1. Virtual Server 2005 is a software product from Microsoft.
2. Virtual Server 2005 can be installed on Server operating systems like Windows 2003. It can be installed on Windows XP professional Service Pack 2 for non production use.
3. Virtual Server 2005 allow you to create several virtual computers on your computer.
4. Each virtual computer you create using Virtual Server software is a fully functional system (even though they exist only virtually)
5. Virtual Server 2005 is a successor of Virtual PC 2004 software.
6. Virtual Server 2005 is a free software. You can download it and install without paying any license fee.
7. Each virtual machine you create runs within the Virtual Server software. You must login to the Virtual Server software to see the virtual computers. After you start a virtual computer from the Virtual Server software, it is a fully functional computer which can be accessed even from other systems in the network.
8. Virtual machines created using the software shares the hardware devices with the host computer.
9. When you create a virtual computer, you have to specify the amount of memory it can use. The specified amount of memory will be available for the virtual computer and the host computer will have only the remaining memory available.
10. When you create virtual computers, you have to specify the hard disk space. The specified amount of disk space will be shown as a single hard disk within the virtual computer. Within the virtual computer, you may partition or format this hard disk.
11. For each virtual computer you create, a single file will be created within the host computer. This single file has everything for the virtual computer (including memory, hard disk, operating system, other software etc). If you delete this file, the virtual computer is gone. If you copy this file, the virtual computer is copied ! After you create a virtual machine, you can just copy/paste this file to create several virtual computers for different purpose. (Remember to change the name/ip address of the copied computers to avoid conflict within your network.)
12. Virtual computers share all other hardware devices with host computer including network card, modem, CPU, motherboard etc.
13. When you shutdown or restart virtual computers, everything happens within the software. It will not affect the host computer.
14. After you create a virtual machine, you must format the hard disk, install operating system and install any other software you want.
15. Even though Virtual Server 2005 is a free software, you must have separate license for the operating system and any software you install on each virtual computer. (Now you understand why Microsoft made it a free product !)