What I'd like to do is buy a server to be used for testing purposes only. I'd like to be able to restore virtual servers from backups to the test machine, and then run a few client VMs on the machine to test configuration changes on the server instances. Thus I'll be able to test my backup/restore process on a regular basis, and also try out configuration changes before going live.
I'm wondering if I need to spec my test server equal to or greater than the largest VM I'll be testing? That is, if I have a VM configured to see 8 processors and 16GB of RAM, does my test server need to be able to provide it with that much power?
It seems like I should be able to spec it lower since the VMs won't be doing nearly as much work. They would, however, see fewer hardware resources when booting up.
Edit: in other words, when restoring a VM to the test machine, I would have to reconfigure it for fewer resources prior to booting it up.