I'm using virtualbox on Windows Server 2008 R2.

How do you handle virtual machines when you have to restart the server?

How do you make the virtual machines save and close properly before the host restarts?

How do you start the virtual machines back up again without having to do that manually?

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    Do you have any specific reason to use VirtualBox instead of the built-in Hyper-V? Because that setup looks like a complete waste to me... – Massimo May 14 '12 at 17:31
  • I was already using it to create workstation images, and seemed more versitile than Hyper-V. But if Hyper-V is more suited for this, I'm perfectly willing to use the best tool for the job. – Force Flow May 14 '12 at 18:11

You are running a type-2 hypervisor (VirtualBox) on a system that natively provides a type-1 one (Hyper-V); this is not only a very good way to waste hardware resources, but also leaves you with the problem of finding a way to handle proper automatic startup and shutdown of your VMs.

You can probably find a way to handle this on VirtualBox running on Windows; but I strongly suggest you to revise your virtualization strategy.

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  • I know there's no formal definition of type 1 and type 2 hypervisors (that I'm aware of), but do you really consider Hyper-V a type 1 hypervisor? Is that the conventional wisdom on Hyper-V? Are there any links you can point me to? Thanks much. – joeqwerty May 14 '12 at 17:54
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    @joeqwerty, the wikipedia reference perhaps? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypervisor#Classification. There is a note even. {Note: Microsoft Hyper-V (released in June 2008)[8] exemplifies a type 1 product that can be mistaken for a type 2... Hyper-V hypervisor loads prior to the management operating system, and any virtual environments created} – Zoredache May 14 '12 at 18:01
  • Thanks for that. Interesting that the concept of virtualization goes back as far as it does. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – joeqwerty May 14 '12 at 18:09

You run the VM's as services. You'll need a third party application (such as VBoxVmService) since it doesn't work natively at present.

Once configured as a service, Windows will stop and start the VM's automatically at boot and shutdown.

However, you may be better off using a more server-aware virtualisation environment such as Hyper-V. VirtualBox isn't really geared up for this kind of thing (although it's excellent at what it does).

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