Thursday, July 17, 2008

Server 2003 proves itself useful! (Free Virtual Machines for Windows Servers)

OK, I have to quit being a Mac Weenie and Linux fanboy and come clean: It's been months since I've set up a network with a Linux or Apple server providing what amount to Active Directory services, and except for IPCop, Windows Server 2003 has been doing my heavy lifting. My vendor says that I should give Server 2008 a try. Shoot, I'm still discovering what Server 2003 x64 is capable of.

Stuff like easily running multiple Virtual Machines seem to make the Windows Server line a bit more valuable. Microsoft's FREE (free as in beer, not as in puppies!) Virtual PC and Virtual Server have been a real treat. I've enjoyed Virtual Box on my Mac, but the business world doesn't seem to want to trust their data to an Apple server, and Linux is right out as many of the server softwares in the healthcare industry require a Windows server, so I would have to run Windows in a virtual machine anyhow to serve the Windows desktops that the end users know and love!

So, what could be better than Running an IPCop on your Windows 2003 Server? I couldn't think of anything either, so using this handy guide I first built an IPCop in Virtual PC. As I was a newbie and didn't read far enough in Virtual PC's manual, I soon discovered that a product called Virtual Server existed that wouldn't complain about running on my x64 2003 Enterprise server, and it was free.