A sure fire way to waste away half of your Sunday afternoon and upset ones spouse is to start up a little lab to “try out some stuff”. Before you know it your office is littered with hard drives, scsi cabels and computer towers in various stated of decomposition. You spend half of your waking time installing and reinstalling systems, moving around memory, swearing you can’t find the right drivers and what more. All for the good of ‘trying something out’.
I had to stop myself yesterday night from diving head first into such a scenario. Force of habit I guess. I had scrounged together a P4 1.8 with a couple of scisi drives which would make an ideal staging ground for my test Sbs-server. Upon opening the case I did however encounter second thoughts. Having to screw in all the hard drives, make sure the whole scsi termination thing was ok, digging up some cd rom drive somewhere… pff.. Depression was starting to set in.
Good thing I had my Vmware server in the neighborhood. I just popped in the Cd’s of SMS, installed the whole thing and ran it in bridged mode alongside the rest of my systems. Perfect for testing and trying things out you say ? Yes of course. But the cool thing is : This way I can cook up a Virtual Machine from the comfort of my own office. When I am pleased with how it runs I can just plop it on a usb drive and take it to one of my “remote servers” that are also running Vmware. This saves me the trouble of logging around big towers and having to worry about hardware issues like drivers and stuff. Ok, you don”t have the phisical “feel” of another server running, but instead of that all you need to buy are a couple of sticks of ram instead. And at the rate geeks install / reinstall and move around stuff it has now become a matter of swapping around some VM images. The only thing I need now is a ton of storage space. Perhaps i’ll go for one of those Western Digital Mybooks.