I've recently moved to Windows 10 after about a decade swimming in the Apple Kool-aid. While I've not been away from Windows entirely (I use it at work) I haven't spent any time exploring some of the newer technologies introduced by the Redmond crew in the last few years.
Something that comes as a feature for the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10 is Microsoft's VM Hypervisor technology Hyper-V. If you're not familiar with it, this is comparable to something like Oracle's VirtualBox.
One of the biggest reasons to use Hyper-V if you have a version of Windows that supports it is the fact that you will get a bit better performance of your VMs because the system has deep integration with the Windows OS. Another is the Hyper-V Manager which shows the "Enterprisey" roots of the Hyper-V technology giving you access to easily modify a ton of things about your VMs and the virtual network they're all connected to.
Setup and Installation
Hyper-V is a Windows Feature and needs to be activated from the Turn Windows Features On or Off applet in Control Panel. To access this quickly:
- Open the Start Menu
- Type "feature"
- Select "Turn Windows Features On or Off" from the search results
Once the dialog pops up, check the Hyper-V option to install the feature. Once the installation is complete you will have to restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
- Select your PC from the list of machines on the left
- On the far right select "Virtual Switch Manager..."
- In the dialog, choose "New virtual network switch"
- Select "External"
- Click "Create Virtual Switch"
Virtualize the World
Once the network is setup the rest is pretty straightforward. In the "Actions" panel on the far right, select "New" --> "Virtual Machine..." and follow the prompts. I've quite enjoyed using Hyper-V and love the fact that I don't have to have yet another third-party application installed. My VM needs may be few, but I they're easily met with Hyper-V.
Image credit: Cory Doctorow on Flickr