After getting a laptop with enough power this summer, I’d taken a week or so to familiarize myself with Virtual PC. Using it is a great way to run multiple versions of operating systems and databases for testing. It only took a day to realize that a mere 768meg of memory wasn’t going to be enough, so now I’m upgraded to 1.5 gig; haven’t gotten the second hard drive for perf yet. Only hiccup is an extreme speed problem with XPSP2 *guest* OS, but I’m running XPSP2 host OS with no problem. There is a VPC service pack due out to fix the XPSP2 guest problem, I’ve heard.

Last week I had occasion to install Virtual Server to run a preconfigured domain for an assignment. I was happy to find that you can install VPC and VServer side-by-side, that the .vhd files for the main drive are more or less compatible and the concepts of differencing and undo disks are the same. Got networking with host using the loopback adapter as usual and I’m running a whole mini domain on laptop. More secure that VPC, but I do miss Shared Folders (I have to use network shares to copy files to/from the host). Also seems a tad more sluggish than VPC, but I don’t have multi-processor or any other cool hardware that VServer is better suited for.

Having been around when the bank I worked at started running IBM’s VM operating system (back when computers where coal-powered), I was naturally leery of incompatibility problems for guest OSes at the DBMS or other application level. So far, haven’t seen any. Got over my original unease.

Now back to SQL Server 2005…