This is the second post in a series of articles articles where the goal is to create the optimal workstation for us consultants. In the first post Why I ditched XenClient for Hyper-V Part I we highlighted the missing features and bugs in Citrix XenClient.
For my setup I purchased a OCZ Vertex 2 180GB SATA II 2,5″ Solid State Drive with TRIM Support based upon recommendations from @shawnbass and @easi123. This is the most affordable SSD which supports 250MB/s read and write performance and TRIM support that is important for good performance. The boot time is now down to less than 15 seconds.
The first thing I did was to flash my drive with the latest firmware and then installed all the necessary drivers and software. A great resource is a website called Convert your Windows Server 2008 R2 to a Workstation. You’ll find an automatic conversion tool and articles describing the different elements. They also have great information on how to find all the drivers for your system automatically.
After I installed all my software I noticed that the new Firefox 4 was crazy slow. There is a new option called FireFox Hardware Acceleration that needs to be disabled.
- Enable Wireless networking
- Create network bridge between WiFi and the Virtual Network to get internet access
- Enable the Desktop Experience feature
- Replace the logon background image
- Enable audio and tuned it to remove the stuttering sound
- Microsoft Update for Desktop Experience Decoder for Windows Server 2008 R2
My first impression after running this configuration for 2 weeks are very good. The boot time is awesome and it now longer matters that Hibernation doesn’t work. I also successfully deploy our corporate image inside a virtual machine. Happy go lucky.
6 thoughts on “Why I ditched XenClient for Hyper-V Part II”
What about Aero? I know that in the past, installing the Hyper-V role disables Aero because a more basic graphics driver is forced. Are you able to run Hyper-V and still have Aero enabled now?
Yes you are, with Windows 2008 SP1 you can now even leverage RemoteFX and run Aero effects inside a Virtual Machine.
I know that you can run aero inside a vm (that was possible even before remotefx) – but what I am wondering is whether or not the hyper-v HOST machine can still run aero… Hyper-V has always disabled aero on the host machine in the past – making it limiting if you want to run 2008 R2 as your primary operating system but still have VMs to work with…
Here is a rundown of the issue:
Looks like it works ok on new core iX processors that have the SLAT feature set. I have a new i7 Macbook Pro – will try it out later this week!
Thanks for the comment and the link, that explains why the graphics sometimes are sluggish. Nobody’s perfect!
Thanks for this. My 2008 R2 laptop is a lot more polished now.