This is for home office use.
I have a Windows 7 PC with a quad core CPU and 8GB RAM that is used on a daily basis and at times, it is crucial that I have it available. I just went through a HD failure and it took longer than I'd like to get things up and running again.
So, I was considering setting up a virtual machine. But I'd like to have a good process for setting up and maintaining that VM on a daily basis in case my real machine goes out, I'd like to just take the VM to another PC and use it from there. Obviously, this would involve some kind of daily backup.
I'm thinking the VM will be 100GB-150GB
So, I need suggestions on a solution and these are some questions going through my mind:
Which free VM product? VirtualBox, VMWare, Hyper-V?
Once I create the VM from my physical machine, what would be the best way to update it daily so it could be ready to go when needed? Re-duplicate the drive? Update the changed files? Use a tool made for VM backup?
Should I make my main machine a VM and only use my physical machine to host my VM?
I'll need my VM to access USB printers, cameras, sound, scanners, etc and be able to access network drives, printers, scanners, etc.
If I put data on the host HD instead of the VM will it noticeably slow down my access time vs on the non-VM?
These two are of a secondary nature:
Can I have two VM's on the same physical machine and set one up as a MySQL server that can be accessed by another?