I have been making some heavy use of VMware in a corporate test environment and at home in my own test environment. I have used VMware in the past for various small tasks, but due to low powered machines I wasn’t able to utilize it as much as I would have liked. For testing it has proven awesome.
At work I have been able to roll out some testing servers for development in no time at all – without the need to add new hardware or rebuild a box from scratch. I also needed to test something where the server would have a second disk. It was only a matter of minutes before I had a VM rebooted with a new disk to continue my test. No hardware swapping, just add a new virtual disk and set it up in Windows. Nice.
This weekend I have been playing a lot with Grub, Lilo and software RAID under Linux. The snapshot feature has been a *huge* time saver. Re-installing boot loaders, removing disks and using the snapshot to roll back to a good config. It has definitely sped up my testing process at home for some things I am working on. There is no way I could have gone through as many configurations as quickly as I did this weekend with a more traditional hardware setup.