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I need to run some Outlook sessions that connect to an Exchange server. If I wanted to create a test environment on my laptop, would that be feasible? Would it be better to run natively, or inside a VM?

(I had heard some commments, probably from the Stackoverflow podcast, that Exchange designed to run by itself).

I might need to run only the latest, or I might need to run several versions. Can I load them on one system in parallel, and switch them on-and-off?

UPDATE: The hypothetical system would have a 64bit CPU, and 4GB of memory.

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Wow. Ambition - You have some... –  gWaldo Oct 20 '10 at 18:43
    
This was not my idea, I'm just the guy with the proverbial square peg and a very tiny, round hole. –  benc Oct 21 '10 at 6:50

2 Answers 2

It's going to be DOG slow either way so I'd be tempted to virtualise it so at least it doesn't impact the overal build of the machine once you've quit messing about. Oh and isn't Exchange a 64-bit-only app these days too? do you have a 64-bit OS on the laptop?

Regarding your last paragraphy then if you VM them they you can do whatever you want (slowly).

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I second the Virtual Route - Really the best way to experiment –  Jeremy Hajek Oct 20 '10 at 18:38
    
+1 on going virtual –  adamo Oct 20 '10 at 18:41
    
Keep in mind that if you intend to virtualize the instance in order to 'limit perfomance impact' of the overall system, make sure that you configure resource allocation maximums (if your virtualization allows for that.) –  gWaldo Oct 20 '10 at 18:45
    
+1 for DOG slow. Also, VirtualBox will run 64bit VM's on a 32 bit host if the hardware is 64 bit compatible. And I don't know if it still exists, but there was a 32-bit test only version of Exchange 2007 for a while. –  Christopher Oct 20 '10 at 19:18

I need to run some Outlook sessions that connect to an Exchange server. If I wanted to create a test environment on my laptop, would that be feasible? Would it be better to run natively, or inside a VM?

It would be better to run them each in their own VM.

(I had heard some commments, probably from the Stackoverflow podcast, that Exchange designed to run by itself).

I'm not sure what you're referring to but Exchange requires an Active Directory domain. It can be installed on a domain controller, so you can run Exchange on one server if that server is also your AD\DNS server.

I might need to run only the latest, or I might need to run several versions. Can I load them on one system in parallel, and switch them on-and-off?

Umm... No. You can't run them in parallel. You'll need a separate VM for each instance\version.

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Good points all. Couldn't have addressed it better myself... –  gWaldo Oct 20 '10 at 18:46
    
@gWaldo: Thanks for the tip of the hat :) –  joeqwerty Oct 20 '10 at 19:05
    
Credit where due, is all... –  gWaldo Oct 20 '10 at 19:45

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