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Specifically, I want to run this:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=27417


This download contains a three Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V Virtual Machine set for evaluating and demonstrating Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010.


System requirements
Supported operating systems: Windows Server 2008 R2

Additionally you will need:

•Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1 recommended) with the Hyper-V role enabled. •Drive Formatting: NTFS •Processor: Intel VT or AMD-V capable •RAM: 8 GB or more recommended •Hard disk space required for install: 100 GB

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So, the above text seems to indicate that you need a physical Windows 2008 Server (r2) server running, but from the googling I've done on the subject I've yet to come across a discussion that definitively answers the question. Many posts I've read seem to indicate it might be possible to run it on Windows 7 using one of the following: VirtualBox, Windows Virtual PC, VMWare but I'm not entirely sure.

EDIT

This looks like an ideal way to do it?
Windows 7 and the magic of Boot to VHD
http://www.hanselman.com/blog/LessVirtualMoreMachineWindows7AndTheMagicOfBootToVHD.aspx

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Not sure why this would be downvoted. Perhaps because I gave a specific example which adds specific context and clarity to the question rather than leaving it more vague? –  tbone Oct 24 '12 at 16:04

2 Answers 2

I've created a clustered Hyper-V setup within VMWware Workstation on my windows 7 laptop from scratch. I would assume you could run the demo environment as well.

I will say, performance is generally pretty terrible when running nested virtualization solutions but it does work. Load up on RAM before even thinking about trying to run something like this.

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So, to clarify: I am running Windows 7x64; so I can install VMWare Workstation and natively open the above linked MS Hyper-V VM? Or, create a Windows 200 Server r2 VM within VMWare, and then use that to open the MS Hyper-V VM? –  tbone Oct 23 '12 at 22:41
    
Install VMWare Workstation, Create a Windows Server guest and install the Hyper-V role, use that guest to import the images from the link. –  Rex Oct 24 '12 at 3:09
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vmware.com/support/ws90/doc/… for VMWare's stance on supportability of a nested Hyper-V install in Workstation. –  Rex Oct 24 '12 at 3:10
    
@Rex Loving this: " For this reason, this capability has been implemented purely to see if we could do it!" –  Dan Oct 24 '12 at 17:26

All of the VMs at the link you've supplied are preconfigured for running on top of Hyper-V. This means that the disk images are in VHD files, the configuration is in the Hyper-V export format and the drivers installed within the VMs are those for Hyper-V.

It is technically possible to unpack them and repackage them for some other virtualization platform, as Hyper-V doesn't run on top of Windows 7, though this strategy may not be within the license for this download. (I haven't read the license agreement.)

Getting any Hyper-V-targeted VM running on top of some other VMM would require making and equivalent VM configuration and probably driver installation changes. This is practical for somebody well-versed in manipulating offline Windows images, though not at all straightforward.

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Actually, as I mentioned, it's not that hard to build a Hyper-V lab within newer versions of VMWare (Workstation or vSphere/ESXi). You install a 2008 R2 guest, install the Hyper-V role and then basically treat that guest as a standalone Hyper-V server and use that to import the VHD files or create new Hyper-V guests. As i mentioned, performance is generally not the greatest, but it's useful in lab/testing scenarios. –  Rex Oct 24 '12 at 17:54
    
Yes, I understood that. But I was trying to answer tbone's question. I would expect the performance to be so bad, particularly on a laptop, that another answer was warranted. –  Jake Oshins Oct 24 '12 at 20:14
    
would depend on how much RAM and how fast his hard drives was. With enough RAM and if he is using SSD, you could run a couple hyper-V guests with enough performance to run a small demo. I ran a two-node hyper-v cluster with a freeNAS storage on an 8GB laptop. Was slow and guests took forever to boot, but was mostly workable once things got booted. Had two windows 2008 R2 servers with hyper-v (2GB RAM) and 1 guest in each with 1.5GB RAM) -- edit: of course, one person's view of acceptable performance is not always the same as mine :) –  Rex Oct 24 '12 at 20:33
    
This sounds like the perfect solution? hanselman.com/blog/… –  tbone Oct 24 '12 at 23:08
    
Again, your problem is that those VHDs have an OS image in them set up to run within a Hyper-V VM. And VHD files are just containers, equivalent to a disk drive. Just because you can put something on a disk doesn't mean it will boot when you attach it to a computer. You may need to adjust the contents of the disk to boot it. The link you listed, tbone, is one that talks about booting a VHD on a physical machine, not a VM. So instead of adjusting the contents of the virtual disk for a different hypervisor, you'd need to adjust it for your physical machine. –  Jake Oshins Oct 25 '12 at 0:11

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