How to Create a VM Using QNAP Virtualization Station (Windows Server 2016)
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How to Create a VM Using QNAP Virtualization Station (Windows Server 2016)


Today, we’re going to install Windows Server 2016 in a virtual machine using the Virtualization Station of a QNAP TS-451. Since the QNAP is up and running 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week with such low power consumption, my intent is to set up a Windows VM so I can log into it using Remote Desktop, at any time from any computer in the house. I’d also like to be able to share files between the VM and the host QNAP, so I’ll be setting up a network folder within the VM as well. So what could you do with a VM that runs 24/7? Well, you could use it as a mail or web server, you could use it as a torrent server, or even an application server for legacy Windows programs. With the ability of Virtualization Station
to take snapshots of your VM, you can also use it as a sandbox where you could perhaps install trial or test applications. The QNAP, by default, comes with 1 GB of memory, but as I’ve shown in one of my previous videos, I’ve expanded that to 16 GB. QNAP’s minimum requirements for using Virtualization Station is 2 GB, and the officially supported amount of RAM is 8 GB, but it will actually
accept 16. The first thing I’ll do is log into QNAP’s
QTS operating system. To illustrate the changes I’ve made to the hardware, I’ll visit the Control Panel, and open System Status. You can see that I’ve installed 16 GB of memory in my QNAP. At the time of publishing this video, I’ve
been able to use all 16 gigs by assigning portions of that pool to multiple VMs. Of course, should QNAP ever enforce the maximum of 8 GB, there is the risk that things will stop working. So if you want to stay on the safe side, you might want to stick with 8 GB. Returning to the Control Panel, I’ll go to
the Networking and Virtual Switch section to show you how I have my network set up. I use static IP addresses on my network, so
I have static IPs of .120 and .121 assigned to my ports. Remember, the QNAP has two LAN ports, so one port needs to be assigned to be used by the virtual machines using a virtual switch, while the other port will be used by the host QNAP. I’ve previously published a video showing
you how to aggregate the two ports, but if you plan to use a VM, you’re going to need
to undo the link aggregation. As you can see in the Overview, the QNAP uses .120 as the gateway, so I’ll use .121 as my virtual switch. What you’ll need to do is hit the Advanced
switch at the bottom here to unhide the Virtual Switch selection. Once you’re in, and close out the welcome
screens, you can click Add, where you can configure the switch. I’ll select Advanced Mode to select Adapter
2, which is .121 and then assign the switch to a static IP – the same IP I’m using for the port. Remember, this is the IP address for the switch, not the VM itself. We’ll assign the IP address for the VM later. After clicking Next, then Next again to keep
the defaults, and then Apply, QNAP will then proceed to create the Virtual Switch using
Adapter 2. Clicking Overview shows you how the networking is now set up. In File Station, you’ll see that I’ve already
created a folder called VM, and in that folder, I’ve downloaded an ISO image of Windows Server 2016. You can download this from MSDN if you have a subscription, or the imagine.microsoft.com website where you can even receive a valid student license if you’re a student and you attend a university that’s on their approved list. I’ve already installed Virtualization Station 3, but if you haven’t done so, you can download it and install it from the App Center. This is a free app from QNAP, and the only
pre-requisite is to have 2 GB of memory on the TS-451. I’ll go ahead and launch the Virtualization Station – let me move the window up a bit – where you can see there are no VMs currently installed. Here’s another option for obtaining a perfectly valid Windows license. Microsoft provides VMs to evaluate Edge or Internet Explorer on various Windows operating systems, but keep in mind that these are 90 day trials. At any rate, I have a valid license of Windows Server 2016 so I’ll set it up for that. Let’s click on Create VM. Now let’s give it a name: Windows Server 2016. As you type the name – for example, I’ll start with the W of Windows – it will pre-populate the OS Type and the Version of Windows in their respective fields. Once I type the word “Server”, the Version
defaults to Server 2016. I do have to use both cores in the Intel Celeron J1800 processor that powers the QNAP. You can then give it a description if you want. I’ll assign 4 GB of memory by entering 4096, which is a quarter of my installed physical memory. The CD image is the installer ISO image itself, so let’s click on this icon , go to the VM folder, and grab the ISO file. The HDD section specifies the file where the VM itself will be stored. For each virtual machine that you create,
QNAP will create a new sub-folder under the folder that you choose here. For example, if I choose the VM folder, it will create a sub-folder called “Windows Server 2016” which holds the eventual VM file. Now I need to assign some disk space to this VM. This will have a fairly heavy footprint since I plan to use a large number of apps as well as a large database. I’ll assign it a terabyte of disk space by entering a thousand. If you want to go lean, with few apps and
little data, you could probably get away with about 50 GB. Clicking OK will create an entry for
the new virtual machine. Let’s start the VM viewer by clicking on its
icon, which launches in another browser window. Let me maximize it, and then click the Start button in the middle of the screen to launch the VM itself. Since we selected the installer ISO image as the CD drive, it will boot from that image and start the Windows installer. I should mention right now that the Virtualization Station doesn’t support Vivaldi, which is my browser of choice, so I’m using Internet
Explorer to log into my QNAP. Make sure the language and keyboard settings are correct, then click Next, and hit the Install button. Enter your Product Key here if you have a license of Windows Server, then click Next. Since I want to be able to remote into the VM, I’ll want to use the Desktop Experience version of the Server, where I have full access to the graphical user interface. Click Next. Accept the terms and conditions, then here, since I’m not upgrading from a previous Windows version, I’ll click Custom – which enables a full, clean install of Windows Server. As I defined earlier, I have a terabyte of space to allocate, so I’ll hit the New link to create a new partition and allocate the entire amount. Now click Next. So this is where you’ll wanna take a coffee break. Maybe make chicken nuggets in the toaster oven. After all the files have been copied and installed, and after a couple automatic reboots performed by the installer, we arrive at the password screen. Give your administrator account a secure password and click Finish. This takes us to the login screen. You’ll need to open the tab on the left side and choose Ctrl-Alt-Delete, which will send those keystrokes to the VM. Enter your password and after a non-trivial amount of time, we’ll finally be in. I’ll click Yes here to allow network discovery, and exit the Server Manager. I’m feeling a bit claustrophobic here so I’ll change the resolution of the screen to 1080p. Next, let’s right-click the network icon and open the network and sharing center, where I’ll click on my Ethernet connection. When clicking Details, you’ll see I’ve been
assigned an IP address of .30 by the DHCP server. I want to change this to a static IP address
so I can have a predictable IP address to connect to using Remote Desktop. So I’ll go into Properties, go into my TCP/IP
settings, and set my static address to .254, gateway of .1, and for the purposes
of this video, I’ll set DNS to Google’s 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. There’s one more thing I need to do before I’ll be able to remote into the VM. I need to allow a remote connection to be made, which is in the Advanced System properties. As a shortcut, I’ll just start Windows Settings, and search for “remote desktop” – select “Allow remote access to your computer” – which will take me directly to the Advance System dialog box that I want. Here, I’ll choose the second radio box, which allows remote connections. You have the option to set the permissions of the users who can access this VM, which you may want to do if you have multiple users on your network. For this video, I’ll leave it as it is since
the Administrator already has access. Now let’s test the connection. I already have remote desktop connection launched on my local Windows machine, and I’ll enter the .254 address. Click Connect, then enter the password that you set earlier for Windows Server, and hit OK, then Yes – which brings us to a nice, full-screen view into the virtual machine. At this point, I can connect to any shared folder on my network. To demonstrate, I’ll try to access the VM folder on the QNAP machine. I’ll just use the QNAP admin user and password – and voila, I’m in. You can create a mapped drive if you want, by right-clicking on the folder – I’ll map this to the Z drive, for example. Minimizing remote desktop, you can see the QNAP VM viewer has been logged out, as well it should – you don’t want two users in the same session. Minimizing that, you can see the entry for the VM in the Virtualization Station, and its CPU and memory usage in realtime. As for performance, don’t expect miracles – remember, this is a dual-core Celeron processor AND you’re running Windows Server 2016 on it in an emulated environment. By default, QNAP uses an emulated interface for storage and network – but I’ve found that by using the Virtio drivers, you do get a performance boost. It’s a bit tricky to set up – I may make a video of that in the future if I get enough interest. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed – Thanks for watching!

27 Comments

  • access random

    I've posted the video for installing Virtio drivers here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNvEaBGc73c

    If you find it helpful, please like and share!

  • access random

    Thank you to all my subscribers and viewers. Please help me reach my next milestone of 10,000 subscribers, and subscribe and share if you like my videos. Thank you! https://www.youtube.com/c/accessrandom?sub_confirmation=1

  • TurtleNoises

    Your voice is so smooth. Great video.

    I would suggest taking a look through server manager as most of the actions you performed can be done through that centralized application on WS2016, it will save you time 🙂

  • Tereverexium Crutenations

    don't usually comment but that is one of the most professional instructional videos I have ever seen on youtube…

  • Aaron Morgan

    thank you so much for such a detailed walkthrough. Very helpful. I did have one question, I'm using the QNAP TS-563 that I've upgraded to 16gb of RAM. When I installed the windows 10 VM using your video I noticed my RAM within Virtualization Station is running much higher than yours..around 76% and I've even alotted 12GB of ram to the VM. Any ideas why it might be using so much RAM?

  • M Farshchi

    Hi access random,
    thanks for detailed and perfect "how to". keep up the good work.
    what I understood from this video I can't have VM and using link agg? I'm I correct?

  • Christian Paez

    lets say you install your OS on a 1 TB SSD located in bay 1 can you assign it additional 1 TB located in a different bay?

  • Chris H

    @AR..great video but a quick question…I have my QNAP setup for dynamic IP addresses from DHCP..Its behind a Ubiquiti Switch which assigns the addresses..Do I need to assign static IP addresses for the networking ports of the QNAP or can I continue to use dynamic assignments and assign a static for my VM or better yet assign the VM a dynamic address?

    I will only be running this 1 VM for legacy IE and using Microsoft Remote Desktop App to access via an Android tablet..
    Thanks in advance

  • nervegrind3r

    great video, thanks! just an fyi, requirements may have changed for running a vm through virtualization station since this video. I just bought a ts-453Be with 2gb stock memory. I am warned before creating a vm that I need "4gb" instead of 2gb. I can actually go through the process of configuring the vm, but when I click start to boot it, it fails saying not enough memory.

  • Lethe Isle

    great video, thank you…before i give this a try, i see in your description it says to be able to remote desktop from any machine on the network…is there a way to remote desktop in from a machine outside the local network if i want to get in while away from home?

  • Lethe Isle

    great video, thank you…before i give this a try, i see in your description it says to be able to remote desktop from any machine on the network…is there a way to remote desktop in from a machine outside the local network if i want to get in while away from home?

  • Ashish Singh

    Can you tell me why VM is so high on resources. I have 8GB total RAM and 6GB assigned to VM. There aren't that many applications running on VM but the resource use is like 90% RAM.

  • bigbertho

    It's soo cool to find out that there's at least one person other than me that has a QNAP, has added more than 8 GB of Ram an has installed a windows server OS on a virtual machine. I mean, I know there are many many ones who have done this, but it's just funny to watch all I've done, step by step, on a video posted by a professional. Nice! (and thank you!)

  • Eraserhead

    Thanks for the tutorial! Problem: After i'm done installing a Windows 10 VM when i open Chrome or Edge browser in the VM i can do a Google search and get results but any website i want to open will tell me This site can’t be reached/the connection was reset. This is weird because i can normally ping to websites so DNS is working fine. Also the VM is extremely slow, i can see the CPU of the QNAP self is overloaded just by this single VM even though i have set only 1 core and 2GB RAM.

  • Duckman99954321

    I currently use the tvs 872 with 4port link agg with 1vm and plans to add a few more I noticed you removed the port trunking to allow the server its own Ip. In my current environment the vm runs and connects just fine but my question, is the virtual switch required and I should I utilize the 10gb port to allow my 4 ports for other workstations

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