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Using Windows 2008 as a Workstation

I have a new machine, albeit one with a bad video card, running Windows 2008 Server R2 with Hyper-V. My plan was to use this as my workstation and run Hyper-V for various things, SQL Server, Visual Studio, as a browsing desktop, etc.

I wrote recently about finding a few blogs that convinced me this might work when looking for a new workstation. I decided to put together a few other links that contain information about using Windows 2008 in that mode.

This blog (Using Windows 2008 as a Super Workstation) is from someone at MSDN, and has some good hints. I still need to update drivers, and I am moving one video card from my old machine to the new one while waiting on a replacement from the vendor.

I also found this site: http://www.win2008workstation.com. It's a blog with lots of information to make your W2K8 server run smoother as a workstation.

And one more: How to convert your Windows Server 2008...

Most of this info is from IT guys that are doing development. So they are looking for high performance, VM capabilities for separation of issues, and general work, work.

HOWEVER, I haven't seen a lot from people on using some of the workstation like things like cameras, iPods, ec. I did verify there is a 64 bit version of iTunes, which I had planned to drop in a VM.

However as I've been reading more about setting up Hyper-V, I found this wonderful note that VMs in Hyper-V don't support USB peripherals. I've seen lots of blogs, like this one, that talk about a USB over IP, and I might go to that, but for now I might run iTunes in the host and keep other stuff in VMs.

I think this is a huge mistake by Microsoft. I know lots of Hyper-V is for servers, but there are plenty of people that will want to put this on desktops, AKA developers, and they like gadgets. Part of the purpose of a VM is to separate out things that might interrupt your work, like gadgets.

I'm hoping that MS will fix this, but for now it has me second guessing W2K8 as a desktop.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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