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Virtual PC based virtual machine inside Hyper-v based virtual machine?

image_2I know that name of this article sounds a little bit confusing. So what is all about? Well, maybe sometimes you will ran into situation where you will try to install Microsoft Virtual PC inside already virtual OS on Hyper-v. The answer if this can work is simple – YES, but… Hm…that scenario will work for you, but the question here is how it will work, or what will be performance for second virtual machine installed iniside first virtual machine. The performance will be very poor, as a matter a fact CPU of your first virtual machine will be almost constantly on 100% workload. Explanation behind that is really simple; first virtual machine already have virtual CPU not so strong as your physical computer,  so then you lend some power of that ‘low’ performance CPU to second virtual machine, and the first CPU becomes tired and confused.

Described double virtualization scenario is probably something you won’t try at home, but I did for several reasons. From the beginning I strongly doubted if this ridiculous thing I am trying to do will work, but I gave it a try anyway. I had presentation about  Microsoft  Application Virtualization (App-V), and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (Med-V), and wanted to do great demo of two products.  Anyway, I have portable computer on which I installed Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-v role.  Then I installed four virtual machines for App-V, and everything worked fine (I have a lot of RAM). Only thing to do more was somehow install Med-V on the same computer. Because of Med-V requirements for Windows Vista or Windows XP, I decided to install one more Windows Vista virtual machine, and inside Vista Med-V client. Everything also worked fine until I started Med-V workspace which initiated loading of another virtual machine inside already virtual Windows Vista. Application published with Med-V on my Windows Vista (host in that case for Med-V), worked, but very slowly.

As I said, double virtualization is not solution for anyone and for any scenario.  In my case workaround for demoing both products was another portable computer on which I installed Windows Vista, joined on my domain created with one of the virtual machines on Server 2008 portable computer. After that I installed Med-V client on Windows Vista, and connected two computers with crossover cable. On presentation I opened Hyper-V console for four virtual machines on one computer, and one remote desktop console for Med-V Vista computer. Everything worked great.


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