Virtual machines (VMs) are applications which can mimic your real PC and enable you to run individual virtual PC under another operating system (Windows/Mac/Linux) .It’s popular for various reasons among users, and each user would say their own merit/demerit experience with VMs.
Various VM applications are out there in market. Some of popular ones are
VirtualBox from Oracle (Opensource)
Workstation Player from VMware (Free basic version and paid premium version)
Hyper-V from Microsoft (I used it for free in Windows 8)
Parallels (for Mac machines)
A Mac cum LabVIEW users would be quite familiar with Virtual Machines and Parallels because they had to run LabVIEW in Windows environment and Parallels is the one which offered that flexibility. However a windows user may not need to start using LabVIEW with VM as most of the LabVIEW offering is on Windows platform.
I’m moreover a window user and recently I have started using VM for all of my LabVIEW development activities in my Windows machine. What I found is that usage of VM is very beneficial and comes in handy for LabVIEW developers like me too.
Few key benefits I found so far by using VM are that
VM gives Isolated OS(Operating System) environment for each different project, thus it reduces the deployment issues at the early stage of program development.In VM, going back to earlier OS state using snapshots helps very much in reverting the environment so easily, thus any catastrophic activity to the environment is worth risking any point during development.VM allows to clone the environment just for testing purpose & discarding the same clone in few clicks, thus testing in end-user environment is so easier.VM allows the network capabilities without real hardware, thus to working on projects which deals with networks are simple now.
I will elaborate those key benefits in separate blog posts in following weeks.