Channel9 has a great video on the way MS Virtual Server is architected and a lot of discussion on how you may use it.
Like any geek, I regularly get the question “What computer should I buy?” and for the last year or more I’ve been answering that what ever people purchase, it will most likely be overkill. PC hardware has far exceeded the needs of the average home and work user. I really don’t need a 3Ghz machine with 1Gb of RAM to be able to run the company’s Excel (shudder) database. Unless you are a gamer or you absolutely require 8 instances of MS Word, 3 versions of MS Access, 29 instances of IE and 33 Messenger windows, you are probably not going to see the benefits of the 3Ghz processor. And even if you do need all this garbage open at one time, you really need to be concerned about appointment time with a psycho-analyst.
In previous lives I’ve done a bunch of work in the Network.Admin namespace and when I was looking for servers I was always concerned about the usage in my current stable of boxes. I’d always want to have my SQL Server 2k install on it’s own box, a separate box for my domain controller and so on and so on and so on. How could I justify another piece of hardware when I currently have a dual processor machine, hosting IIS, that sits there with utilisation under 10%? Oh for MS Virtual Server back then.
Today I only dabble in the Network.Admin namespace, but I still see the under use of server hardware, especially for small businesses, as being the largest drain on the IT budget. I also have the great opportunity to work in a development environment that extensively uses virtual servers. The development environment consists of 8 Win2k3 Server’s in a dev sandbox, 3 Win2k3 servers in our first level testing, 3 Win2k3 servers in our second level testing, and 5 Win2k3 servers in our final level of testing. So all in all, we have 19+ servers, all virutalized. Imagine that the environment couldn’t be serviced using virtualization. I would need over 19 separate and distinct piece of hardware, the space to house them and the electrical power to keep them whirring. In the end there’s a huge price difference and we better use the servers.
I can tell you now that my ideal development environment, from this point forward, will always include a block of virtual servers. It’s just the right economical thing to do.
I’m the Igloo Coder and I’m working on a system to virtualize the ladies that want me….wait…that’s already the case.