Using 64-bit Windows Server 2008 as a Workstation OS, Part 1

I just replaced Windows Vista Ultimate x64 on my laptop with the 64 bit version of Windows Server 2008. What prompted the change? Well, I was hoping to improve the lackluster performance of Vista. I would happily trade in the consumer goodies in Vista for better productivity. Unfortunately it seems to be an either/or proposition. But the most compelling reason for me was Hyper-V, the new virtual server from Microsoft. I do a lot of work with virtual machines, mostly to run a complete Visual Studio Team System environment in a sandbox for development and training purposes. Although Virtual PC 2007 is a good product, Hyper-V seemed to offer better performance and more flexibility with features like snapshots. Hyper-V also supports 64-bit guest operating systems, while Virtual PC 2007 can only run 32 bit OS’s.

After reading this article I was convinced that Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V was the setup for me. So, I took the plunge. In the next blog post, I’ll go over the process of installing Windows Server 2008 as a workstation OS (also dubbed Windows “Workstation” 2008).

By the way, I run a Dell 830 laptop with an Intel Core Duo T7500 mobile CPU and 4GB RAM. If your workstation does not support hardware virtualization, then it won’t run Hyper-V. However, you can enjoy the benefits of Windows “Workstation” 2008 and still run your virts using Virtual PC 2007 SP1. Although Windows Server 2008 is not officially a supported host OS for Virtual PC, it seems to work just fine.