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Can anyone point me to online doc/tutorials. On how to setup an test frame enviroment. So that by renaming directories on a host machine I can boot my G5 box to be a IIS server, SQL server, Sendmail receiver and batch processor etc. You get the idea.

I wish to prepare various runtime enviroment roles, and by changing the directory names the G5 will boot a different role for this weeks testing. The G5 will normally boot from a default host and perhaps default directory. By renaming directories to be the default on the host the test box should boot a different role.

Host machine Windows and G5 will boot Windows runtimes


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm quite sure what you're requesting isn't possible (or at least, would be extremely tricky and involved to implement).

To be honest, Virtualisation sounds like the perfect answer to your problem. Using a bare-metal virtualisation technology such as XenServer (free) or VMWare ESXi (also free) installed onto your physical server, you could build as many virtual Windows machines as you like (one acting as an IIS server, another as a SQL server etc) and you could switch them on and off as you please. You could also have all these servers running at the same time - whatever fits your needs.

Also, with this route, you have the facility to create snapshots of your virtual servers which you can then roll-back to if a recent code update breaks something.

Definitely worth thinking about.

If you're not ready for virtualization yet, then the right direction for you to be looking in is a PXE boot solution. I'm not too familiar personally with PXE boot, but either this resource or some Google-Fu should get you moving in the right direction.

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If a server can boot off an image located on a remote machine. I am just changing the image perhaps once a week. Until I can afford to upgrade the current single dualcore 2.0 Gig cpu I wish to avoid virtualisation. But still good idea. Ta – kingchris Nov 10 '09 at 20:41

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