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The true results of our work can't be measured with a ruler or captured with bullet points or summed up with a simple graphic. For every customer, partnering with Hardwyre is an experience that impacts their business in very different and powerful ways. So we'll let them speak for themselves and testify to the integrity of our work.

"Since 2001, Hardwyre has been the exclusive IT support company for the Parker Automotive Group. Steve and the entire team have given us excellent service, in a timely manner, at fair prices. You couldn't ask for anything more!"



- Randy D. Parsley
Operations Manager, Parker Automotive Group

 

Virtualization Tools for the Desktop

Are you keeping an old Windows '98 PC around for that one piece of software you only use twice a year and never plan to upgrade? Do you have an itch to try out that new Linux ‘Ubuntu' that all the other geeks are talking about, but don't want to dedicate a PC just for occasional use? A virtual machine running '98 or Linux that you can fire up when needed is just the ticket.

Things are a little easier now than they were just a year ago. With one of these desktop virtualization tools, running multiple operating systems on one computer is easier than ever (use these tools at your own risk!):


Virtual PC

From Microsoft: Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to run multiple operating systems at the same time on the same physical computer. Switch between virtual machines with the click of a button. Use virtual machines to run legacy applications, provide support, train users, and enhance quality assurance.

Virtual PC lets you create separate virtual machines on your Windows desktop, each of which virtualizes the hardware of a complete physical computer. Use virtual machines to run operating systems such as MS-DOS, Windows, and OS/2. You can run multiple operating systems at once on a single physical computer and switch between them as easily as switching applications—instantly, with a mouse click. Virtual PC is perfect for any scenario in which you need to support multiple operating systems, whether you use it for tech support, legacy application support, training, or just for consolidating physical computers.


Benefits

Virtual PC provides a time-saving and cost-saving solution anywhere users must run multiple operating systems. Use Virtual PC in the following scenarios:

  • Ease Migration: Run legacy applications in a virtual machine instead of delaying the deployment of a new operating system just because of application incompatibility. Test your migration plans using virtual machines instead of actual physical computers.
  • Do More in Less Time: Support staff can run multiple operating systems on a single physical computer and switch between them easily. They can also restore virtual machines to their previous state almost instantly. Train students on multiple operating systems and virtual networks instead of purchasing and supporting additional computers.
  • Streamline Deployment: Test software on different operating systems more easily. One crashing application or operating system doesn't affect others.
  • Accelerate Development: Increase quality assurance by testing and documenting your software on multiple operating systems using virtual machines. Decrease time-to-market by reducing reconfiguration time.


Specs

The Virtual PC application requires a 400 MHz Pentium-compatible processor (1.0 GHz or faster recommended), and requires approximately 20 MB of disk space. It runs on Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.

The real requirements for running Virtual PC are those necessary to support the guest operating systems that you will run. Add the disk requirements for every guest OS you'll install and add the memory requirements for every guest OS you will run simultaneously, plus memory for the host OS. Below are the requirements for some of the operating systems that can be run as a guest operating system. Virtual PC can run most x86 operating systems, not just the operating systems listed below, in a virtual machine environment.

Download Virtual PC free from Download.com
 


VMware Workstation

From VMware: VMware Workstation 6 makes it simple to create and run multiple virtual machines on your desktop or laptop computer. You can convert an existing physical PC into a VMware virtual machine, or create a new virtual machine from scratch. Each virtual machine represents a complete PC, including the processor, memory, network connections and peripheral ports.

VMware Workstation lets you use your virtual machines to run Windows, Linux and a host of other operating systems side-by-side on the same computer. You can switch between operating systems instantly with a click of a mouse, share files between virtual machines with drag-and-drop functionality and access all the peripheral devices you rely on.


Take Snapshots & Videos of your Virtual Machines

With Workstation, you can take a “snapshot” that preserves the state of a virtual machine so you can return to it at any time. Snapshots are useful when you need to revert your virtual machine to a prior, stable system state. Workstation displays thumbnails of all your snapshots on a single screen, making it easy for you to track and revert to a previously saved snapshot.

You can even use Workstation 6 to record and play video files that capture all changes to a virtual machine over a period of time. This function is exclusive to VMware Workstation and is incredibly useful for software debugging, Help Desk forensics, sales demonstrations and training.

Run an Entire Multi-tier System on a Single Host Computer

Run multi-tier enterprise applications on a single piece of hardware by managing network-connected virtual machines with the Teams feature of Workstation 6. Teams let you create virtual network environments that include client, server and database virtual machines.

With Workstation Teams, you can turn an entire multi-tier environment on and off with a single click of the mouse button. Workstation displays live thumbnails of all connected virtual machines, enabling you to easily identify and switch between the virtual machines associated with a team.

Clone your Virtual Machines to Accelerate Deployment

Installing operating systems and applications can be time consuming. With clones, you can make many copies of a virtual machine from a single installation and configuration process. This capability makes it fast and simple to distribute standardized computing environments to employees and students, or to create a baseline configuration for testing.

For IT Professionals

IT professionals around the world use VMware Workstation to create and test multiple computing environments as virtual machines on a single PC. Broad support for a wide range of operating systems makes Workstation an ideal solution for running legacy applications on virtual machines, or to overcome migration issues associated with new operating systems such as Windows Vista.

Key benefits:

  • Reduce PC equipment costs by 50-60%
  • Facilitate software migration and updates
  • Accelerate resolution of Help Desk tickets

Desktop administrators use Workstation to test software updates, patches and hotfixes in an isolated environment before deploying them across the network. Help Desk technicians also benefit from Workstation by creating virtual machine libraries that they can use to replicate and resolve user problems more quickly.

Download a free trial from Download.com



VirtualBox (Open Source)

From InnoTek: InnoTek VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software. VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.

Download VirtualBox free from Download.com

 
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