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We're about to rebuild our developer workstations, and I'm considering using Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 as the OS, so that developers can use Hyper-V to virtualise various environments (e.g. old versions of Windows, SQL Server, IIS, SharePoint, etc.) without polluting their core system.

The host OS would also be running Visual Studio 2010 and various other developer tools.

Will this work? Or is Hyper-V way over the top and we should just using Windows 7 x64 and Virtual PC?

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I won't use it for developers. Firt of ALL, windows7 has possibility to Virtualice in a WAY much more simple for developoers. And Second. If u have the budget for buying more than 2x2008, there are more specific and powerfull tools. Check this one: vmware.com/products/labmanager or a Linux KVM, or a really good server with ESXi or similar. Be carefull with licensing in microsoft. –  Carlos Feb 1 '11 at 12:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Having looked in to this myself my advice would be to steer clear of running Server 2008 R2 as a Developer Workstation.

Windows 7 with Virtual PC can act as a fine development platform when your developers PC's have more than 4 Gigabytes of RAM to play around with.

If you need to provide a fuller featured environment for testing and development I would suggest sourcing separate hardware to act as a Hyper-V server for your developers. Depending on your needs and available resources you can either maintain one Hyper-V instance for all developers to use or go down the route of building individual Hyper-V Servers for your developers.

Trying to shoe horn everything on to your developers machines is a bad idea in my experience, it leads to slow machines, grumpy developers and missed deadlines.

As other people have mentioned there are other none Microsoft Tools out there to do this, as a MS House we have chosen to focus on Microsoft Technologies - your millage may vary.

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Windows server is not tweaked to give priority to the local user (normally a system admin, doing sysadmin things). +1 for creating a dedicated virtualisation server or cluster and then run your developers on Windows 7 pro. –  DutchUncle Feb 2 '11 at 1:51

If you intall all necessary components 2008 R2 can work decently as workstation. soem stuff msut be copied over manually froma Win7. Look google for appropriate terms - there are soem comeplte walktrhough.

http://www.google.de/search?q=2008+r2+server+as+workstation

is what I tried (not so hard, or?). One of the top links is:

http://www.win2008r2workstation.com/

which has a good walkthrough of waht is needed / Possible.

Hyper-V virtual machines dont work so nice, except if you RDP in - because Hyper-V can not connecto to multi screen configurations. Again, this is not an issue if you use the host to rdp into the client, as RDP can do so.

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