Do you use virtual images?  I use them almost daily and when you work with something like BizTalk Server….it’s a must!  I’ve always been a fan of Virtual PC and really did not have any issues with it…until recently.  Jonathan Summers and I were preparing for the BizTalk First Look Clinics and we were frustrated by the performance of Virtual PC.  Jonathan has struggled with Virtual PC on this Dell Laptop and there are some other grumblings out there on the Internet.

Personally, I didn’t have too many issues until recently.  At the launch in Houston, my keyboard gave out on my VPC during my presentation.  My Virtual Machines started to lag in speed and then all of the sudden, I started getting a 2-3 second pause about every 10 seconds when using VPC….very frustruating.  I said no worries and just installed Virtual Server R2.  Not too many issues at first, but then my Virtual Machine Remote Client started acting up.  I started getting double keystrokes when typing and performance was still just ok.  I ended up just remoting into the virtual machines, but this wasn’t the greatest method either. 

So after all of this, it was time to give VMWare a try.  I used VMWare a long time ago and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.  I downloaded Workstation 5.5, installed and everything was fine.  Upon download, I also downloaded a Virtual Machine Importer tool so I could reuse my existing VPC machines.  I ran the importer and pulled in one of my BizTalk 2006 Beta 2 machines.  Holy crap…the VMWare machine was just as fast as my host machine…something I never experienced with VPC.  I think I’ve been sold on VMWare and here are a few of the benefits:

  • Faster performance – I’ve been able to load Windows 2003 and XP with no issues

  • Display support is better

  • USB support is included

  • Faster pause or hibernation – you can pause a machine with the click of a button and it’s paused

  • Faster start up when paused

  • No more loud beeps when you do something wrong – anyone have this issue with VMRC?

  • Better disk allocation – VMWare can be set up to use 2 Gig Files automatically which will lead to less fragmentation

  • Did I mention faster performance?

I still think Virtual PC is a good product, but my demo yesterday was done using VMWare and I think I’ll be using it in the future.  Anyone else have any issues with Virtual PC?


It didn’t take very long to convert, but hboy was there a difference in the performance.  The VMWare machine was just as fast as my host machine…something I never experienced with Virtual PC.  I was able to load the VMWare Tools which allowed me to have better displays and it also supports USB.