I have a computing task that will probably run non-stop for several weeks with occasional restarts. My IT folks seem to feel a VMware machine set up on our corporate servers would be a better solution than purchasing a local machine (XEON 5550, 10k drive, 4gb ram, due to 32-bit software). It seems logical to me that server hardware would be better for high-traffic multi-user tasks, but what about low-traffic single user computation. My experience is solidly in the desktop world with little to no networking experience. Thanks for any help.
Additional clarifications due to comments below.
The process will be very CPU intensive and may consume 4 cores at 100% for long periods of time. This work is part research/part pilot project. One of the outcomes will measure the length of time it takes to process imagery on a per acre basis. This will be affected by both computing speed and automation of multiple disparate process steps.