If you are going to test Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise and Exchange Server 2007 32-bit then Microsoft has the right answer for you, a pre-configured Virtual Machine. According to the Redmond Company, the free pre-configured VHD comes as a free download designed to enable customers to test drive Microsoft
SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 in an isolated environment.
The Virtual machine was made available at the end of the past week, but users should plan ahead for the download as it weighs in at a maximum of 3301.8 MB. Of course it can also be as light as 501.8 MB, as the size is in direct proportion with the actual components that will be offered to the user.
"The Microsoft VHD Test Drive Program provides customers with an enhanced server-based software evaluation experience that's faster, better supported and more flexible. This fully functional pre-configured VHD provides you a trial software will automatically expire after 30 days. This is a preconfigured virtual machine contained within the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format. A virtualization product that supports the VHD format is required to use this virtual machine. Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server are provided for free and can be used with these VHD based virtual machines," revealed Microsoft in the VHD's description.
Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP are the supported operating systems and Microsoft informed users that the virtual machine is configured to run with 512 RAM and with 10 GB of free disk space.
This is not the first time that the Redmond Company offers pre-configured virtual hard disks, but merely a stage in the evolution of the VHD Test Drive Program. By providing an isolated environment for product evaluation, Microsoft streamlines the testing process as much as possible.
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise / Exchange Server 2007 32-bit VHD is available for download here