I enjoy testing things on my computer at home. I have two machines at my complete disposal to test and play around. First is my Toshiba Laptop, dual core processor, 4 GB Ram, 2×200 GB hard drives, Windows Vista HOme Premium 64 bit, not provided by my employer. Number 2 is an old desktop. Single core processor, 2 GB Ram, 200 GB hard drive, Windows XP home. I am also very thrifty (read cheap) so I went looking for a virtualization solution for these machines. I started with VMware server. This works perfectly and easily on my XP desktop and was my tool of choice. Unfortunately it was a but troublesome on my Vista laptop. I started to dig into making it work, but said to myself: “self you want to play with SQL, not VMware why waste time trying to make it work?” so I looked elsewhere. I found Sun’s VirtualBox. This worked pretty well, and I used it for several months. But that relationship began to wane when I was out in Seattle for the PASS conference. VirtualBox required me to create network bridges to get connectivity and that began to become troublesome as I moved form wifi spot to wifi spot. I was having trouble connecting to access points. I deleted all the bridges and my wifi problems went away, but so did my vm’s ability to get to the Internet. So I began to stop using virtualization on my laptop for a while. But then I wanted SQL 2008 on Windows 2008 on my laptop, so I took another look around and downloaded Microsoft’s VirtualPC. Well truthfully, I downloaded Virtual Server, but it said NO to my Vista OS. What a waste of a download. So I then downloaded VirtualPC. I installed Windows 2008 & SQL2008 and was pretty happy. I also used VirtualPC to install the Windows 7 beta. I installed the SQL 2008 management tools on that VM and it works quite well. Well that’s all for now. I’ll possibly revisit this later as new tools become available.