Virtualization is certainly not new, in fact its been around for decades. Any more though our data centers have been completely transformed by virtualization. Technologies like Hyper-V make it possible for IT shops to run more “servers” on fewer physical devices. Why do they care? Well, each virtual computer costs significantly less than its physical counterpart (less $ in hardware, power, cooling, and management). In addition, they can spin a a new virtual machine up in minutes where as procuring a physical server can often take weeks or sadly even months once all the red tape has been cut.
“But I’m a developer, why do I care?!” you say? Well because you can benefit from virtualization just like those propeller heads back in the data center can. Hyper-V or the virtualization built in to Windows 7 can help you as a developer gain quick access to:
- Clean machines for testing
- Different development environments
- Different operating systems (including “other” operating systems with Hyper-V)
In addition there are things that you can do with virtual machines (VMs) that you just can’t do with physical boxes like saving a machine at different states, and reverting to those states later.
Well, if you are interested in learning more about virtualization, I’ve got a great tip for you. My buddy Chris E. Avis has a great blog series about the Microsoft’s Virtualization platform. It’s geared towards helping IT pros pass the “Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Exam” (70-659), but don’t let that scare you off. It is a great series to just learn about Microsoft virtualization technologies. And he has a special post in his series just for developers titled “I’m a Developer! Why Virtualize?”
Use these links to get to all the great posts.