Background: Our office uses Microsoft SMS 2003 to remote to other PCs in the office. We also use it to distribute software to the PCs like most companies do. The majority of our PCs are Windows XP and SMS works great on XP. I love having the ability to remote to a user's PC and helping them (yes, I do whatever I can not to have to leave my desk!). I fix probably 95% of my PC troubleshooting issues this way. Its awesome!
Situation: Our office just upgraded our PCs and now some of the brave Support Techs have the option to use Windows Vista if we want to. Of course, I chose that option. I love Windows Vista (keep your tomatoes in your pocket). I love learning new technology and although I think Microsoft has enough money, I would still promote them.
Problem: Microsoft SMS 2003 is not compatible with Windows Vista!!! The only way I can use SMS on Vista is to wait....and wait....and wait....until our office upgrades our SMS server to the new System Center Configuration Manager 2007.
Solution: Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 on my Vista PC. Here is what I did:
On my Windows Vista PC, I downloaded and installed Virtual PC 2007. I created a new VPC (that's Virtual PC for short) and when you do this, you must install an operating system. So I installed our volume licensed Windows XP image since I know SMS 2003 works OK with it. I then joined the PC to our domain (something else I learned in the process, to use SMS, the PC must be on the domain).
Next, I installed SMS 2003 and and tested it.....it worked! I am now able to remote into other PCs just like if I were still using my old Windows XP desktop. Virtual PC is amazing and now, I actually have 4 VPCs installed on my Vista PC....I know, why do I need 4 right? I can do multiple things like troubleshoot XP issues, test software on XP since we as an organization are not upgrading to Vista anytime soon.
The only issue is that Virtual PC is somewhat memory intensive because you have to decide how much RAM to use during the installation of the VPC. I usually use 512MB for them. So after booting up 1, my RAM jumped up to almost 1.5 GB, after 2, basically I was maxed out at 2GB and my PC started locking up. (Solution to this.....I sold my boss on the fact that using Virtual PC was a necessity....so he purchased more RAM for me, now I am maxed out at 4GB)
I know some readers may be asking why I did not use VMWare. My answer, I just feel more comfortable with Microsoft products. VMWare is a great product as well.....its just not Microsoft!
Anybody care to comment?