Jumping on the Invirtus Bandwagon
Ever since I started getting screwed by... oops I mean testing... Windows Vista, I've been tired of dual-booting or re-installing VS2005 all the time. So I decided to move my entire development system to a virtual machine. It has made my life A TON easier, and now that I have more RAM, it's been fantastic.
So, recently a lots of people have been talking about Invirtus' VM Optimizer 2.0. I heard so many great things about it, I decided to check it out. My dev VM had swelled to about 9GB, which made it really hard to deftagment the rest of my hard drive with. I had to keep copying it to an external drive, defrag it there, and then copy it back. What a pain. So I gave VMO a shot, and I was very happy with it overall.
It took less than an hour to run on my VM, rebooting at least 2x along the way. By the time it was done, and I ran the VPC compactor wizard, my VHD was compacted down to about 3.5GB... a much more manageable size. That's with VS2005, SQL 2005, all the docs, Office 2003, and a bunch of other crap. Very impressive, to say the least.
When I ran it on a clean WS2003 R2 virtual install, it took the VHD size from 3.2GB to 950MB... which made it far easier to upload to my servers.
But, my impression was not all positive. I didn't like the fact that the trial is basically one-run only. It says "14-day trial", but you can only run it once per VM, which I think is a bad call. There's technology out there to let you time-limit trials, and I should be able to run it as many times as I want within that 14 days. I e-mailed them to give them that feedback, and they said they'd look into it.
Other than that, I'm pretty happy with it. I wish it supported Vista yet (a clean Vista VPC install on 5270 weighed in at almost 9GB, uncompressed). I'm definitely buying the product, especially since we'll be making heavy use of VMs for Homentum's staging environment. If you work with VPCs a lot, you should definitely check it out.