Previously I talked about running lots of virtual machines on a laptop (I can run about six on my Portege M400). I have some tips on overcoming some of the hurdles I have run into. I've sort of mentioned disk i/o in the previous post, so I won't dwell on that. The issue of this post is overall storage.

Maintaining a VM library takes up ever increasing amounts of storage - both for the VMs, and additional sets of installation files. Recent additions to my library have included Longhorn Server (both 32bit and 64bit) in various flavours (DCs, IIS boxes, server core etc), Exchange 2007 VMs and even an older dev environment (to support VS.NET 2003).

To help cater for this , I acquired a new Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM, 160GB SATA disk to add to the existing 100GB disk. In the first shot it is now safely housed in the Ultra Slim Select Bay adapter replacing a previous 80GB secondary disk.

The new disk in a second bay

With the addition of some additional 160 GB external disks (bus powered 2.5" laptop disks), we now have 580GB of storage available in the tablet PC.

Total storage - 580GB!

Not bad for a small 12" machine! Now I realise I could just lug one 500GB 3.5" disk around, but the enclosures are much heavier and they do require an external power supply as well. This setup is much lighter, but yields a relatively similar amount of storage space.

Portege M400 with two external disks

(the book to the left of shot is Raymond Chen's The Old New Thing, which was my other purchase today).

Now, if you're just using a desktop, storage is easy to come buy. For home, I just bought 4 x 500GB SATA II disks (at A$150 each, it's cheaper than ever to acquire a mass of storage). Two terabytes of storage (or 1.5 TB in RAID 5) for ~A$600. That's a lot of VMs!