As per Microsoft, the following are the prerequisites for installing Virtual Server 2005:
• An x86-based computer with a 550 megahertz (MHz) or faster (1 gigahertz [GHz] recommended) processor with L2 cache, such as processors from any of the following families:
• Intel—Xeon or Pentium families
• AMD—AMD64 or Athlon families
Virtual Server 2005, Standard Edition can run on servers with a maximum of four processors. Virtual Server 2005, Enterprise Edition can run on servers with more than four processors. The maximum number of processors for Virtual Server 2005, Enterprise Edition is determined by the host operating system.
• CD-ROM or DVD drive
• Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution monitor recommended
Host operating system
The 32-bit version of any of the following operating systems is required:
• Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003, Standard Edition
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition
• Microsoft Windows® Small Business Server 2003
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional
The World Wide Web Service component of Internet Information Services (IIS) is required on the computer running the Administration Website.
Even though the above prerequisites will allow you to install the Virtual Server 2005 software, you need something more than that to start using it.
Each Virtual Computer you create using this software share the hardware (including memory, hard disk, CPU etc) with the host computer. This means the host computer must be a very powerful, high configuration machine depending on how many virtual machines you plan to run at the same time.
For example, if you like to use 512 MB memory for each virtual computer and you want to create 3 virtual computers, you must have a total of ( (3 * 512) + memory for host computer itself ). This means you must have 2 GB memory to run 3 virtual machines at the same time. The memory is not used when the Virtual Computer is 'STOP'ed.
Also, when the virtual machines are running, they share the CPU with host computer. So, you must have powerful, high speed CPUs.
Even though each virtual computer is stored as a single file within the host computer, when you install several software within the virtual machines, this file size grows. This means you must have sufficiently big hard disk to accommodate the requirement for all virtual computers.