Choosing (Workstation) Host OS for x64 Test VMs

I’ve got a new x64 workstation and I am wondering which OS to use.

The ability to run x64 VMs on the box is a “must-have” feature. Another “must have” is a decent workstation environment which for me (for you that might be something else) means either the ability to run a responsive Windows VM or to work directly on the (Windows) host OS. My VMs will be little (low-performance) testbeds for trying out new (mostly server-side) applications.

I read that virtualized Windows OS is usable as the primary OS, but that the responsiveness and looks are slightly degraded (yes, it’s probably much better when the host is a two-way server with plenty of RAM, but I’ve got only 2GB or RAM and this is a single-HDD workstation), so I’m leaning towards running a Windows host OS, which pretty much leaves me with these choices (and associated pro’s and con’s):

o Windows Server 2008 (x64) + Hyper-V: supposedly better performance, but a bit more to manage and probably less stable (the Hyper-V part).

o Windows Vista (x64) + VMware Workstation: perhaps slower performance, but easier to manage.

I hope not to make a wrong choice (having to completely re-install everything would be very depressing), so I’ll keep thinking about this for few more days. I’ll might another look at Linux as the host OS because of the included iSCSI server, but I’m not too eager to use it for host OS in this case (I’ve nothing against it, it’s just that I feel it’s not a good match for my needs in this particular case).

Anyone out there currently considering above two scenarios?


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