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Background and Steps required to setup Project Server 2010 Demo image:
Microsoft released the pre configured MS Project Server 2010 demo copy for download. MS Project Server 2010 is a beta product and set to RTM release in Jun 2010. If you would like to explore the functionality and new features of MS Project Server 2010, you can download the demo image and you can run it on your machine without going through the lengthy installation process.
Microsoft Project Server 2010 demo image is a Virtual Hard Disk can be run by using Virtualization tool.
Choosing Virtualization Tool (VT) to run demo VHD:
We have been using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 tool to host Project Server 2003 and Project Server 2007 images. If you thinking to do the same for Project Server 2010, it's not as simple as you expect. First of all, itís not possible to use the Virtual PC tool to host the Project Server 2010 demo copy. You need Hyper-V (Hyper-V is the new tool from Microsoft to support virtualization) to host the demo image. Here is one more catch; you can run Hyper-V on only Windows Server 2008 R2 machine. It means, you should have PC/Laptop with Windows Server 2008 R2 installed, so you can enable Hyper-V role on your machine.
Most of us donít have Windows Server 2008 on our laptops. So, what are other alternatives to run the demo image without installing the Windows Server 2008 and same time by retaining the original operating system on our PC? As I mentioned earlier, Microsoft Virtual PC can run only 32 bit operating systems, so using the Virtual PC for this purpose is totally ruled out.
(In simple words, Virtualization (VT) is a technology and it simulates computer with choice of operating system on your PC/laptop.
Example: Virtualization allows you to run Windows Server 2008 machine on your Windows 7 PC. Microsoft Virtual PC is one of the VT tools which we used till now to run Project Server 2003/2007 demo images on our XP/Vista/Windows 7 machines without going through installation process.)
I did some research and I found the following tools can support virtualization.
By using the below tools, you can run the additional operating systems on your PC without wiping out your original operating system.
I like to use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, but Virtual PC 2007 supports 32 bit operating systems and not capable to host 64 bit Windows Server 2008. (FYI: Project Server 2010 built on 64 bit Windows Server 2008 R2.)
Parallels and QEMU are not supporting Windows Server 2008 operating system.
The next choices are VMWare or VirtualBox. VMWare is not a free tool and we have to purchase to use.
The final and best option is VirtualBox from Sun Micro Systems. VirtualBox is free software. It is cross-platform (runs on Windows and GNU/Linux). It runs Windows, OS/2, GNU/Linux, BSD, Netware, Solaris, and L4 guests. The big plus point is, by using VirtualBox you can run 64 bit operating systems on your 32 bit laptop. How cool it is.
Finally I decided to use VirtualBox software to host the Project Server 2010 demo image on my Windows 7 laptop.
Request to Microsoft: Please release the VT tool which allow us to run Project Server 2010/SharePoint 2010 VHD on our laptop/PCs. Your Virtual PC software rocks till now. We need a similar tool, so we can explore your products without wiping our original operating systems.
This article explains the sequence of steps to prepare you to start working on Project Server 2010 or SharePoint 2010 demo image.