I have used Windows Server 2008 and 2012 extensively using Hyper-V to deploy Virtual AD Servers but it is getting more and more expensive so I have been looking at VMWare Player / Workstation using Linux as the Host for a windows server as an alternative for smaller offices.
I was able to get Linux and VMWare up and running and install a couple of Microsoft Virtual Machines but I sort of ran in to a dead end as far as an automated nightly local backup for the host Linux server. There are numerous products that are VM aware for Windows running Hyper V and most are free or inexpensive but I could not find an easy to use Linux variant for this.
In addition to the Host Backup I would plan to deploy a cloud based backup such as Idrive or carbonite on the individually VMs as a secondary backup.
Is anyone else using this configuration as an alternative to Hyper V?