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Thread: Good Platform for Virtualization?

  1. #1
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    Apr 2014
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    Question Good Platform for Virtualization?

    While I'm no stranger to Unix & Linux, but I work and basically live in a Windows world. I do a lot of virtualization work and am feeling the need to have a portable lab. I'm planning on having at any given moment, at least 5 Windows based VM's, mostly Server 2012 R2 but also Windows 7 & Windows 8+.

    Is a System76 laptop a good base for someone doing this kind of activity?
    Any 'gotcha's' when it comes to peripheral compatibility (thumb drives, external hard drives, other etc.) with the virtualization software (like VirtualBox)?
    Why shouldn't I just go with a Lenovo or Dell?

    Basic system requirements:
    • Gobs of RAM
    • mSATA for OS
    • dual SSD's for VMs (speed & redundancy)
    Last edited by phylum2; April 25th, 2014 at 11:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Re: Good Platform for Virtualization?

    Quote Originally Posted by phylum2 View Post
    While I'm no stranger to Unix & Linux, but I work and basically live in a Windows world. I do a lot of virtualization work and am feeling the need to have a portable lab. I'm planning on having at any given moment, at least 5 Windows based VM's, mostly Server 2012 R2 but also Windows 7 & Windows 8+.

    Is a System76 laptop a good base for someone doing this kind of activity?
    Any 'gotcha's' when it comes to peripheral compatibility (thumb drives, external hard drives, other etc.) with the virtualization software (like VirtualBox)?
    Why shouldn't I just go with a Lenovo or Dell?

    Basic system requirements:
    • Gobs of RAM
    • mSATA for OS
    • dual SSD's for VMs (speed & redundancy)
    I would say (based on my own experience) a hearty "Yes" on all counts.
    I use a fair number of VM's myself, (although as far as MS products go am limited to Windows-7 and Server 2008 under Virtualbox).
    Generally speaking, I find that the System76 products are very good when it comes to the peripheral side of things, and they really have it nailed-down right, and I find that I am not fighting the hardware like one sometimes might have to when using hardware not initially put together for Linux. -
    As you say - Gobds of Ram, mSATA, SSD's and you ca't really go far wrong in my book.

    Hope that helps


    Aidan

  3. #3
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    Jul 2013
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    Princeton, NJ
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    Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Good Platform for Virtualization?

    Quote Originally Posted by phylum2 View Post
    While I'm no stranger to Unix & Linux, but I work and basically live in a Windows world. I do a lot of virtualization work and am feeling the need to have a portable lab. I'm planning on having at any given moment, at least 5 Windows based VM's, mostly Server 2012 R2 but also Windows 7 & Windows 8+.

    Is a System76 laptop a good base for someone doing this kind of activity?
    Any 'gotcha's' when it comes to peripheral compatibility (thumb drives, external hard drives, other etc.) with the virtualization software (like VirtualBox)?
    Why shouldn't I just go with a Lenovo or Dell?

    Basic system requirements:
    • Gobs of RAM
    • mSATA for OS
    • dual SSD's for VMs (speed & redundancy)

    I would not buy System 76, but look at a new W540/530 from Lenovo, keep it as a Windows native and load up the memory to 32GB. Then you can run many VM's at once. I prefer VMware. I have a 17 month old W530 with 24 GB of memory; its great and the total investment was about $1400.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2014
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    Re: Good Platform for Virtualization?

    Thank you very much aidangcole and RichardET for your responses!

    Its like you both are playing devils advocate!

    Our company recently purchased a couple of System76's, Galago UltraPro's I believe, so I was able to at least just look at the thing. I didn't do much other than drool over what appeared to be great build quality (has a lovely feel in the hand - feels solid & well built) and 3 hard drives (mSATA + 2 SSD's) in an incredibly thin & svelte profile. It seems like a powerhouse in a tiny package - I like!
    But I am a little disappointed

    1. the RAM is capped at 16GB for all systems which makes me lean towards a Bonobo Extreme
    2. Bonobo Extreme doesn't have Iris graphics [yet(?)] - course neither does the W540


    Truth be told, I've been eyeballing the W540 for quite a while now and I have an opportunity to pick a decently spec'd unit (e.g.: i7-4900MQ, 2x512GB SSD, 2880x1620 display) for a song and dance. Sure, it only comes with 8GB and no mSATA but I'll add that separately which will keep the total price below $2k.

    You have both given me something to think about - many thanks for your feedback!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
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    Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Good Platform for Virtualization?

    I would recommend memory upgrades from either Lenovo or Kingston; I found that Crucial memory was difficult to install on the W530, although was fine on my B590 & V470.

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