Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Great Article about Virtual PC and how to benefit from using differencing disks

The following article is quite interesting and talks about using Microsoft Virtual PC with differencing disks to create different development environments without having to install the operating system several times, as well as saving disk resources.

Personally, I prefer using Vmware Workstation and linked clones. Not to mention the snapshots that can be used to revert back to a certain state.

Ever since Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2004 (VPC) was released, I’ve been using it for development tasks… specifically SharePoint related projects since it requires Windows 2003 and all my desktops have WinXP Pro installed. I also used a VPC for all my work my recent book (running MCMS and SharePoint require some specific configurations). If you’ve used it and you’re a SharePoint developer, or someone who works with server software quite a bit ...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Virtualization in Windows

Desktop Applications:

  1. Vmware Workstation
  2. Microsoft Virtual PC
  3. Parallels Workstation

Server Applications:

  1. Vmware Server
  2. Microsoft Virtual Server

Virtualization on a Mac

Although virtualization on Intel macs is still in its infancy, there are atleast two decent alternatives for virutalization on Intel Macs today. These applications allow running Windows and other Intel based operating systems on a mac.

  1. Parallels Desktop
  2. Vmware Fusion (still in beta)

As for why one would want to use virtualization, there are a number of reasons:
  • Compatibility Issues where a certain application is only availible on one platform.
  • Testing purposes to simulate different operating systems or configurations which cant easily be simulated using physical machines.
  • Roll back changes during various changes of procuct development and testing various builds on a fresh image.
  • Simulations to demonstrate bugs, where all debugging information including memory contents can be sent back to a developer as an indepth bug report.
  • Running an application within a virtual machine adds a layer of security by isolating that machine away from the host machine.
  • Helpdesk or technical support situation where it is useful to simulate the same operating system a client is using.