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Microsoft's Virtual Server 2005

Let's Get Virtual

I installed Microsoft VS Enterprise Edition on a Windows 2003 Server with IIS 6. At minimum, the host server requires a 550-MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM and 2 GB of disk space. You'll need more memory and disk space for each VM you run.

Microsoft VMs support only Windows OSs, but other x86 OSs like BSD and Linux can run in VMS. After all, the VMs have Intel inside. But you can't synchronize time between the host computer and non-Windows VMs, or integrate mouse controls with an Active X component.

The host server I tested had dual Pentium 4 (2.4-GHz) processors with 2 GB of RAM and more than 400 GB of disk space formatted for NTFS. Microsoft VS uses ACLs (access-control lists) that require NTFS, so a FAT or FAT32 volume can't securely manage a VM environment. Also, some VMs use dynamically expanding hard disks (virtual files) that can grow larger than 4 GB--a volume only NTFS can support.

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