One of the great things about work for Readify is that you get to work across the full range of the Microsoft application development environment including not only the core .NET framework, but also platform products such as Dynamics CRM, and SharePoint. The problem with working at Readify is that you need to be ready to go with one of these platforms at relatively short notice, and some of them, to put it simply, just don’t play well together.
I also spend a fair bit of time on e-mail, using the standard productivity tools that you’d find in most corporate environments. I value my mobility so I don’t really want to use Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V as my desktop operating system, so I was really excited when Microsoft said they were including Hyper-V in Windows 8.
For the last month or so I’ve been running Windows 8 as my primary operating system. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any issues but overall its perfectly usable if you are a developer and can deal with “bugs”.
In order to cope with these issues I’m heavily using Hyper-V in Windows 8. I have two Virtual Machines defined and each has multiple snapshots of systems in various configurations. Here is my Windows 7 Hyper-V image snapshots.
And my Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V image snapshots.
Whilst not expanded, in the Windows 7 stack I have a number of additional snapshots for various client environments. For Windows 2008 R2, I’m playing with CRM 2011 so I carefully built up the VM so I managed to get a SharePoint 2010 development environment along the way (since CRM 2011 now integrates with SharePoint 2010).
Overall its been a pretty good experience. My laptop is an Quad Core i7 and has 8GB of RAM, and I think I could use an extra 8GB but the hardware enhancement that really made it possible was the 512GB SSD. Prior to this I was using a 128GB SSD and whilst the performance was great, it just didn’t have the capacity to pull this off.
Other than video graphics performance, using Hyper-V off an SSD is a great experience. And I’ve got the added advantage that when I do get a new laptop which is a bit beefier that I’ll be able to pick up these images and just move them across.
For those working with tools like SharePoint and CRM, doing this kind of VM shuffle isn’t new, but with SSD prices coming down the ability to get high performance storage which is usually the problem with these setups – the experience is getting a lot better.