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I mostly develop .net web applications and sometimes client apps on wpf.

Now I use Windows 7 as a development environment on my laptop. I am thinking of installing Windows Server 2008 R2 to my other laptop and use that as a development machine.

In production I am also using Windows Server 2008 R2.

So when we looked at the pros and cons, which one wins here and why? I would appreciate if you could share your experience and thoughts on this.

EDIT

I should probably mention that I am going to be using Visual Studio 2010 Pro. as IDE.

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Why choose only one OS per machine? There are many virutalization options available that can run both OSes, simultaneously, on the same hardware. –  jscott May 25 '11 at 19:02
    
@jscott by deleting your post, you also deleted my comment. anyway, I consider installing Microsoft virtual machine but honestly I have no experience with that before so I am not comfortable doing that. BTW, that'd be nice if you didn't remove thanks part from my question. –  tugberk May 25 '11 at 19:09
    
@tuberk My [now deleted] posting should have been a comment, not an answer, it was my mistake. Greetings, salutations, thanks, sigs or other letter-writing formalities are not required. Please see this thread, this thread and this. –  jscott May 25 '11 at 19:29
    
@jscott I've already seen that and I just don't get it :) what's the harm? –  tugberk May 25 '11 at 19:30
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

For the most part, installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on your laptop as your host operating system can work fine, however, depending on the hardware, you could run into challenges with finding drivers for things like audio, video cards, and others (usb, wireless, etc.).

A good practice would be to install a standard desktop OS (Windows 7, etc.) and use some sort of virtualization technology such as VMWare Workstation (my personal preference and well worth the money) or VirtualBox (which is free but also works well). There may be others but these tend to be fairly popular.

With a virtualization platform installed, you can spin up any number of virtual machines with different server configurations and different operating systems (Windows, Linux, UNIX, FreeBSD, etc.). One huge advantage of this approach would be that if you corrupt your virtual image you can restore to a previous state with a snapshot or just spin up a new VM. If you are doing development on your local machine there is always the chance of corrupting your laptop which would result in having to rebuild your machine. There are hybrid approaches as well where you do the actual development on your host machine and then deploy it to the VM. Lots of options and you are not locked into a particular platform as your host operating system on your laptop.

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I would like to let the dev/test environment same as the production env. It is easy for deployment, troubleshooting and debugging. For example, if you find any bug/problem on your production env, you can quickly run a simulation on your dev machine for reproducing and focus on the bug/problem itself other than configuration conflicting.

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