Which virtualization platform is right for me?

As a developer working primarily with Microsoft technologies, I would love for Microsoft to provide a proper desktop virtualization solution, i.e. a virtualization platform that can be used directly on a desktop computer.  I started with various versions of Virtual PC and Virtual Server, but they have all had significant shortcomings.  Even the latest Virtual PC is still essentially useless for developers, as it still doesn’t support 64-bit guests, much less several other desirable features such as multiple CPUs per guest.  Thus, I’ve been using VMWare Workstation for my primary virtualization solution for a while now.  It supports 64-bit and multiple cpus per guest, and sports a reasonably slick interface.  I don’t really have any complaints about it other than the two-CPU-max-per-guest limitation.

However, a lot of my recent work has involved writing code that scales well to 4 or 8 threads.  That’s hard to test properly in an environment that supports only 2 threads.  Plus, I work around mostly Microsofties, so I would like some reason to get off a VMWare platform, or at least be able to explain why the Microsoft solutions were all inferior.  So, now that Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 are RTM, it’s time to try using Hyper-V for my desktop virtualization platform.  I’ve already run into (and solved) several problems; I’ll detail those and any future problems that pop up here.

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