Virtual PC and Virtual Server


Wait.. A posting not about SharePoint? How can this be? Well, it’s somewhat related to SharePoint, since so many people use Virtual PC to host a development SharePoint environment. Since SharePoint requires Windows Server 2003, that’s the best choice for us laptop users. Anyway, this is just a quick comparison between some points of these two products.









































Feature


VPC


Virtual Server


Shared Folders?


Yes


No


Copy-n-paste?


Yes


No


Drag-n-drop?


Yes


No


Map a virtual NIC to a wireless physical connection?


Yes


No


Compact disk image to a separate location?


Yes


No


Management tools for multiple guest OS?


No


Yes


Performance


Great*


Great*+1


Runs as Windows Service
(can auto-restart after host restart)


No


Yes


*Performance really can be very good, on two conditions: enough physical RAM on your host (2GB will do, but 4GB is much better), and putting the virtual hard drive on a physical drive other than the one holding the host OS.  On a laptop, a USB 2.0 external drive works very well.  Be sure to “safely remove…” the USB drive before unplugging it.


Bottom line: if your host is a laptop or desktop, use VPC. If your host is a server in the datacenter, use Virtual Server.


Sometimes people ask me about VMWare’s products. Well, I don’t run them so I can’t say, but Andrew Connell has a good blog posting examining some of the differences, especially related to how we use them as SharePoint developers, consultants and trainers.


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Comments (3)

  1. pseale says:

    I need to write up my own post about why I hate Virtual PC and use Virtual Server instead on both my desktop and laptop. Summary:

    * Virtual PC does not support my laptop’s native resolution.

    * Virtual PC requires a guest OS reboot if you ‘save state’ on your desktop and restore on your laptop. Otherwise your networking is broken.

    * Virtual PC has "eaten" some of my keystrokes. This is unforgiveable.

    * Similarly, sometimes keystrokes take a while to register on Virtual PC. I notice this sort of thing.

    * Virtual PC console has "disappeared" on me several times. I found the workaround, edited the XML settings file, but this shouldn’t happen.

    * Virtual PC console has a "dog-eared corner" which is a really, really bad idea. I’m accustomed to taking full advantage of Windows’ "mile-high" and "mile-wide" Close button at the top-right of every window; VPC’s dog-eared corners break that expectation.

    Virtual server certainly has its flaws, and it requires more overhead to get set up properly, but it’s worth it.

    Summary: VPC for demos, Virtual Server for any work session over 30 minutes. VMWare costs money, otherwise I’d probably be using it now.

  2. He conocido algunos desarrolladores que se niegan   realizar el desarrollo en una infraestructura

  3. He conocido algunos desarrolladores que se niegan   realizar el desarrollo en una infraestructura