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VM of MS Products on personal machine

Hi Friends,
Idea is to have a PERSONAL dedicated dev environment of a few microsoft products &
technologies so that i can have a PERSONAL LAPTOP which can have all these installed & configured.
Intent is to do RnD & make some good documentations with screen shots & publish the same on my own persinal web sites without violating any MS rules & any company rules.

I see many ppl does that.

In real world, how can Techies get any new product installation & configurations done on their personal machines without having any licensing.

I guess all this is done by downloading some virtual images from web & using them via some kind of virtual machine manager.

Can i have a VM of
Microsoft SharePont 2010 with SP1
SQL 2012
Windows server 2008 etc etc
any VM manager (may be required, i am not sure)
is there any microsoft web link from where we can download all this.

I would be glad if you share some of your experience, do's & don'ts, a good start up approach etc etc
Minesh Shah
Minesh Shah
6 Solutions
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You cannot do anything with Microsoft software without agreeing to a license agreement - really any software.  Some licenses restrict your ability to conduct tests AND publish the results (for personal use, fine, but for publishing, NO).  Read the license agreements, that's the bottom line.

As for how to obtain software to learn, you can use MSDN subscriptions, TechNet subscriptions, or trials... or pay full price if you really want.
You should be able to get what you need from the Technet Eval Center at:


You just need to download and install the products you want.  You'll also have to register for the evaluations, but that should be pretty straightforward.  Most of them come in a 180 day eval version, so hopefully that's enough time.

For my home setup, I use Oracle's Virtualbox to run my VMs.   Its free and available at:

Minesh ShahSharePoint & all about itAuthor Commented:
Hello Friends,
Each openion is extremely helpful. Thank You Friends.

Since installing / configuring all in one machine is not practical is there any way by which i can install all in 1 machine may be by using Virtual Images of these products.
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BusbarSolutions ArchitectCommented:
you don't need any license agreement for trials, you can download all of Microsoft products for free and try them for 180 days, you can rebuild the lab again after the grace period.

I will recommend buying SSD drives and use virtualbox and host the VMs on top of them, 8 GB of memory will make you do all what you dream about.
Minesh ShahSharePoint & all about itAuthor Commented:
Hi Busbar & al other friends,
could you please explain more on --

how can i use VMs & Virtualbox...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Purchase a Microsoft Technet Subscription

Take a look at the Microsoft Partner program. For a very reasonable sum (670 SGD / year) on an annual basis you get all you need and much much more

Legal, and useful if you qualify.


Rainer JeschorCommented:
you would have to have a client OS license (could be Windows 7 x64) and hardware supporting Virtualization.
I would recommend to use Virtual Box as e.g. Windows Virtual PC will not support x64 guest systems (which is required e.g. by SharePoint 2010), but VM Ware Player or even the free VM Ware Server would also be an option.
If you want to use pre-configured VMs provided by MS, then you would have to "convert" them first as MS just publishes Hyper-V or Virtual PC images.

In regards to setup VMs, you can either have a look at technet or the MS team blogs where they have normally documented how to setup various environments. There is also something called "Test Lab Guides":

Alternative is to have the laptop running Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, hence you can use the provided sample VMs by Microsoft without any technical changes.

E.g. there is a three VM demonstration of SharePoint 2010 with Exchange Server and Lync here:

This environment is updated regularly, hopefully the next one will have SQL Server 2012 as base.

Minesh ShahSharePoint & all about itAuthor Commented:

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