Running Virtual Machines on a Surface Pro? Anyone tried?
Hello all. I was wondering if anyone had tried running virtual machines - VirtualBox, VMware Player/Workstation, or the new Hyper-V - on the Surface Pro and how the performance is?
In my day-to-day life, I'm a deployment and imaging tech. We get systems in for various customers, create an image for the system, and push it out using either Windows Deployment Services/Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or Symantec Ghost. I try to do a lot of testing in VMs, especially when we're doing scripting or automatic software installation ahead of time. In a perfect world, I do that on my desktop: an i7 with 16GB of RAM gives me plenty of options to actually simulate the imaging process, but in a pinch I find myself having to do this on a laptop. I bought a Dell XPS 12 with an i7 and 8GB of RAM so I could do this stuff on the go, but unfortunately I'm now on my 3rd unit due to touchscreen issues, and this one is exhibiting the same problems I had on the last 2 (incidentally, my guess is that this is in fact a software problem, and I've told Dell as much, but despite a lot of complaints on their forums and the fact I've been through 3 systems with the same issue, they're not admitting there's any flaw in the XPS 12, either hardware or software - maybe I'm super unlucky and this isn't an issue across the line, but who would give a company a 4th chance on something like this?). So it's going to be returned for a refund, and I need a new laptop.
Truth be told, while simulating imaging would be nice, 90% of the work I do in VMs is simply playing around with command line options in VMs to make sure a silent install works correctly, verifying patches and updates don't interfere with the software I'm installing, and checking installs using network resources from our clients work over VPN. So I probably just need a single Windows 7 or Windows 8 VM that I can snapshot and try, try, try again on this stuff. But even running a single VM, 4GB of memory makes me pretty nervous. And my assumption is that if I did need to run 2 VMs, the Surface Pro would be brought to its knees.
So, those of you who've bought a Surface Pro: have any of you tried using VMs? For what? How's the performance been? Should I consider a Surface Pro, or wait until the Thinkpad Helix is available and buy the 8GB version of that? (And please, no suggestions of the Yoga: I've played around with one, and.. it's not for me. I understand why you might want one, but it just doesn't have the feel I want.)