VMware & XP network question

Discussion in 'Networking and Security' started by bali_survivor, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. A question for those who are better up with networking than I am.

    I am looking into creating an "emergency environment" in VMware that I can run from an external HDD (firewire or USB 2 connected). If my main trading machine for one reason or another is not available then I want to be able to plug in this disk, install VMware and start a virtual machine and be ready to trade (at a minimum close out but preferably properly close out, meaning not starting new trades but follow open trades until their completion).

    However this virtual installation may not be updated with all the latest patches and I wonder what the impact of this is when the "host" machine is properly up-to-date and will have a firewall and antivirus.

    The "virtual" machine will still be running a firewall but nothing more (no antivirus).

    The question that I wonder about is this: Is the "virtual" machine exposed directly to the "outside" world (internet) with all its attacks or does the "host" take care of all the security? Is the virtual machine's firewall actually necessary?

    I look forward to your deliberations and input and many thanks in advance,

  2. D2.0

    D2.0 Guest

    If it's a backup VM environment, simply don't browse the net on it. Firewall will be sufficent. And keep only as many ports open as you need. Bear in mind that with VM ware it defaults to bridging your network adapter to the virtual ethernet. That means buffering which introduces store and forwarding delays. Since you said you are using an external drive, best of it's eSATA. That is if your daytrading style is sensitive to moderate latency. If not then a USB 2.0 connection to your external HD is fine.

    Find a website where you can test your avg ping times to various servers.

    I use a VM of XP to browse the net with on one of my trading rigs in the event that I need to browse the net while trading and to test out new software before deploying it on the host OS. I used to have a dedicated browsing computer but with VM capabilities, it's more cost effective to virtualize.

    Best of luck to you. :)
  3. D2.0

    D2.0 Guest

    One other thing. You can boot off a USB drive. So you can skip the VM thing which tends to run with some degradation in performance. Just install the OS onto the USB ext drive and if your main drive goes apesh-t, just reboot, go to your bios and choose boot from USB device.

    And you can periodically boot up using the USB drive to update the latest patches.

    I remembered this as my old Dell had a dual non RAID HD config that I used as a backup OS if main drive went cockeyed. I'd just boot into the other HD and was up and running in under 2 mins.
  4. D2.0 many thanks for your reply.

    I have set the networking to NAT and not bridged.

    Was not aware of the boot of USB HDD, many thanks for that.

    May try that out and also try out something even more complicated: boot USB and then run VMware.

    Performance on USB HDD is not too bad provided that you "fit all virtual machine memory into reserved host RAM" (in other words: no virtual machine memory is allowed to be swapped).

    I got myself one of these 2.5" Seagate portable USB drives that is rugidized: the hd is mounted in some shockabsorbing materials and the case is ventilated so it can get rid of the heat/ It is rather silent too, very impressed. It is using the new vertical magnitized orientation on the platters in order to keep more data on it.

    However I see that there are now 16Gb USB memory sticks out and may put it on that instead.... Take a virtual image,VMware and an encrypted container with all the passwords (truecrypt.org) and one is all set to be working from anywhere.

    PS thanks for the neat idea to use a VMware bridged (not NAT) installation for accessing the internet.

  5. D2.0

    D2.0 Guest

    Check this out.


    It's a freware program that streamlines your XP install. You can strip out all the unnecessary components you don't use or need. Some have stripped XP SP2 down to 40mb Ram useage and 180MB install with only 13 processes running.

    Might come in handy. I'm going to give it a try. Just the thing I could use on my gaming laptop.
  6. Neat, may have a play with it over the weekend.