I currently develop import utilities for a network company using various versions of Visual Studio, Java, Crystal Reports and Apache (5.5 and 6), so it's obvious each install requires its own virtual desktop. I will also require the desktops to access the Internet as well as network with each other.
From reading a few threads on Server Fault, it seems the best free choice is VMWare Server if I'm not mistaken. Because I am a total new to it, I was wondering if you could please suggest which links or tutorials would point me in the right direction from installing the software to networking the different virtual desktops/servers, best practices, and getting the virtual machines to access the internet correctly and such. To be more specific, I'm looking for a how-to step-by-step setup and get it working rather than theory and background information on how virtualization works.
I should add that I would like to run all this from a Windows XP Pro laptop.