Hi there.

I got esxi running but not really satisfied with performance and the hassle of controlling VM's from a remote computer.

So I decided to re-visit using KVM (can be considered Linux's equivalent to HYPER-V). KVM is free of course (it's part of most Linux distros - but RHEL (and Centos naturally) has this down to a fine art so install documentation is really good.

It turned out surprisingly easy from a CENTOS 7 HOST and I/O performance is STREETS ahead of both VMWARE workstation and the VM running under Esxi.

The other nice thing is that you can also control the VM's on the LOCAL HOST. PCI passthru works fine and you can use "paravirtualisation" if you want to install specific hardware drivers on the VM to extract even better performance.

VMware esxi VM's can be converted easily enough - or re-installing the Guest OS is a doddle anyway.

(Note - you have to enable VT-X in the BIOS on intel CPU's --usually all done by default these days -- for AMD there's an equivalent but don't know what it is).

Very happy with this solution -- you can install a minimal Linux system and control everything via a CLI if you don't want a Linux GUI. I'd recommend doing it from the GUI for beginners.

For those playing around with Linux Hosts who want to try other ways of running Windows Guests I'd recommend having a look at KVM -- it really is surprisingly easy -- AND STABLE !!!. Also being able to control the VM's from a local host is a great advantage for "Home user" who don't need Enterprise type solutions.

Install KVM (QEMU) on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

Note -- there is a bug you can't use a PHYSICAL ISO to create the VM - an Image iso (disk based iso) works fine.

This works for most other common distros too --opensuse, Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc.

Have fun