MSDN And TechNet Virtualized

Lately I've been analyzing various solutions for resource (applications, desktops and servers) virtualization, pooling and provisioning from the various players in this market (Microsoft, Citrix , VMware , Sun , HP).

There are many advantages to virtualization:

  • Hardware consolidation with out the need for server consolidation.
    • Energy cost reduction.
      • Servers and desktops can be instantiated on demand. No more need to have machines turned on waiting for users.
    • Hardware cost reduction.
      • One big machine can host many servers and desktops.
  • Ease of deployment and maintenance.
    • Deploying is just copying a file.
    • Patching can de done on a copy that is deployed after.
  • Ease of diagnostics.
    • If a problem occurs, it can be diagnosed on a copy that will be then patched and redeployed.
  • Ease of development.
    • When development teams need a new environment for a new application they just need to deploy and start up a copy of a pre-existing environment.
  • Business continuity
    • If a data center is taken offline for any reason, all it takes is new machines and the latest backup and you're up and running. (It's not that easy, but a lot easier than installing all the applications in the data center).
  • ... and much more.

Lately there has been some discussions on database virtualization. Database systems are very resource intensive (both memory and I/O), but the advantages for business continuity purposes are starting to weigh in some IT departments' decisions.

When a co-worker and good friend of mine told me that Microsoft had virtualized MSDN and TechNet, I couldn't believe it. You can get the detailed report from here.

Using Windows Server 2008 As A Desktop Operating System

When I installed my new machine I considered installing Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V. But this my desktop not my server and I like desktopy things on my desktop and I don't need virtual machines running all the time, I thought Windows Vista plus Virtual PC 2007 (although x64 support on virtual machines would be nice) would be the right choice.

Yesterday I was trying the Developer Interface from InnerWorkings and I couldn't get it to work because Internet Explorer kept popping up Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration errors from the InnerWorkings' Visual Studio add-in which blocked Visual Studio.

I know Rui uses Windows Server 2008 as his laptop operating system (as well as António) and I asked Rui how I could get rid of Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. Rui pointed me to this blog posts:

Looking through Systweak's series of posts about the Windows Server 2008 Desktop (see below) almost made me regret having installed Windows Vista instead of Windows Server 2008. But my next laptop will definitely be running on Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server 2008 Desktop