This is something that I’ve been doing for such a long time that I forgot what a great tip it is. VMWare allows you to run a whole other operating system on your machine without affecting your host operating system. This can allow you to run multiple version of the same product stack on a single machine, including those times when one-level will search, uninstall and reinstall older levels.
I currently have around 3-4 Virtual machines. One for the v6.0.2 stack, One for the v6.1 stack, One for personal use and one that just includes a ‘fresh install’ of an operating system. I use the fresh install to start new VMs if I’m installing new software to play around with.
I like VMWare because it allows me to install products without bloating my host windows registry. At the end of the day, I can ‘pause’ the VM and write the memory contents to a file. When I come back the next day, I ‘resume’ and I’m at the exact same place that I left off. No splash screens for me!
I’m currently running my VMs on a T60 widescreen thinkpad with 3 gigs of ram and a Centrino Duo core. I don’t notice any performance impacts when working within WebSphere Integration Developer and still having iTunes, Trillian and Notes open.
The VMware server is a free download. It’s up to you to have the installable discs for whatever operating system you’d like to use (Windows/Linux etc).