Visual Studio Performance Choice - ESXi or Vista?
Following on from my earlier question, I have today ordered a 300GB VelociRaptor and 8GB of RAM for my home development rig (ASUS P5N-E with an E6600 chip).
I want it to be fast in Visual Studio and flexible as well. I looking at either installing ESXi and then developing in Vista64 running on top of that, or I can install Vista64 without ESXi and run my virtual machines on top of that.
If ESXi will not suck out much performance then I will go for that option as it is the most flexible. Hey - I can even give the kids their own machines too...not other accounts on my "box".
If, however, ESXi will suck performance, I will run VMs on top of Vista and take the hit of giving the kids accounts too (occasional use, they use the lappie mainly!!).
What do you think is the best performace option for me and have you tried similar yourself?
I would just install your operating system on bare metal, if that OS is going to be Vista,then so be it. Then run your VMs on VMware Server or whatever tool you like, rather than installing your workstation on top of ESXi.That's not really what its designed for. Virtualizing servers is about virtualizing servers not workstations. You won't have any 3D acceleration or anything like that so it would definitely not be the power house for Visual Studio.
Windows Server 2008 is a great choice for machines with 8GB and running 64-bit. You can run Hyper-V to give your kids their own OS's with 1 GB each.
If you use Vista, try Virtual PC as a good way to provide bootable alternative OS's.
VMware ESXi is really for deploying server VMs, not workstation VMs. It has no console UI; any GUI access would have to be through RDC or VNC or X. While you could do that with Visual Studio, performance will stink, and Vista performance will be stink-squared.
With 8GB of RAM, you're going to need a 64-bit OS (either Linux or Vista). I'd recommend VMware Workstation on top of that if you want console access to your guest VMs, or VMware Server if you want your guest VMs to start automatically when you start the host OS.