Continuing from my last post about using Hyper-V for demos, I recognise that many people try and just create one VM with everything Microsoft BI rammed into it. Ram being the operative word as it’s RAM your most likely to be short of particularly on a laptop.

If you want to run SQL Server (with all the BI components) SharePoint, PowerPivot on one machine possibly configured as a domain controller  you’ll need at least 8Gb RAM available to do it. BTW the workarounds for installing SharePoint/ PowerPivot on a domain controller from Dave Wickert aka PowerPivotGeek are here.

Having decided you want to this what are your options?

  • If you go down this one machine approach a possible way of getting running as fast as possible is to create it as a Hyper-V virtual machine and then boot from it  by modifying the boot record using the BCDEDIT utility in windows 7. My team mate James O’Neill has an excellent post on how to do this here
  • Otherwise if you use Hyper-V you’ll have to dual boot your laptop into windows server 2008 R2 with the hypervisor role installed. Give the virtual machine 7.5 Gb RAM i.e.reserve 512Mb for the Hypervisor on the physical operating system /machine.  
  • You can combine the options above and either have  a choice of VHD’s to directly boot into or have one of the these with VHD’s with Windows Server 2008 R2 and the hyper-V role installed.  From this you can run Hyper-V and start virtual machines as when you boot form VHD you are not inside a virtual machine it’s just that the VHD is acting a s areal disk. BTW do not put the gust VM’s inside the VM that you are booting from as it will be slow and confusing.

Finally for any partners reading this there is a demo virtual machine (version 9.2) available to partners complete with the latest demos and scripts to get you started. The link to download it is here.  Having got it you can boot form it as I have described above.