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Hardcore VPC Setup

Posted in SharePoint | General | Test-Driven Dev at Wednesday, November 16, 2005 7:59 AM Pacific Standard Time

From Patrick:

VPC images are saving my life as a trainer. Managing your VPC images however can be a daunting task if you don't know all of its capabilities. Andrew has an extremely well-documented process & strategy for using Virtual PC and how to optimize and manage disks to (1) maximize my disk space and (2) facilitate rapid creation of new Virtual PC’s when needed for testing/kicking the tires. Thank you very much Andrew for sharing this with all of us.

I've been doing my development on using Virtual PC for the last six months and the tips in this post are very useful. My setup is much simpler, but I can see some of the advantages this type of setup can give. However, I'm curious as to the drawbacks.

  • Is there a performance hit for using that many disks instead of a single disk? If so, how much are we talking about?
  • If you need to make a change to the base OS, can you make the change on the base disk or will this wipe out all your machines?

For my dev work I've just been creating a base VPC image with the OS and common tools and then setting the file to read-only and making a copy of it for each VPC I need to create. I've even been using fixed disk size in an attempt to eek out every last bit of performance that I can get. I have to pay for it with a larger hard drive, but that isn't too much of a price to pay.

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