Saturday, December 13, 2008

Using Virtuals for Server Components in Development

Problem:
As a developer it is almost a given that you need to run some sort of server resources (database, web server, etc.) to support your application development. You can run all of your necessary server components on your development machine, but doing this will hog your precious resources, clutter up your workstation and make standing up a new development machine if needed very time consuming.

Solution:
Virtualization

Virtual PC


First off, I assume that you are familiar with virtual machines or virtual pcs. If not, it is basically the ability to run a fully contained separate OS within a shell on your local computer. For example, your host development machine might be running Windows XP or Windows Vista. You can create a virtual running Windows Server 2003, Linux, Vista, etc. that runs just like any other self contained application on your local host computer. Using virtuals is a very powerful development tool for any developer because it gives you easy access to testing environments, playing around with software installs without messing up your host box and in the context of this post, hosting server components that don't need to be on your local development host computer.

Virtualization Software


Microsoft Virtual PC
  • FREE
  • Works fairly well
  • Windows only
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx

VMWare Workstation (PC) or Fusion (Mac)
  • Costs $$
  • Works EXCELLENT
  • Windows & Mac
http://www.vmware.com

- Aaron
http://www.churchofficeonline.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have the free download from this company www.onepulse.com. Have any of you used their more advanced for-pay products? Do they work?