My Virtual Workspace – VM Setup

The VM setup

There’s not much I can say for the setup and management of virtual machines in each of the respective hypervisor suites that hasn’t been said better bu the manufacturer or the vastness of the web.  I will, however, offer a few potentially time saving tips from my experiences.

Virtual Drives

Use VHD format for your hard drives.  While not the newest or flashiest format, VHD is a little more versatile than some of the other proprietary formats offered by any of the hypervisors.  The big benefit to VHD is that it is portable between most hypervisors.  I’ve successfully moved a VHD between VirtualBox and Hyper-V server with little issue.  VHDs can also be mounted as additional drives in Windows and even uploaded to Azure.  Other formats such as VHDX offer better performance, but at the cost of using a proprietary format.

** In order to create a virtual machine with a primary disk using the VHD format in Hyper-V, follow these steps.

  1. Create a virtual machine without a primary hard drive.
  2. Once the VM is created, open Settings, and choose “New” from the options for Virtual Hard Disk.
  3. This will take you through the “New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard” that asks you to select VHD or VHDX.
  4. Choose VHD as the format and complete the wizard.

Virtual RAM

Microsoft Hyper-V, there’s an option to use dynamically allocated RAM.  The software will determine which machines need RAM, which have RAM to spare and handle the delegation. For a non-production environment this isn’t a huge deal, but it can give you a little more wiggle room if you have concurrent VMs that are approaching your memory cap.


One of the biggest advantages to the virtual environment is the ability to create snapshots and restore in no time.  That said, those snapshots take up space.  If you’re like me and take snapshots before making any major changes, you’ll need the space to keep everything accessible.

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