Can One Single .ova File Become Two Distinct Virtual Machines? (Powershell Networking Practice-Related Question)

Hello. I am new to Powershell, and also to networking. I want to practice using Powershell by managing a virtual network (two virtual computers to start). I downloaded the free Windows 10 .ova file from Microsoft in order to make a virtual machine in Virtualbox. My question is, can I use that same .ova file to create two distinct Windows machines, and then use Powershell to manage them as if they were two different computers?

I’ve tried googling this, but I haven’t found anything helpful yet. Also, I know I could probably just [fiddle] around and find out, but I don’t know whether I, being so new to this, would even recognize whether Virtualbox would just interpret the two machines as actually two instances of the same machine. So I thought I would ask the community here. Thank you in advance.

Sure, why not? An OVA is essentially a template that you import, you don’t really ‘run’ the OVA.
Just re-initalize the MAC address when you import it to make sure your network adapter is unique.

Once you boot into Windows, you may need to rename the machine depending how MS provide the OVA. If it’s sysprepped, that won’t be necessary as you’ll get a random name.

I understand your reluctance to fiddle around and find out, but you need to get over that. That’s by far the best way to learn.

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Thank you for those ideas :slightly_smiling_face:. Just curious, do you happen to know of any alternative ways to create multiple virtual Windows machines without having to pay for the OS?

Just to mention it at least once. These Windows VMs are not free. They are evaluation versions. If you want to use them permanently you have to have a valid license!! There are no free versions of MSFT Windows.

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Yes, I already understand that there is a 90-day limit, but even Microsoft says that you can roll it back to a previous snapshot when the time is up if you want to keep using it. I understand that this means nothing will be permanent on these machines, but I don’t need anything to exist on these VMs for more than 90 days at a stretch anyway. The fact that I don’t have to pay for the privilege of using them over and over again is the only reason I’m using the word “free” here.

(I suppose I could have wildly misinterpreted the terms of use, but that’s the way I understand them.)

I’d say it depends pretty much on how or whatfor you’re using these VMs. They are for evaluation. If you use them for “production” or for “business” you probably use them illegally. :face_with_monocle: But that’s actually not a topic for this forum. :wink:

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I completely agree with you. I have no business purposes for these machines anyway; they’re for my own personal edification :nerd_face: :face_with_monocle:

I appreciate your continued help.

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