect to the server. It basically is the UI side of what would be VMware Workstation.

Connecting using the vSphere can probably be done just as you would any other remote desktop program.

When you say it had to bootstrap itself, I'm exactly sure what you mean. All the VMs and even the ISOs used are stored is a common store. I never had the need to auto-start a VM after the machines reboots, so I'm not sure.

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ESXi does tend to be VERY picky of hardware in my experience. In addition, since he did consider a similar approach, i figured it wasn't what he wanted. – Journeyman Geek Jan 11 '10 at 7:24

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