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Gary Pronych 1 Part .NET Developer, 2 Parts Personal Developer; 100% Canadian
You won't find me on the next episode of 'Show us your Home' geek edition (Check out Scott Hanselman's); I am not that hardcore, but I have a similar setup which (IMO) is worthwhile for you @home developers.

We won't get into my structured cabling or distributed audio design today; we will leave that for a 'architecture' track.
Scott has some great posts to get you on your way.

Why virtualize your home networking system?
The answer is simple, because it is the smart thing to do; CPU horsepower and disk space are cheap these days.
At my last employers office, we virtualized everything from domain controllers, exchange server, source control, all the way to development environments.
When we migrated from WinXP to Vista, we made virtual copies of our old development environment for support purposes.

You don't need all your development tools on your home PC.
Why bulk up your file system with your development environment?
Environments can be fragile; installing a piece of software can break another.

Enable Undo Disks
Have you ever installed software that broke your OS or another program?
With undo disks, it is easy as clicking 'discard undo disks'
Simply enable undo disks when you are going to install questionable software or you are completing testing.

Virtualizing and PDD
I am with Jeffrey Palermo with his concept of PDD; I would prefer to call it Pain Driven Design to share the term between software developers and IT Pro's.
As an experienced IT Pro, they have the same challenge with software support as we do with application development.

I built a 20 virtual lab environment for a product sales team and it was a very effective sales tool. If we needed another lab? XCOPY and I could have another lab running in under 1 hour.
When your VPC has outgrow its host and it is time to migrate to a more powerful box, all you need to do is turn off your VPC, XCOPY and deploy to a new host. Easy as pie.
This article sold me on virtualizing as a hosting solution; obviously there are downfalls to hosting web sites and databases in a virtual environment.
For the IT Pro, migrating software to new architecture can be as painful as deploying an ASP 3.0 application with COM+.

Closing Rant
This is why I virtualize my personal environments and I suggest you consider this option.
My home server host my servers VPC's, my desktop hosts my development environments.
When I am away from home, I move my development environment VPC to my laptop. I have a consistent development environment everywhere I go. Life is good!
Deploying can be a challenge when you are not on your LAN, but a domain name with sub domaining can easily resolve that challenge (sql2005.mydomain.com).

There is a reasons why developers apply the Single Responsibility Principal to software development; there should be a reason why it applies to the IT Pro.
There are obviously extremities in home networking; there is no need for an independent domain controller VPC on a home network. In the work place, yes, you want each service on its own server.
Always map out your requirements and plan on a efficient model, when testing, simply turn on undo disks.

In a future article, I would like to share how ISA server has made my virtual hosting experience (from a single IP) a pleasant one.
I am in the process of converting my server environment and I will write on article to share my experience. Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 6:41 AM Web Development , IT Pro | Back to top


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