Hard Drive Configuration Question Win7/Virtualization/Server 2008

Hello All. I am about to embark on my first build. I will install Windows 7 as the primary OS and I plan to install some kind of software hypervisor (VirtyalBox, VmLite, or whatever else is available) onto Windows 7 in order to run/learn Windows Server 2008 r2/Oracle 10g/SQL Server 2008/Visual Studio 2008 in a controlled environment. This is not for production, only development/testing/learning.

Initially, I was going to just use a 1TB Samsung F3 to take care of everything. Then I started looking into the idea of a 64-80GB SSD to run my host OS. Then I start thinking about partitioning (which i have no experience in).

I was advised to load up on RAM and look into a SSD, but which is more important in my situation? I doubled up on RAM first (8GB). Adding a SSD would add another 20% cost to my build, so I am being careful. However, I don't want my system to have a bottleneck, so I will spend the money if it keeps my system balanced.

I would like to hear what some of you have to say. How would you go about a hard drive configuration with this kind of setup? Do I need a SSD?

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  1. Best answer
    Sounds like a cool setup. I have only used virtualbox, so I will talk about that. The ram is a good idea, because virtualbox just eats up the chunk that you have allocated to the VM right away. I'm not sure about the SDD. With one that size I don't think that you would want to use space on it for virtual drives, and I think that the virtual drive file is the only one which the VM uses much, and therefore the access speed to it determines performance. Granted, virtualbox allows you to make a dynamic virtual drive rather than allocating the space right from the start if you want to, but just the basic installs of your target applications would eat up allot of space.

    But you said that the virtual machine was just for testing/playing/learning. If this means that you don't mind a little bit slower experience, anything will do. Just for kicks, I installed VB on my netbook under linux, and I was able to boot another another version of linux from an iso file and run it (with rather low frame rates, but it ran).
  2. Best answer selected by dabones_2000.
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