One of the key tasks noted in the previous section is to begin the installation of a new guest operating system session. The guest operating system installation is wizard driven and provides the administrator with the ability to configure settings for the guest session, and to begin the installation of the guest operating system software itself. A guest session could be a server-based session running something like Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008, a client-based session running something like Windows XP or Windows Vista, or a guest session running a non-Windows operating system.
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Gathering the Components Needed for a Guest Session
When creating a guest operating system, the administrator needs to make sure they have all of the components needed to begin the installation. The components needed are as follows:
- Operating system media -- A copy of the operating system is required for the installation of the guest image. The media could be either a DVD or an ISO image of the media disc itself.
- License key -- During the installation of the operating system software, if you are normally prompted to enter in the license key for the operating system, you should have a copy of the license key available.
Other things you should do before starting to install a guest operating system on the virtual server system:
Beginning the Installation of the Guest Session
After you are ready to begin the installation of the guest operating system, launch the guest operating system installation wizard. This is done by doing the following:
- From the Actions pane, choose New, Virtual Machine.
- Click Next to continue past the initial Welcome screen.
- Give your virtual machine a name that will be descriptive of the virtual guest session you are creating, such as AD Global Catalog Server, or Exchange 2007 Client Access Server 1, or ISA Proxy Server.
- If you had set the default virtual machine folder location where guest images are stored, the new image for this virtual machine will be placed in that default folder. However, if you need to select a different location where the image files should be stored, click Create a New Folder for the Virtual Machine Files, and select Browse to choose an existing disk directory or to create a new directory where the image file for this guest session should be stored. Click Next to continue.
- Enter in the amount of RAM you want allocated to this guest image (in megabytes), and then click Next.
- Choose the network segment to which you want this guest image to be initially connected. This would be an internal or external segment created in the section "Virtual Network Manager" earlier in this chapter. Click Next.
- The next option allows you to create a new virtual hard disk or use an existing virtual hard disk for the guest image file. Creating a new virtual hard disk creates a VHD disk image in the directory you choose. By default, a dynamic virtual disk image size setting is set to 127GB. The actual file itself will only be the size needed to run the image (potentially 4GB or 8GB to start) and will dynamically grow up to the sized noted in this setting. Alternately, you can choose an existing hard disk image you might have already created (including an older image you might have created in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005), or you can choose to select a hard disk image later. The options for this configuration are shown in Figure 37.5. Click Next to continue.
- The next option, shown in Figure 37.6, allows for the installation of an operating system on the disk image you created in the previous step. You can choose to install an operating system at a later time, install an operating system from a bootable CD/DVD or ISO image file, install an operating system from a floppy disk image, or install an operating system from a network-based installation server (such as Remote Installation Service [RIS]). Typically, operating system source discs are on either a physical disc or ISO image file, and choosing a CD or DVD or an associated ISO image file will allow for the operating system to be installed on the guest image. Select your option, and then click Next to continue.
- Review the summary of the options you have selected and either click on Previous to go back and make changes, or click on Finish if the settings you've chosen are fine. There is a Start the Virtual Machine Once This Wizard Is Finished check box that you can choose that will launch the guest session and begin the guest session installation process. If you need to make changes to the settings, you would not want to select this option yet -- just click Finish so that you can make configuration setting changes and start the installation process after that.
Figure 37.5 Virtual Hard Disk creation or selection option.
Figure 37.6 Choosing the installation mechanism for the guest session.
Completing the Installation of the Guest Session
The guest operating system installation will proceed to install just like the process of installing the operating system on a physical system. Typically, at the end of an operating system installation, the guest session will restart and bring the session to a logon prompt. Log on to the guest operating system and configure the guest operating system as you would any other server system. This typically has you do things such as:
- Change the system name to a name that you want the virtual server to be. For many versions of operating systems, you will be prompted to enter the name of the system during the installation process.
- Configure the guest session with an appropriate IP address. This might be DHCP issued; however, if you are building a server system, a static IP address is typically recommended.
- Join the system to an Active Directory domain (assuming the system will be part of a managed Active Directory Domain Services environment with centralized administration).
- Download and apply the latest patches and updates on the guest session to confirm that all patches and updates have been installed and applied to the system.
The installation of the guest operating system typically requires yet another reboot, and the operating system will be installed and operational.
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